No. 6 Tigers to Host Regional Round of NWCA National Duals
COLUMBIA -- After an astounding 43-3 romp of SIUE on Wednesday night, the fifth-ranked Tigers look ahead to another night at the Hearnes Center wherethey will be hosting the Regional round of the NWCA/Cliff Keen Division I National Dual Meet Championship on Sunday, Feb. 17.
The action will kick off at 10:00 a.m. CT with Mizzou facing off against Maryland. A win over the Terps would set the Tigers up for a match against either No. 16 Purdue or No. 20 Wyoming for the chance to advance to the Finals the following weekend at the University of Minnesota.
Maryland is 12-7 on the season coming into the Regional. The Terps faced seven teams that were ranked in the top-25 this season and went 2-5 against them, one of those wins coming overPurdue. The last time the Maryland wrestling team hit the mat they were able to defeat two conference foes on the road and close out their Atlantic Coast Conference record at 3-2.
The Terrapins stomped the Duke Blue Devils 38-3, and then were able to squeak by the North Carolina State Wolfpack 22-19. After getting off to a 10-0 losing start behind the Wolfpack, the Terps were able to come up with decisions by John Asper and Dallas Brown, two consecutive technical falls for Jimmy Sheptock and Ty Snook, and a forfeit win at 133 pounds to secure the victory.
No. 16 Purdue was named the No. 2 seed for the Regional, marking the highest-ever seed for the Boilermakers in the Nationals Duals. Purdue will meet up with No. 21 Wyoming in the openinground of the Midwest Regional hoping to defend a 2-0-1 all-time record against the Cowboys. The Boilermakers are bringing in some big names on Sunday withfour of their ten starters being named in the top-20 of the NCAA Coaches' Panel rankings, and eight of them being in the top 30.
With Camden Eppert (21-8) at 125 pounds, 133-pounder Cashé Quiroga (7-1), 149-pounder Ivan Lopouchanski (21-1), and Braden Atwood (21-6) at 197, the Boilermakers are going to be tough to beat. Purdue's squad is coming into the NWCA Regionals with its first winning Ben Ten record since 1998 after toppling archrival Indiana at home on Feb. 11. The Boilermakers took the dual 28-13 with help from a forfeit at 174 and 197 pounds along with decisions by Camden Eppert, Cashé Quiroga, Ivan Lopouchanski, and Brandon Nelsen. After taking the dual Purdue improved their record to 14-5,with one of the losses coming from the No. 5 Missouri Tigers earlier in theseason.
Wyoming (8-4) is also coming into the NWCA Regional Round after a big conference victory against Northern Colorado on Jan. 30. The Cowboys were able to grapple to a 34-10 victory after taking seven of the ten match-ups, six of them ending in a major decision or a fall. The Cowboys have two wrestlers in the latest national rankings and five of their starters have won at least 19 matches. Wyoming looks to be a threat with sophomore Tyler Cox (26-7) at 125 pounds, sophomore Andy McCulley (24-6) at 157 pounds, senior L.J. Helbig (19-8) at 174 pounds, sophomore Shane Woods (21-11) at 184 pounds, and with senior Alfonso Hernandez (27-1) at 197 pounds.
The winner of Missouri/Maryland will take on the winner of Purdue/Wyoming at 12:00 p.m. CT. The losers will battle in a consolation match at 12:00 p.m. CT.