The No. 18-ranked Indiana wrestling team is set to face two ranked opponents on the road this weekend with No. 24 Michigan State on Friday and No. 12 Michigan on Sunday.
Indiana wrestling has had a colorful history in its rivalry with Michigan state. Over the past five meetings, four duals were decided by five points or less. The Spartans have historically owned the rivalry, posting a 7-5 all-time record against the Hoosiers. Additionally, the Spartans own a four-win streak over Indiana with the last Hoosier win coming in January 2016.
Indiana has had a strong season with five ranked wrestlers and a 7-3 dual record, the best season of head coach Angel Escobedo’s era. The Hoosiers have proved they are a capable team, posting three ranked wins on the season and on the hunt for their fourth. However, Michigan State has a formidable line-up with five ranked wrestlers of their own and a fervent desire to keep their winning streak alive.
No. 29 Hoosier freshman Henry Porter will take on No. 17 graduate-student Rayvon Foley at 133 lbs. Wrestling fans were robbed of this matchup earlier in the season at the Reno Tournament of Champions as Foley was upset in the semifinals. Both wrestlers have had up and down seasons and will be hungry for a ranked win.
At 157 lbs. there will be a rematch of the third-place bout at the Reno Tournament of Champions. No. 20 Hoosier junior Derek Gilcher upset No. 12 junior Chase Saldate back in December to obtain the first ranked victory of his career. That ranked win started a hot streak for Gilcher, which propelled him into the national rankings. Gilcher will toe the line on Friday in another opportunity against Saldate.
Signs point to this being one of the most exciting duals of the year with a great history, two ranked matchups and two hungry teams. This is going to be as close to a toss-up dual as any in the Big Ten this weekend.
After East Lansing, Michigan, the Hoosiers will head to Ann Arbor, Michigan to face the Wolverines on Sunday. Michigan is coming off one of the most successful seasons in program history and is the defending Big Ten champion and the NCAA runner-up.
After losing some of its fire power, Michigan is having an impressive season this year, posting a 9-3 overall record. The Wolverines have nine of their 10 starters in the national rankings with the one exception coming in the 197 lbs. weight class.
Michigan will be the heavy favorites against the Hoosiers, depending on who the Wolverines put out as their starters. Escobedo and company have shown that they can compete against the best teams in the nation this year and will look to pull off the upset.
There are five projected ranked matches in the duel against Michigan coming at 133 lbs., 149 lbs., 157 lbs., 174 lbs. and heavyweight. Among those, the marquee match will occur at 149 lbs. as No. 29 redshirt-senior Graham Rooks will face Michigan’s No. 22-ranked redshirt-freshman Chance Lamer.
The duals will take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday and noon Sunday, and both will be streamed on BTN+.