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ChiefIllini1 02-03-2019 02:32 AM

ILLINI/Wisconsin Dual Preview & Sunshine Happy Hour

What: The ILLINI Dual with Wisconsin
When: Sunday, February 10 at 2 pm (Central)
Where: Madison, Wisconsin
Why: Because you must follow the white rabbit
TV: Flo/BTN2go

The ILLINI have a chance to snag a couple of wins in the next couple of weeks against Wisconsin and Northwestern. They’ll have to do it on the road. The Stinkin’ Badgers are 7-5 in duals, 3-2 at home. In the Big Ten, Wisconsin is 2-5, with a surprising win early in the season at Nebraska, as well as a win in their last match against helpless Maryland. Their worst losses are to Northwestern and Rutgers.

What can you say about Wisconsin other than that the Polar Vortex resides there and that they are overly pleased to be associated with cheese. And the names of these guys! Their names! You’ve got a Zander, a Tristan, a Cole, a Mason, a Beau, a Connor, a Trent and a freaking Jens. It’s like the ILLINI must wrestle every character in a Charles Dickens novel.

The Stinkin’ Badgers have a first-year head coach in Chris Bono and supposedly a new regional training center coach in Ben Askren, although the regional training might only involve getting Ben ready for his UFC fights. In the Flo Wrestling announcement of the Askren hire, I found this nugget: “[F]ew names are as synonymous with Wisconsin wrestling as Askren’s.” (Because both Askren brothers went to the University of Wisconsin in Bizarro Flo World?). The Askrens do have a wrestling academy in the cheese state.

Before we get to the details of the Wisconsin dual, here’s a message from the Matrix:

Travis Piotrowski vs. Connor Brown

Connor Brown followed his coach from South Dakota State University to Wisconsin. He was a National Qualifier last season and won a match against the #61 guy. Pio is 11-11 against common opposition, while Brown is 7-11. Brown won the only meeting between the two back in December by the score of 8-4. The coaching staff should have some videotape on this guy, as he also beat Justin Cardani 7-0 earlier this year.

Pio is 11-7 on the season with nice wins over Zeke Moisey, Devin Schroder and Drew Mattin (x2). Connor Brown is 11-3, with his best wins being against Piotrowski and then, maybe, Kyle Akins of Buffalo. The ILLINI will be looking to exact revenge in this one.

Dylan Duncan vs. Jens Lantz

Dylan is 16-12 against the same guys who have thrashed Lantz to the tune of a 7-18 record. In their only meeting, which was last season, Duncan beat him 5-2. The ILLINI has a 10-8 record, which is in part because he's wrestled a pretty tough schedule, and in part because he's been injured. Lantz is actually a pretty tough wrestler and has been in the Big Ten for ages. He's been up and down recently, with a one-point loss to Ethan Lizak, which followed a loss by major to Colin Valdiviez of Northwestern. Less than a month earlier, he lost to Valdiviez by the score of 0-1. Duncan will be the favorite here.

Michael Carr vs. Tristan Moran

Sorry, my friends, I don’t trust anybody who goes by Tristan or who has a last name and first name that rhyme. Both too cutesy by half. And who would name their kid “Moran”? Carr is 9-6 against common opponents, while the Badger is 8-5. is actually predicting a Moran win. I dissent! Moran is a dangerous wrestler, as was shown in his come-from-behind fall against Mitch McKee of Minnesota.

Carr can win this match by sticking to a plain vanilla gameplan. Takedown, release. Michael is 10-2 on the year, with outstanding wins over Storr, McKee, Redd and Murin. Moran, a transfer from Oklahoma State, is 19-5 and has that recent upset of McKee and an SV win over PSU's Lee. I'm going against and picking Carr, who is the better wrestler as long as he avoids the funk.

To be continued ...

ChiefIllini1 02-03-2019 03:43 AM

Christian Kanzler vs. Cole Martin

Kanzler is 0-7 against the guys who Martin has a 4-5 record. predicts a major decision and has Kanzler ranked #126, while Martin is #29. I think Kanzler is tough enough to keep this to a regular decision. Martin is 14-8 on the year, which is better than his previous two years starting in the Badger lineup, during which he finished a little over .500. He's qualified for the NCAA Championships twice but has an 0-4 record. He did beat PSU's Brady Berge by one point in a recent dual.

