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National Duals Predictions

First off, a mini-rant: controversy is not what will sell the National Duals. The c-word may get some buzz from hardcore fans and media for a day or two, but should not be confused with an event actually gaining some meaning. We NEED a dual-meet title featuring teams based on their conference and non-conference dual performances, and a BCS format is not the answer. Like the BCS in football, it is better than nothing. This event will provide some fun matches and perhaps some recognition for teams that otherwise would not have received it, but this is nowhere close to a dual-meet championship. There needs to be a legitimate format to determine the best dual-meet team in the land and that will help sell duals on campuses as important. 

The 2015-16 Dual Season will end this weekend when Penn State handles Oklahoma State in front of another great crowd in Rec Hall. The 80 & 90 year-old donors will sit in their floor seats and golf clap (whom I love and they are the sweetest people to talk to at wrestling events) as Cael's horses rack up bonus points. This will hand Penn State the National Duals "Championship" which really doesn't mean anything this year. The wrestling world will quickly turn their attention to the conference tournaments. 

To the rest of the series: 

Iowa State will likely not steal a win from Minnesota tonight. The Cyclones should get some wins in the middle and from Earl Hall, but Pfarr and Kroells should be able to close out a tumultuous dual season for the Gophers with a win. 

Lehigh should get a win in an entertaining dual at Rutgers and that will likely be the Big Ten's only loss in the "bowl" series. Sneaky match at heavy with Wessell and Billy Smith that could have some NCAA seeding implications. 

Appalachian State will travel to Indiana to represent the SOCON after finishing in a 3-way tie with Chattanooga & Gardner-Webb.  This isn't a gimmie for the Hoosiers as APP State is favored at 141, 165, and 285. Nick Kee could put himself up for a seed with a strong conference tournament and a win over Nate Jackson. 

Edinboro won the EWL again beating Rider. This dual with Ohio State could be ugly though. 

Missouri at Nebraska is a fun one. Nebraska had the toughest schedule imaginable this year. Sueflohn has been very good and is thought of as one of the best seniors to never AA. He'll get a big chance against Lavion Mayes here. I may be in the minority thinking Nebraska wins the dual here. 

Michigan hosting Virginia Tech is probably the best dual for entertainment purposes. With firm-fitting homer glasses on (old school rec specs so they don't fall off), I have Michigan winning at 133, 149, 184, 197, & 285. Pantaleo should get a major. This dual will probably come down to Coon vs Walz for a really fun time. Something to keep an eye on, I could see both Murphy and Brascetta, two returning AA's at 157, being held out to get healthy for next weekend leaving an important swing match to two backups. 

NC State will travel to Carver-Hawkeye looking to blemish Iowa's perfect record. The odd thing is that the match at Penn State is being called the "championship match", but both these teams would end up with a better record and a head-to-head win over the "champs" if Oklahoma State could pull off the upset (I don't think they can if you were reading above). The Wolfpack are solid favorites at four of the matches, but to get another upset and run the Hawkeyes down in the bonus point battle does not seem likely at all.