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07 February 2018, 01:14 | Mandy Simon
The best wrestling dual of all-time? No. 1 Penn State vs. No. 2 Ohio State
To win the Big Ten, Ohio State (20-5, 11-1) will have to survive the most hard portion of its league schedule.
Cassar and Rasheed are battling for the full-time starter's job at 197, and Cassar nearly surely cemented his place as the starter after upsetting reigning Big Ten champion and NCAA third place finisher at 197 Kollin Moore by 6-3 decision, extending Penn State's lead to 19-15.
No. 22 Ohio State is 2-1 on on the spring.
Ohio State's key players have proven themselves a force to be reckoned with, as a handful of Buckeyes approach some huge milestones.
With a crowd that had filled the stands almost 30 minutes ahead of the start of the meet teeming with anticipation, Boise State transfer Carson Kuhn finally made his debut for Penn State. Tomasello however wore down Kuhn and retook control with a 7-0 shutout in the second period. The Badgers outshot the Buckeyes 12-4 in the final period.
To the Illini's credit - and here is where this team has improved since its 25-point loss at Wisconsin on January 19 - they joined the dogfight with teeth bared. Lambdin and David Keefer set up Zach Osburn at the point where he let a wrister go that got through traffic and past Sean Romeo to make it 3-2.
True freshman Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 6 at 141, suffered a 7-6 upset loss to no. 11 Joey McKenna, dropping the bout on 1:32 riding time for the Buckeye. Power plays: W 0-for-2, OS 0-for-2. We were doing back flips in the locker room I mean hell you go 10 minutes without scoring against them and you're only down four?
The Buckeyes, ranked No. 17 on Sunday afternoon, just took care of IL 75-67 after trailing by 15 points midway through the first half.
Notre Dame (2-0) vs. The Fighting Illini actually lost their first eight games in conference before winning their last two in a row against in and Rutgers. It seems like we've seen it all this season and when the Illini look back on this, they'll no doubt think what could have been. Sophomore Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 2 at 174, took care of No 3 Bo Jordan with a 6-4 victory.
While Martin acknowledged the importance of the dual and the attention it will receive, he's trying to compartmentalize his thoughts on what he needs to do against Nickal, who he will be facing for the seventh time in three years. The score was tied 2-2 heading into the third period, when Cassar escaped and took down Moore.
Ohio State trailed Big Ten leader Purdue by one game before Purdue's game against Rutgers on Saturday.
The issue was in doubt until the final seconds, but Nevills held Snyder to a 15-10 regular decision. The Buckeyes should be strongly favored at 125, 133, 157 (without Nolf), 197 and 285 - where they have the best wrestler in the world.
The win by the Nittany Lions extended their dual-match win streak to 43.
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