IOWA CITY, Iowa — One of the nation’s best wrestling rivalries renews Friday night with No. 3 Iowa (7-1) hosting No. 2 Penn State (7-0).
Both teams are 3-0 in Big Ten competition and the winner will be the favorite to claim the league’s regular-season duals title. The match also provides a glimpse for how the teams will compete at the Big Ten and NCAA championships in March.
“They have a great crowd and they get into the matches and they know the sport,” Penn State coach Cael Sanderson said on his radio show this week. “It is a great opportunity and you can either be motivated by that opportunity or let it be stressful for you.”
“It’s a barometer. You know they’re going to have guys that wrestle hard or whatever,” Iowa coach Tom Brands said. “We do that, we have guys that wrestle hard, and that’s maybe where something’s going to break.
“We want to be in that conversation and in order to be in that conversation you have to perform at that level and exceed that level. I think it’s great for wrestling.”
Iowa wrestling vs. Penn State meet time, details
Time: 9:06 p.m. ET/8:06 p.m. CT
Date: Friday, Jan. 20
Location: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, Iowa
Rankings: Penn State is ranked No. 2, Iowa is ranked No. 3
Which TV channel broadcasts Iowa wrestling vs. Penn State?
BTN will broadcast the meet.
How can I watch Iowa wrestling vs. Penn State online?
BTN will stream the meet both from its BTN2GO app and from the BTN.com website.
How can I listen to Iowa wrestling vs. Penn State on the radio?
For Iowa wrestling, 800 AM (KXIC-Iowa City) is the flagship station. Penn State’s wrestling affiliate is 1390 AM (WRSC-State College).
Who is calling the Iowa wrestling vs. Penn State meet?
Tim Johnson will handle play-by-play for BTN with Jim Gibbons providing analysis. Steven Grace will handle play-by-play with analyst Mark Ironside for the Hawkeyes. Jeff Byers serves as the voice of Penn State wrestling.
Iowa wrestling vs. Penn State three matches
157: No. 1 Jason Nolf (PSU) vs. No. 2 Michael Kemerer (Iowa)
These two have wrestled before in the youth ranks but meet for the first time as Big Ten rivals. Nolf, a sophomore, is 12-0. Kemerer, a freshman, is 19-0. It’s possible this match could determine the meet’s outcome.
“This is what you live for,” Brands said. “You don’t shy from those matches; you live for those matches. I’m anticipating that our guy (Kemerer) is going to be ready to go. Every indication that I’ve seen is he’s ready to go.”
149: No. 1 Zain Retherford (PSU) vs. No. 3 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa)
They competed twice last year with Retherford winning both matches. The first was a 4-0 victory in the Big Ten finals and the second was a 10-1 major decision for the NCAA title. Retherford is 12-0 while Sorensen is 17-1. Both are juniors.
“Retherford is a high-octane guy,” Brands said. “If you’re going to beat Zain Retherford, you’re going to have to somehow wrestle out of that comfort zone. It’s that simple and that’s what competition is all about.”
125: No. 1 Thomas Gilman (Iowa) vs. No. 3 Nick Suriano (PSU)
Gilman, a senior, has earned extra points in all but one of his 17 victories. Suriano (11-0) is the future of this weight class. If the dual opens with this match, it will set the tone for the entire night.
“It’s two undefeated guys,” Brands said. “We love it when Gilman gets us going. He likes to get us going as well; that’s how he looks at his job.”