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Battle Against the Odds: Can Oklahoma’s Wrestlers Upstage Iowa State’s Dominance

#18 Oklahoma (5-3) vs #5 Iowa State (9-1)

Watch Live: ESPN+, January 26th 7PM CT

After almost two weeks off the Sooners return to competition with back to back Big 12 duals. First they’ll take on Iowa State before welcoming Northern Iowa in very important conference duals. Iowa State is a top five team this season, only dropping to #3 Iowa early in the season. They are ranked at every weight, with potential toss up matches at 125, 149, and 174. It would likely require multiple upsets for OU to pull off the team win, but there are some individual matches where they could find quality wins. 

125lbs: Conrad Hendriksen (11-7) vs #25 Kysen Terukina (8-4)

Hendriksen gets a big opportunity in this one, taking on a dangerous but potentially beatable opponent. Terukina is a two-time qualifier who is having an up and down season so far. He has big wins, including over Wisconsin’s Eric Barnett. However he also has some head scratching losses that could give Hendriksen an opportunity. He is best from neutral, but Hendriksen could have the defense to slow things down. If he can keep it close, I could see him sneaking one out. Terukina is more established with a high ceiling however, so I’ll take him getting the decision here. 

Prediction: Terukina Dec. Hendriksen (OU 0 ISU 3)

133lbs: Jace Koelzer (12-8) vs #7 Evan Frost (11-2)

Koelzer gets a tough match here as he gets breakout redshirt freshman Frost. Since winning the spot Frost has looked great, with his losses only coming to top ten wrestlers. He’s solid from neutral but excels on top, while Koelzer has struggled to keep matches close. Koelzer can keep it close but hasn’t lately, so I’m taking Frost to get at least a major with some takedowns and potential work from top. 

Prediction: Frost Maj. Koelzer (OU 0 ISU 7)

141lbs: Carter Schmidt (8-4)/KJ Evans (9-2) vs #8 Anthony Echemendia (13-3)

Evans and Schmidt both still have multiple opportunities to wrestle and keep their redshirt, so there’s no telling who will go here if Schwartz is still out. Either wrestler will have a touch match in the dynamic Echemendia, who has bonused his last seven opponents. A large freestyle background means Echmendia has a dynamic neutral game with double legs and throws. He isn’t the strongest from top, but is well rounded enough to not end up in too crazy positions. If either freshmen can capitalize on a big attempt from Echemendia, they could make something happen. Otherwise it feels like another prime spot for the Cyclones to get big points….

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