The Panthers welcome their top ten team to the Fitzgerald Field House this past week as the Sun Devils from Arizona come to Pittsburgh on a Friday night double.
125: #32 Gage Curry vs #4 Brandon Courtney
Courtney has continued to impress after appearing in the NCAA Finals last season and looks pretty dangerous every time he steps on the carpet. Carey competed well with the Panthers and had some great wins in the year, but he will have a fight on his hands against Kourtney.
133: #7 Mickey Phillippi vs #4 Michael McGee
This is definitely one of the more interesting matches of the duo. McGee was in tears and showed some great offensive skills against a tough competition. Felipe, as always, was consistent and methodical in controlling his matches en route to a 9-2 record to start the year. If Felipe can slow down the pace of the match, he has the ability to use his counterattack to score McGee’s shots. This could be a very entertaining match.
141: #22 Cole Matthews vs. Julian Schleboff
Matthews was on the brink of success and is the ACC’s dominant wrestler after upsetting No. 3 Stefan Micic on Sunday. He’s been very impressive this year and has won three of his last four with the pin. He will look to continue that streak and help the team by trying to pick up bonus points.
149: Dan Mancini / Luke Kemerer vs #11 Kyle Barco
Barco has looked very powerful and humiliated since his move from Fresno State. This will be a difficult task for Mancini or Kemerer as they look to limit the damage to the team.
157: #21 Elijah Cleary vs. #3 Jakuri Temer
This has the potential to be closer than the ratings might indicate. It’s very difficult to score Cleary and as of late, he’s been more offensive and put more points of his own. Teemer can score points in groups which is very dangerous. Cleary will be looking to control the pace of the match and limit Teemer’s chances. If Cleary is able to keep this low-scoring match, he has the potential to win what could be a big game for him.
165: #13 Jake Wenzel vs #6 Anthony Valencia
This is another major conflict between styles and the outcome will be based entirely on who is able to attach their style to the other. Wentzel is in control, loves to act from neutral relationships and has the best punitive game. Valencia is wide open and attacking and uses their incredible length in front.
174: Hunter Kernan / James LeDoux vs Zane Coleman
In terms of team points, this match can play a big role. The Panthers will need some points here to stay in the race.
184: #31 Greg Harvey vs. Josh Nomer
Great opportunity for Harvey to help the team. He’s slowed down a bit since a solid start but he’s still wrestling well. If he could pay for the reward here, that would be big for Pete’s chances.
197: #8 Nino Bonacoursi vs #10 Cordell Norfleet
It would be Bonacursi’s second-largest opponent this week after falling to No. 9 Patrick Brocki at the time against Michigan. Another battle of contrasting styles, but I love Nino in this one. He drives the carpet well and is able to control matches; I think he can do that to Norfleet and can neutralize his attack power.
285: Jake Slinger vs. #3 Kohlton Schultz
Slinger played a big role in icing twos for the Panthers this year. Could he cause a major disturbance here? I’m not betting against Schultz – he’ll be looking to make a statement and pick a team win with extra points. It would be a big test for Slinger to slow him down.
Prefer this double ASU on paper, but Pittsburgh has the knack for keeping it close and possibly exploding in front of its home crowd. It will take a flawless performance for the Panthers, but there is a path to victory. The Sun Devils have a strong double squad with threats above and below the lineup. This is definitely going to be a fun night of wrestling in Pittsburgh.