Eric Barone vs. Zander Wick has Zander Wick as the starter for Wisconsin, but he's missed at least the last five duals. His replacement has been Devin Bahr or Garrett Model. Wick is 7-5 on the year and has not been seen on the mat since Midlands. He does have a 4-2 win over Barone two seasons ago. Barone is 2-5 against common opponents, while Wick is 1-6. The decider is that they both wrestled ASU's Josh Maruca twice, and Barone got the only win.

I would expect that we'd see Bahr (#118) or Model (#137) in this one. In fact, the Wisconsin coaching staff sent both these guys to the Loras Open recently to get some matches in. In any case, the new and improved Eric Barone gets the win here, even if it is Zander Wick coming back from injury.

Joey Gunther vs. Evan Wick

Guns is 11-10 versus the same folks that Wick has a 24-4 record against. They have never met, although Wick does have some unfinished business against the ILLINI. His last match with a wrestler from ILLINOIS ended in a defeat by major decision. Thanks, IMAR! He has beaten Kyle Langenderfer, Ryder Punke and Carver James in the past. Wick has a sparkling 23-1 record on the year, while Guns is at 16-9.

Carver James vs. Patrick Spray

Here we are looking for an ILLINI win and perhaps bonus points. Patrick Spray is 3-13 on the year, with his best win in his career coming against the #94 wrestler. But that was last year. And he was wrestling at 149 back then. It seems that Ryan Christensen, the usual Badger starter, has been out since the Midlands. I have no idea if they expect him back this year.

Emery Parker vs. Mason Reinhardt

Their records against the same guys are 20-5 for Parker, and 9-8 for Reinhardt. The Badger has been all over the board in posting his 17-9 record on the year. He hung tough in an 0-5 loss to Shakur Rasheed of Penn State. Yet, in his last match in the Maryland dual, he lost to the #100 guy 1-2. He's beaten Ohio State's stud freshman redshirt Gavin Hoffman 9-3, but lost to Cash Wilcke 2-8. He lost a close 6-5 decision to Taylor Venz, but two days later lost to the #42 wrestler.

Emery Parker is currently on a two-match losing streak. That hasn't happened for a couple of years. Expect that to end, although Reinhardt could keep it close. Or, he could get destroyed.

Andre Lee vs. Beau Breske

Breske is 9-6 on the year, and you have to go back a full year to find a win over anyone ranked in the 80s. The Badger staff needed to get him some matches, so he went to the Loras Open and won it, but his highest-ranked opponent there was #127. Andre is 2-2 against common opposition, while the Badger is 1-3. The deciding factor in those records is a one-point win for Andre Lee over Zack Chakonis, while the Badger lost to the same guy by two points.

Andre Lee is 15-10 on the year and has a chance to again tie for the team lead in wins. has Breske ranked #45 and Lee at #90, for some reason, and then that service predicts a 9-4 win for the Badger. I think Andre wins a close one. (By the way, forecasts a 24-9 Badger win in the dual, which shows, yet again, that they hate us. They absolutely hate us.).

Deuce Rachal vs. Trent Hilger

The Deuce didn't exactly go on the loose in his last dual, but he got a much-needed win. Rachal is 3-7 against common opposition, while the Badger clocks in at 4-4. Hilger snapped a three-match losing streak (against quality opponents) with a big upset win over Youssif Hemida of Maryland. This, my friends, would be a good time for Deuce to go on the loose!


ChiefIllini1 02-05-2019 11:02 PM

A couple of scouting notes for ya'll: First, Connor Brown missed the last dual between Wisky and Maryland. Rumor is that that happened because of illness or injury. Why would anybody skip the chance to beat up on Maryland? If that's the case, then Travis Piotrowski becomes an instant solid favorite at 125, and that's whether he faces Ethan Rotondo or a nicked-up Connor Brown. For the record, Rotondo is 14-5 on the year, but all of those wins (except Maryland) came in the Luther and Loras Opens. He lost to Pio last year at the Roadrunner Open 0-4.

Tristan Moran solidified his new Top Ten ranking with a major decision over his Terrapin opponent. How many Top Ten guys will Carr face in the regular season?

