Things appeared to be on the upward swing for Minnesota. The Gophers hung right in there in a dual with Oklahoma State, and they took 3rd at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Unlike last season, their young guns were progressing and while this would still end up a lesser year in accomplishments, by Minnesota's own lofty standards & consistency, the Gophers appeared to not be going anywhere in the wrestling world.
Then on Friday night, while I was at my office Christmas party, I saw on my Twitter that Indiana had beaten Minnesota in a dual. Sure Minnesota wasn't supposed to be a national title contender, but losing to Indiana is an absolute shock.
It was the first time Indiana defeated Minnesota since 1968! If you are 45 years old, this is the first time you have heard of Indiana beating Minnesota in a dual!
Maybe more insane is that it's Indiana's first Big Ten dual win since February of 2011 when they beat Michigan State 21-9. That's four straight seasons of going winless in the Big Ten before beating Minnesota this week.
Indiana was able to grab 5 matches and win on criteria. The big win was the pin by Alonzo Shepherd over Sam Brancale. Another big win was Elijah Oliver, fresh off of getting his redshirt pulled, taking out Petry in a 13-8 win.
For Indiana, it's a great program win and a good recruiting tool. They have grabbed some decent recruits in the past couple seasons and they are making strides. They have had some individuals do well, like Taylor Walsh making the NCAA Finals last season, but getting a lineup has not been happening. I hate giving zero credit to the winners in an upset. The Hoosiers deserve to be applauded for the huge win and perhaps getting a monkey off their back.
For Minnesota, this is a tough pill to swallow. I can imagine the practices following this loss will be rather unpleasant and it ends a very up and down calender year for the program. It'll be something than can motivate a program or crush it. I think Minnesota will be the former as they have too great of a coaching staff and too good of a coaching staff to not rebound.
165: Brandon Krone (Minn) dec. Bryce Martin (Ind) 7-2
174: #11 Nate Jackson (Ind) dec. Nick Wanzek (Minn) 9-3
184: Matt Irick (Ind) dec. Chris Pfarr (Minn) 7-4
197: #5 Brett Pfarr (Minn) fall Jake Masengale (Ind) 2:16
285: #8 Michael Kroells (Minn) dec. Garret Goldman (Ind) 6-0
125: Elijah Oliver (Ind) dec. Skylar Petry (Minn) 13-8
133: Alonzo Shepherd (Ind) fall Sam Brancale (Minn) 3:44
141: #11 Tommy Thorn (Minn) dec. Cole Weaver (Ind) 6-2
149: Luke Blanton (Ind) dec. #10 Jake Short (Minn) 17-10
157: Brandon Kingsley (Minn) dec. Jake Danishek (Ind) 8-4