ON THE MAT
The top-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team hosts No. 14 Minnesota at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday at 8:03 p.m. (CT) in its 2021-22 Big Ten Conference opener. The Hawkeyes host No. 15 Purdue on Sunday at 2:03 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Both duals are televised live on BTN.
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES
Both weekend duals are televised live on BTN and available at FoxSports.com and the Fox Sports mobile app. Iowa will make eight appearances on BTN this season, including duals against Minnesota, Purdue, Penn State, and Wisconsin, road duals at Illinois, Ohio State, and Nebraska. The Big Ten Championships at Nebraska on March 5-6 are also televised on BTN.
BIG TEN OPENERS
Iowa has won 23 straight conference openers, including 15 in a row under head coach Tom Brands. Iowa’s last loss in a Big Ten opener was a 25-17 defeat to Penn State to open the 1997-98 conference season.
Back in Carver for the New Year.
FREE Calendars this Friday at 8 p.m. vs Minnesota 📅 pic.twitter.com/tjAbhFz5hI
— Iowa Hawkeye Wrestling (@Hawks_Wrestling) January 4, 2022
THE SERIES — MINNESOTA
Iowa leads the all-time series 77-28-1 and has won the last seven meetings, including three straight at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa has outscored the Gophers, 103-19, in the last three meetings in Iowa City. Iowa is 37-16 all-time against the Gophers in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes won the most recent meeting, 35-4, on Jan. 22, 2021, in Minneapolis. Minnesota’s last win in the series was a 19-15 victory in Iowa City on Jan. 25, 2014. Iowa head coach Tom Brands is 15-4 all-time against the Gophers.
THE SERIES — PURDUE
Iowa leads the all-time series 44-4-3 and has won the last 32 meetings. Including the most recent meeting, 31-18, on Feb. 7, 2021. The teams battled to a 14-14 tie in 1966, the last time Iowa walked away without a win. That dual was in Iowa City. Purdue’s last win in the series was a 23-9 victory in 1961 in Iowa City. That dual is Purdue’s only win in Iowa City in program history. Iowa holds a 22-1-2 all-time series lead in duals wrestled in Iowa City. Iowa head coach Tom Brands is 11-0 all-time against the Boilermakers.
NO. 1 IN THE COUNTRY
The defending NCAA champion Hawkeyes are ranked No. 1 in the NWCA Coaches Poll for the 28th consecutive week. The 28-week stretch is the longest since Iowa spent 38 weeks at the top of the rankings from Jan. 15, 2008, until Feb. 23, 2010. (The poll started weekly rankings in 1997. Bi-weekly and monthly rankings started in 1960). Since 1960, the Hawkeyes have appeared at the top spot of the national poll 220 times.
Iowa has won 24 straight overall and 20 straight at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes’ 24-dual winning streak is the longest active streak in the country. Iowa’s 20-dual winning streak at Carver-Hawkeye Arena is its longest since winning 38 straight from 2008-12. The Hawkeyes’ last loss at Carver-Hawkeye Arena was Jan. 27, 2018 (19-17 versus No. 7 Michigan). Iowa has won 23 consecutive Big Ten duals, its longest conference streak since winning 24 straight from 2014-17.
MARINELLI CLIMBS TO NO. 1
Senior Alex Marinelli debuted at No. 2 in the preseason polls but has since climbed to the top spot at 165. Marinelli has entered the NCAA Championships as the No. 1 seeded wrestler in each of the last three years. He has an 80-10 career record, including a 41-1 record in duals and a 15-0 record in nonconference duals. He is 20-1 all-time at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
BONUS POINTS OR BUST
Senior Austin DeSanto is 10-0 with a team-high seven technical falls. DeSanto has 34 career technical falls. He has scored 20 points or more in five of his 10 wins and has 26 career matches of scoring 20 points or more.
CARVER-HAWKEYE ARENA DEBUT
Mediapolis, Iowa, native Brennan Swafford is expected to make his Carver-Hawkeye Arena debut Friday. Swafford attended Mediapolis High School and was twice an Iowa high school state champion runner-up. He attended Graceland University out of high school and won the NAIA national championship in 2020 and 2021 as a sophomore and junior. He transferred to Iowa prior to the 2021-22 season. Swafford competed unattached at 174 pounds at the Luther Open Harold Nichols Open and UNI Open. He pulled his redshirt and made his Hawkeye debut Jan. 1 at the Southern Scuffle. He won his first three matches to advance to the semifinals of the scuffle and ended up with a sixth-place finish. He entered the tournament unseeded.
HAWKEYES AND CARVER-HAWKEYE ARENA
Iowa is 115-12 (.906) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena since Tom Brands took over the program prior to 2006-07. The Hawkeyes are 265-25 (.914) all-time at Carver-Hawkeye Arena since moving from the UI Field House in 1983. Iowa was 2-0 at home during its COVID shortened 2020-21 season, completing its 24th undefeated season in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Carver-Hawkeye Arena has hosted two United States Olympic Team Trials, four Big Ten Championships (1983, 1994, 2005, 2016) 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. In 2018, the University of Iowa hosted the UWW World Cup, an international dual tournament featuring eight of the top countries in the world.
HAWKEYE WRESTLING HISTORY
The Hawkeyes have won 24 national titles and 37 Big Ten titles. Iowa’s 55 NCAA champions have won a total of 85 NCAA individual titles, crowning seven three-time and 16 two-time champions. The Hawkeyes’ 117 Big Ten champions have combined for 207 conference titles. There have been seven four-time, 19 three-time, and 31 two-time Big Ten champions from Iowa. Iowa’s 161 All-Americans have earned All-America status 352 times, including 22 four-time, 40 three-time and 41 two-time honorees.
OLYMPIC, WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BLOODLINES
Junior Nelson Brands and freshman Wyatt Henson have Olympic bloodlines. Nelson’s father, Terry, was an Olympic bronze medalist in 2000. His uncle, Tom, won Olympic gold in 1996. Terry was a World Champion in 1993 and 1995. Tom won a World Championship in 1993. Freshman Wyatt Henson is the son of Olympic silver medalist and World Champion Sammie Henson. Sammie was a teammate of Terry Brands on the 2000 United States Olympic team. He won an Olympic silver medal in 2000 and a World Championship in 1998.