Isiah Martinez and Logan Massa is the highlight match of college wrestling this weekend and if anyone tells you different, they are simply wrong. IMar has two national championships and just one loss halfway through his junior season, and Logan Massa steps in as the next big challenge.
Massa came into this year after an impressive redshirt campaign that featured just one loss. That was to Dieringer as he wrapped up one of the most impressive careers of all time. Dieringer also might be one of the best 74 kg wrestlers in the world. It isn't who you lose to though, and Massa has turned heads with his destruction of opponents this year capped by a win over two-time defending Big Ten Champ, Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin).
The match-up is interesting. Logan doesn't like to waste time getting to legs, while IMar likes to force deep underhooks to provide openings. IMar is awesome, and Massa provides a serious challenge to keep one match with Nolf as IMar's lone blemish in history.
Michigan was dealt a tough blow on Thursday when Assad was injured in practice. Injuries to 125's are always a serious blow, and the unexpected setback caused Michigan to forfeit in both their Big Ten duals last weekend. The Wolverines have two other 125's on their roster, but currently list their probable as TBD. Chances are Michigan will start the first person who can make weight there.
Illinois & Michigan actually pose another top matchup with #4 Micic (Michigan) and #6 Richards (Illinois) at 133. Micic is coming off a huge win when he really hammered undefeated Montoya (Nebraska). Richards is coming off a tough loss to Tomasello (Ohio State), but forgive the competition. The match is a huge opportunity for both.
All three Michigan star freshmen have tough matches as #8 Amine takes on #12 Brunson. Brunson is a senior who fell in the bloodround last year, and another tough test for Amine.
Michigan will hope to get wins at 157, 141, and 197 to not need all three top billed matches to win the dual.
McFarland will keep the team in the Land of Lincoln for a Sunday Big Ten Dual with Northwestern. The Wildcats needed a comeback to beat Michigan State this past weekend. Having one of their best wrestlers at 165, Johnny Sebastian, is not a good recipe for a dual victory. However, Northwestern should be favored to win at 184, 197, and hwy to make it tough on the Wolverines if they can pull off an upset somewhere.
Michigan vs Illinois is Friday at 8pm Eastern, and Michigan will face Northwestern on Sunday at 3pm Eastern.