This weekend the NWCA National Duals "series" will take place with the following matches.
Friday – February 19
Iowa State at Minnesota – 7:30 p.m. Williams Arena
Saturday – February 20
Lehigh at Rutgers – 8 p.m. EST – RAC
Sunday – February 21
Oklahoma State at Penn State – 5 p.m. – Rec Hall
Virginia Tech at Michigan – 2 p.m. – Cliff Keen Arena
Appalachian State at Indiana – 1 p.m. EST – University Gym
Missouri at Nebraska – 2 p.m. CST – Bob Devaney Sports Center
Monday – February 22
Edinboro at Ohio State – 7 p.m. – St. John Arena
North Carolina State at Iowa – 7 p.m. CST – Carver Hawkeye Arena
With NC State falling to Virginia Tech on Friday, the non-Big Ten conferences were left without a clear cut top team to square off against #1 Penn State. Oklahoma State is the highest ranked non-Big Ten team and gets the nod to travel to Rec Hall. This decision is without controversy as NC State has the head to head win and many feel the better CV. Of course, with the BCS format we shouldn't really expect anything but controversy.
There is a chaos theory at play here. Oklahoma State could knock off Penn State. The press release from the NWCA does mention the match in Rec Hall as the "Championship Match". However, a Cowboy victory would leave the winner of the match in Iowa City with a strong claim to having the better "dual season" with head to head wins AND better records thank Oklahoma State.
Another knock on this series is the fact that the PAC 12, citing their conference tournament is a week ahead of other tournaments, decided to not partake. I was kind of rooting for UC Bakersfield to get some recognition for the great season they're having, but no such luck.
Everything included though, the series does bring about some really cool duals we normally wouldn't get to see. It's very unfair to criticize something when you really want to see most of the matches.
I'll be in Ann Arbor myself to watch Michigan host Virginia Tech. Michigan has been anchored all season by their final three weight classes. Virginia Tech will bring three guys also ranked in the top ten to finish off what should be a very entertaining dual.