Match Notes: #1 Iowa vs. #24 Northwestern

Jan. 20, 2015



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The top-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team hosts No. 24 Northwestern on Friday at 7 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Mat inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The dual will be streamed live on BTN Plus via BTN2Go.

Iowa will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its first national championship on Friday. Gary Kurdelmeier led Iowa to its first NCAA Championship in 1975, and in the 40 years since, the Hawkeyes have accumulated 23 team titles, more than any other school — Oklahoma State (7), Penn State (4), Minnesota (3), Iowa State (2), and Arizona State (1).

Iowa leads the all-time series, 69-7-1. Iowa has won nine straight against Northwestern and owns an all-time mark of 30-4 in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes have won 19 straight at home against the Wildcats since Northwestern last won, 25-8, in 1967. Northwestern’s last win in the series was a 22-19 victory in Evanston on Jan. 29, 2005. The Hawkeyes are 8-0 against Northwestern under head coach Tom Brands.

Wrestling Herky

Friday’s heavyweight match will be the seventh meeting between Iowa’s Bobby Telford and Northwestern’s Mike McMullan. The head-to-head series is tied, 3-3. They split a pair of meetings as redshirt freshman in 2011-12. McMullan won two-of-three last season, and Telford won their only meeting this season, a 4-2 decision in the Midlands finals. Friday marks the third meeting when one wrestler was ranked No. 1. McMullan, ranked third when the Hawkeyes traveled to Northwestern last season, defeated top-ranked Telford, 3-1, in sudden victory. In the 2014 Midlands finals, the third-ranked Telford returned the favor, knocking off top-ranked McMullan, 4-2. Telford enters Friday’s dual ranked No. 1. McMullan is ranked No. 4.

Northwestern’s defending NCAA Champion Jason Tsirtsis has won 40 straight dating back to last season. Tsirtsis is the top-ranked 149-pounder in the country. His brother Alex started 74 duals for the Hawkeyes from 2005-09 and was an All-American in 2006 at 141 pounds. Brandon Sorensen, ranked No. 3 in the nation, has won 36 of his last 38 matches dating back to last season. He won his final 13 bouts wrestling unattached last year, and is 23-2 as a redshirt freshman this season. He has won six straight, including three against ranked opponents.

Northwestern assistant coach Jay Borschel won the 174-pound NCAA championship at the University of Iowa in 2010. The Marion, Iowa, native was a two-time All-American and a member of three NCAA title teams from 2008-10. He was named Iowa Male Athlete of the Year in 2010.

Iowa has nine wrestlers ranked in the top 10 of the latest Intermat rankings (Jan. 20), more than any other school. Six of Iowa’s wrestlers are ranked in the top 5, including Thomas Gilman (5), Cory Clark (5), Brandon Sorensen (3), Mike Evans (2), Nathan Burak (4) and Bobby Telford (1). Two more Hawkeyes are projected in the top eight, including Josh Dziewa (6) and Sammy Brooks (8). Nick Moore is ranked No. 9 at 165, while Michael Kelly is ranked No. 17 at 157.

Mike Evans (17-0), Nathan Burak (12-0), and Bobby Telford (18-0) enter the dual with undefeated records. All three streaks are career bests. In the history of Iowa wrestling, 15 wrestlers have finished the season with a perfect record (minimum 20 matches). Four of those wrestlers were able to perform the feat twice. They include Mark Ironside, Lincoln McIlravy, T.J. Williams and Jim Zalesky. Iowa coaches Tom Brands and Terry Brands are among the 15 wrestlers. Tom went 45-0 in 1990-91 and Terry went 35-0 in 1991-92.

Three of Iowa’s four returning All-Americans — Mike Evans (174), Nathan Burak (197), and Bobby Telford (285) — are a combined 47-0 this season with 22 pins. Telford is 18-0 with nine pins, one major decision, and one win via medical forfeit. Evans is 17-0 with 10 wins by bonus points. Burak is 12-0 with two pins, one major decision, and one technical fall. He has claimed two tournament titles wrestling unattached at the Luther Open and Midlands Championships. He wrestled attached for the first time Jan. 4 at Ohio State and earned a 2-1 win over No. 7 Kyle Snyder. Clark, Iowa’s other returning All-American, was 14-0 before losing for the first time to Ohio State’s ninth-ranked Johnny DiJulius, 7-5. Clark is 15-2 overall with seven falls, one technical fall, and one major decision. All four returning All-Americans won Midlands individual titles on Dec. 30. The Hawkeyes have crowned at least one All-American every year since 1972, a span of 43 seasons. Iowa has totaled 261 All-America honors during that stretch. The Hawkeyes crowned six All-Americans in 2014, including four-time All-American Derek St. John (157) and first-timers Clark (125) and Burak (197). Tony Ramos earned his third career All-America honor, winning the 133-pound bracket, and Evans (174) and Telford (285) were both named All-Americans for the second time in their careers.