Finally, Garrett Model got the start for the Badgers at 157. Still no sign of Zander Wick at 157 or Ryan Christensen at 174. Looks like it will be a medical hardship year for them. Here's the dual box score for the Wisconsin-Maryland match:

Wisconsin 30, Maryland 9

125: Brandon Cray (MD) decision Ethan Rotondo (WISC), 8-3 (3-0 MD)
133: Jens Lantz (WISC) fall Orion Anderson (MD), 4:46 (6-3 WISC)
141: No. 9 Moran (WISC) major dec. Danny Bertoni (MD), 14-4 (10-3 WISC)
149: No. 20 Cole Martin (WISC) decision Alfred Bannister (MD), 4-3 (13-3 WISC)
157: Garrett Model (WISC) decision Jahi Jones (MD), 16-9 (16-3 WISC)
165: No. 3 Evan Wick (WISC) major decision Philip Spadafora (MD), 11-3 (20-3 WISC)
174: Josh Ugalde (MD) fall Pat Spray (WISC), 3:27 (20-9 WISC)
184: Mason Reinhardt (WISC) decision Kyle Jasenski (MD), 4-2 (23-9 WISC)
197: Beau Breske (WISC) major decision Niko Cappello (MD), 16-2 (27-9 WISC)
285: No. 11 Trent Hillger (WISC) decision No. 6 Youssif Hemida (MD), 5-2 (30-9 WISC)

ChiefIllini1 02-07-2019 12:00 AM

I've got the ILLINI with 6 favorites in the dual, Wisky with three and one toss-up. Here's how that shakes out in my mind:

ILLINI FAVORITES: 125, 133, 141, 157, 174, 184

WISKY FAVORITES: 149, 165, 285

TOSS-UP: 197

Have to avoid the bonus and pick up the toss-up. Any upset would be sweet as well. The marquee matchup is at 141, with the next in line probably 165.


ChiefIllini1 02-07-2019 11:28 PM

CORRECTION: In the write-up for the Wisconsin dual, I indicated that Deuce Rachal did not go on the loose against Ohio State. In fact, the Deuce was on the Loose! I have photographic evidence of same:

You can see the short video here on twitter. That was a very slick move that included a tripping component. The short video also had clips of Gunther's sweet takedown, a superb defensive move from Pio and Carr doing Carr things.


ChiefIllini1 02-08-2019 01:21 AM

Nobody got the secret message that followed the white rabbit? Nobody? I'm shocked an alarmed. It isn't, "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine."


jay31 02-08-2019 01:33 AM

I will just say Carr and Wroblewski both working OT in the room tonight. Dedication!
Might have been others there later too. Hope we see two wins here against Wisconsin and NW.

ChiefIllini1 02-09-2019 08:53 AM


Originally Posted by jay31 (Post 550405)
I will just say Carr and Wroblewski both working OT in the room tonight.

Who won?


jay31 02-09-2019 09:40 AM

That probably didnt happen, might not be fair if they matched up together, but would still like to see that. Used to see Zane and Imar warm up together and that was a 32 pound difference.

ChiefIllini1 02-10-2019 03:01 AM


Originally Posted by jay31 (Post 550488)
That probably didnt happen, might not be fair if they matched up together, but would still like to see that. Used to see Zane and Imar warm up together and that was a 32 pound difference.

When I boxed, I would train with a lightweight quite often. (I promised I wouldn't return punches and kept that promise). I figured if I could slide his punches, I could handle guys my weight.

I imagine that would be the same with IMAR warming up with Zane. If you can keep Richards off your legs.... My wrestling training was always conventional. Either worked out with the guys at my weight or the weights just above or below.

UPDATE: They put out the "probables" at, and it looks like ILLINOIS has all their starters listed. Wisconsin only has Ethan Rotondo at 125 and no Connor Brown. Also, they have Ryan Christensen at 174, and no Patrick Spray. If Christensen is coming back, then Carver James will want to go hard the full seven minutes to test his gas tank. The Badger would have had a decent, but not great, opponent in Wisky's last dual against Maryland on February 2nd, so if he couldn't get back for that, he may not be ready for prime time.

At 157, the Stinkin' Badgers have listed Model or Zander Wick. Like Christensen, Wick hasn't seen the mat since the Midlands. Keep the pressure on and …


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