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Illinois Wrestling: No. 9 Illini at No. 1 Minnesota Dual Preview

Fighting Ililni look to avoid consecutive Big Ten road losses

Courtesy of Illinois Athletics

Illinois makes a quick turnaround as they visit No. 1 Minnesota in their second Big Ten road meet this weekend.

The No. 9 Fighting Illini (8-2, 2-1 Big Ten) are coming off Friday's 25-12 loss to No. 2 Iowa in Iowa City. In the dual, the Illini three of the 10 bouts, and held a 12-10 lead after 165-pounds before Iowa rattled off four consecutive victories.

Minnesota (8-0, 4-0) remained undefeated after victories over No. 17 Michigan, 20-19, and a 23-12 decision at No. 23 Rutgers last weekend. The Golden Gophers have won 27 of its last 28 duals, including 15 straight, dating back to January of 2013.

The Illini and Gophers have wrestled two common opponents this season. In non-conference, both teams earned victories over Grand Canyon - Illinois 42-6 and Minnesota 26-8 - in Big Ten action they both defeated Rutgers - Illinois 24-9 and Minnesota 23-12.

In the last dual between the two teams, Minnesota defeated the Illini 18-14 in 2013 with four consecutive victories to close the meet.

Illinois Probable Starters

125: 1/1 Jesse Delgado, 2-0, Sr.

OR -/- Dominic Olivieri, 7-9, R-Jr.

133: 3/5 Zane Richards, 18-1, R-So.

141: 14/13 Steven Rodrigues, 9-5, R-Jr.

OR -/- Logan Arlis, 8-6, R-Sr.

149: -/- Kyle Langenderfer, 13-7, R-Jr.

157: 3/5 Isaiah Martinez, 19-0, R-Fr.

165: 8/8 Jackson Morse, 19-1, R-Sr.

174: 5/6 Zac Brunson, 18-2, R-So.

184: 15/20 Nikko Reyes, 17-6, R-So.

197: -/- Jeff Koepke, 13-7, R-Jr.

HWT: -/- Christopher Lopez, 11-4, R-Jr.

OR -/- Brooks Black, 11-8, R-Fr.

*Rankings are listed in W.I.N./InterMat

Key Match-ups

133: No. 5 Zane Richards vs. No. 1 Chris Dardanes

- Richards will face his second top 5 ranked wrestler in as many meets in Dardanes. He already knocked off Edinboro's AJ Schoop, 2-1, at Midlands. Dardanes is one half of the dominating Dardanes twin duo and boast a 15-0 record.

157: No. 5 Isaiah Martinez vs. No. 1 Dylan Ness

- Both Martinez and Ness are undefeated this season and like to push the pace. They have combined to recorded 22 wins by fall or technical fall. Ness was the national runner-up at 157-pounds last year, placed fourth in 2013 and was also a runner-up in 2012 at 149-pounds.

174: No. 6 Zac Brunson vs No. 3 Logan Storley

- Stroley's five victories by technical fall are tied for the nation's lead. The three-time All-American will be the fifth consecutive ranked wrestler Brunson will face. Brunson is 4-1 against top 20 ranked opponents, but suffered a devastating loss by fall with one second left to unranked Alex Meyer of Iowa on Friday.

Meet Information

Where: Sports Pavillon

Time: 1 p.m. CT

Stream: BTN Plus ($$$)

Live ResultsTrack Wrestling

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