|IOWA vs. MINNESOTA|
|DATE||Saturday, Feb. 15 | 8:30 p.m. CT|
|LOCATION||Iowa City, Iowa | Carver-Hawkeye Arena (14,905)|
|LISTEN||Hawkeye All-Access | KXIC|
ON THE MAT
The top-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team hosts No. 13 Minnesota on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. (CT) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for youth 18-years-old and younger. UI students and children under five are admitted free. Saturday’s dual is televised by BTN. Tim Johnson, and Jim Gibbons will call the action from Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
THE SERIES — MINNESOTA
Saturday’s dual is the 105th meeting between Minnesota and Iowa. The schools first met in 1921, a 39-3 Iowa victory in Iowa City.
The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series 75-28-1. Iowa has won five straight in the series. Minnesota’s last win in the series was 19-15 on Jan. 25, 2014, in Iowa City.
The Hawkeyes are 36-16 against the Gophers in duals wrestled in Iowa City.
The schools have met 17 times since 2006-07, Tom Brands’ first season as Iowa’s head coach. The Hawkeyes own a 13-4 advantage during that stretch.
REGULAR SEASON TITLE CHASE
Iowa can clinch the outright Big Ten regular season title with a win Saturday. The Hawkeyes are 8-0 with a 1.0 dual lead over Penn State (7-1). A win Saturday by the Hawkeyes or a loss by Penn State (Saturday vs. Ohio State) would solidify Iowa’s title. If Iowa loses and Penn State wins, the teams would tie in conference standings and share the regular season title. There is no head-to-head tiebreaker. Iowa clinched at least a share of the regular season title with its 27-9 win at Michigan on Feb. 8.
The Hawkeyes have won or shared the Big Ten dual championships 11 times since the conference started recognizing a dual meet champion in 1999. Iowa won the title outright in 2000, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015, and shared the title in 2003, 2014, 2016, and 2019.
The Hawkeyes have eight undefeated conference seasons since 2006-07, head coach Tom Brands’ first year.
KEMERER TAKES OVER NO. 1
Senior Michael Kemerer took over the top spot at 174 pounds following his 11-6 win over then-No. 1 Mark Hall of Penn State on Jan. 31. It marked his fourth consecutive win, all against top 8 opponents.
Kemerer is ranked No. 1 for the first time in his career. He has been ranked as high as No. 2 this season, his first at 174 pounds. He competed at 157 pounds as a redshirt freshman and sophomore from 2016-18 and reached as high as No. 2 in the rankings both seasons.
Kemerer is 11-0 with six wins over ranked opponents. He was won 31 straight duals and has a career Big Ten dual record of 24-1.
Junior Spencer Lee is 13-0 and has outscored his opponents 171-10. Seven of those 10 points came in the season’s first two matches. He has allowed just three points since Dec. 1 (all escapes). Lee has scored bonus points in 12 of 13 wins.
Lee is among the nation’s leaders with eight technical falls. He was 5-0 in the month of January with five technical falls. He outscored those five opponents 84-1.
Lee won by major decision (16-5) in the season opener, and by 8-1 decision on Feb. 8. Those are the only two matches this season to go seven minutes. He has four first-period technical falls, and three first-period falls (0:54, 0:52, 2:21).
Lee enters Saturday’s dual ranked No. 1 at 125 with a 13-0 record.
Junior Spencer Lee (13-0) and senior Michael Kemerer (11-0) enter Saturday’s dual with undefeated records.
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.
A PERFECT (BIG) TEN
Juniors Spencer Lee and Kaleb Young, and senior Michael Kemerer enter Saturday’s dual with 8-0 conference records.
Since 2007, Tom Brands’ first season as Iowa head coach, a wrestler has navigated a perfect Big Ten regular season 18 times. Since 2014-15, when the conference went to a nine-dual regular season schedule, five Hawkeyes have posted perfect 9-0 records, including junior Alex Marinelli in 2018-19. Thomas Gilman did it three times (2015, 2016, 2017), and Alex Meyer, Brandon Sorensen, and Sam Stoll were all 9-0 in 2015-16.
YOUNG STREAK REACHES 12
Junior Kaleb Young has won a career-high 12 straight matches. Young opened the season splitting four matches, but has since won 12 in a row, one more than his previous career-best of 11 set as a sophomore in 2018-19.
Young’s streak started with five wins at the Midlands Championships. Among his 12 straight wins are six victories against ranked opponents, including three top 10 wins. He is 14-2 overall and ranked No. 4 at 157 by TrackWrestling and WIN Magazine.
LUGO PICKS UP WIN NO. 100
Senior Pat Lugo earned his 100th career win Jan. 31. He has a career record of 102-38, including a 63-18 mark at Edinboro from 2015-17, and a 39-10 mark at Iowa from 2018-20.
Lugo is 16-1 this season with six wins over ranked opponents, including three in the top seven. He is ranked No. 1 this week by WIN Magazine, No. 2 by Intermat and No. 4 by TrackWrestling. He is 7-1 this year and 19-10 all-time against ranked opponents.
He spent three weeks at the No. 1 ranking after opening the season with a 13-0 record. The No. 1 billing was the first of Lugo’s career. He has spent all season in the top 5 after finishing the 2019 season with an eighth-place All-America finish. Prior to the 2019 national tournament, Lugo had not been ranked higher than 10th.
BIG TEN & 0
Junior Spencer Lee is undefeated in 21 career Big Ten duals. Among his 21 wins are eight falls (six in the first period), eight technical falls, and one major decision.
HOME SWEET HOME
Spencer Lee and Tony Cassioppi are undefeated in their careers at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Lee owns a record of 16-0 and Cassioppi is undefeated in six matches. He won his Carver debut, 6-4, over No. 5 Taylor Venz of Nebraska on Jan. 18.
In Lee’s 16 home wins, he has four pins, eight technical falls, and two major decisions. Four of the wins are against top 10 opponents.
Junior Spencer Lee has won 23 career matches by technical fall, 40 percent of his 58 career wins.
Lee has eight technical falls this season, tying his career-high set as a freshman in 2017-18. He had seven technical falls as a sophomore in 2018-19. Since 1999-00, the first year technical falls were recorded in Iowa Wrestling media guides, the season-high for technical falls is nine, set by Doug Schwab in 1999-00. Schwab had 24 technical falls over a three-year period from 1998-00.