Senior Mike Evans recorded a 16-1 technical fall at Oklahoma State to improve to 17-0. The 17 consecutive wins is a career-long, and six better than his previous streak of 11 set in 2013-14. Evans has 94 career wins, more than any other active Hawkeye, and his 61 career dual starts are most on the team. He is 51-10 all-time in duals.

The Hawkeyes’ 11th straight win over Iowa State on Nov. 29 was Tom Brands‘ 150th career win at Iowa. He is 155-15-1 (.909) in eight-plus seasons as Iowa’s head coach. Only Dave McCuskey (160) and Dan Gable (355) have more dual wins at Iowa.

Redshirt freshman Brandon Sorensen and senior Bobby Telford have been recognized by the Big Ten office this season. Sorensen was named Big Ten Co-Wrestler of the Week by the conference office Jan. 13, two weeks after Telford received the honor on Dec. 31. Sorensen, a native of Cedar Falls, Iowa, was recognized after defeating second-ranked Josh Kindig of Oklahoma State, 6-1. Telford won the Midlands 285-pound title on Dec. 30, knocking off No. 5 Connor Medbery (Wisconsin) in the semifinals and defeating then-top ranked Mike McMullan (Northwestern), 4-2, in the finals. Later that week Telford defeated No. 8 Billy Smith of Rutgers, and completed Iowa’s come-from-behind dual win at Ohio State with a 4-0 shutout against No. 10 Nick Tavanello. For his efforts he was also named USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week.

Iowa’s overall dual meet record is 950-224-31 (.799) in 105 seasons. The Hawkeyes have won 23 national titles and 34 Big Ten titles. Iowa’s 53 NCAA Champions have won a total of 81 NCAA individual titles, crowning six three-time and 16 two-time champions. The Hawkeyes’ 110 Big Ten champions have combined for 191 conference titles. There have been seven four-time, 18 three-time, and 29 two-time Iowa winners. Iowa’s 150 All-Americans have earned All-America status 307 times, including 18 four-time, 32 three-time and 39 two-time honorees.

The Hawkeyes have seven wrestlers with NCAA Championships experience. Seniors Mike Evans (174) and Bobby Telford (285) are three-time NCAA qualifiers. Telford earned All-America honors in 2012 and 2014, while Evans earned All-America honors in 2013 and 2014. Junior Nathan Burak (197) and sophomore Cory Clark (125) also advanced to the All-America stand in 2014. Burak was making his second NCAA tournament appearance, while Clark was making his first. Senior Nick Moore (165) has competed in two NCAA Championships (2013, 2014), and last year senior Josh Dziewa (141) and junior Brody Grothus (149) made their first career appearances.

The Hawkeyes are 6-0 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena this season and have a 219-21 (.912) all-time record since at home since Carver started hosting wrestling duals in 1983. The Hawkeyes have recorded 20 undefeated seasons in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the most recent in 2012-13 (9-0). Carver-Hawkeye Arena has hosted three Big Ten Championships (1983, 1994, 2005) and four NCAA Championships (1986, 1991, 1995, 2001). The Hawkeyes have won five tournament titles on their home mat, including the 1983 and 1994 Big Ten Championships, and the 1986, 1991 and 1995 NCAA Championships. On February 21-22, 2015, Carver-Hawkeye Arena will host the National Duals for the third time (1998, 1999).

Single dual tickets are now available for purchase on Single dual tickets are $12 for duals against Illinois (Jan. 16), Northwestern (Jan. 23), and Michigan (Feb. 13). Youth tickets (18 and younger) are $8. UI students and kids five-years old and younger are admitted free. Adult tickets are $15 for Virginia (Feb. 15) — Iowa’s opening round opponent of the Cliff Keen National Duals. Tickets to the second round of the Cliff Keen National Duals (Feb. 21-22) — featuring eight teams and three rounds of competition — are $10 for Saturday’s quarterfinals and semifinals, and $20 for Sunday’s final round.

Iowa’s regular season duals Minnesota, and Penn State will air live on BTN. The Hawkeyes wrestle at Minnesota on Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. (CT), and at Penn State on Feb. 8 at 12 p.m. BTN will televise the semifinal and final rounds of the Cliff Keen National Duals, hosted by the University of Iowa on Feb. 21-22. The semifinals will air Saturday on BTN at 3 p.m. The finals will be televised Sunday at 11:30 a.m. BTN is televised the final round of the Midlands Championships, and will televise the final round of the Big Ten Championships on March 8, 2015, at 2 p.m. The 2015 conference tournament is hosted by Ohio State.

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