Like a ninja in the night, Nick Suriano moves with stealth. The two-time NCAA finalist and 2018 Champion announced that he will don the blue and yellow for Michigan in his final NCAA run. With the addition of Nick Suriano, they add a 6th All-American to their potential starting lineup. Stevan Micic (141), Cam Amine (165), Myles Amine (184), Pat Brucki (197) and Mason Parris (285) are the other All-Americans.
Suriano adds tremendous talent to an already star-studded Michigan Roster. But how far can the Wolverines make it? Can they push the boundaries to go from a top five team to top of the podium? Take a look at Michigan’s potential matchups between Penn State and Iowa.
Can the Wolverines Defeat the Nittany Lions?
Using Fanco’s NEW College Wrestling Score Sheets, I have compiled what a possible showdown between the new look Wolverines and the Penn State Nittany Lions would look like:
Starting off Strong at 125 & 133
In this scenario we assumed Penn State would have 2021 All-American Drew Hildebrandt as a starter. He helps to maximize Penn State’s firepower. Even though Hildebrandt is a top-tier opponent, Suriano is projected to win by a 3-point decision at the very least.
RBY should be able to beat Dylan Ragusin again. RBY won their last matchup last year 9-2, but he’s been on a bonus point run that could continue. Don’t be surprised if he wins by tech fall.
Experience Will Prevail in the Middleweights
141lbs would be the match of the night as Stevan Micic and Nick Lee have actually never crossed paths. Micic’s time training in freestyle and representing Serbia on the international stage could pay off this season. I predict he beats the reigning NCAA Champion, Nick Lee.
Similarly at 149 lbs, Kanen Storr’s longevity in the college circuit and his experience against top opponents in the past will show this year. He’s made the Round of 16 twice, but now is his time to really break through. This starts with a win over Beau Bartlett.
157 lbs is a real tossup between Penn State’s Barraclough and Michigan’s Lewan. Based on their career resumes, I predict Lewan gets a decision.
Who Wins the Upperweight Clashes?
At 165 lbs, Cam Amine can pull off a decision win over Penn State sophomore Creighton Edsell. Amine has experience on the big stage, while Edsell is stepping into the 165 lbs weight for the first time.
174 lbs gets interesting because 2021 NCAA champ Carter Starocci is a bonus point machine! He will definitely be looking for bonus points against first-year-starter Max Maylor. I predicted Starocci earning a pinfall in this match.
184 lbs could be a true toss-up. 2021 NCAA 3rd place finisher Myles Amine will go up against the defending 184 lbs Champion Aaron Brooks. After being up a weight at 197 lbs, Amine has size and also recent Olympic experience. He may overpower Brooks for a close decision.
Two All-American Showdowns
At 197 lbs two All-Americans face off: Patrick Brucki and Max Dean. This matchup will be a clash of the titans. I predict Dean earning a win in a close match. But for the sake of dramatic effect lets say he majors Brucki; after all, he can score big bonus points, especially under the tutelage of Cael Sanderson. If that happens, the team score would be 18-15 leading into the final match in favor of Michigan.
Expect Mason Parris to seal the deal. The NCAA runner-up already has a major decision win over his Penn State opponent, Greg Kerkvliet. Without an injury plaguing him, the 7th place NCAA finisher has more fight than ever before and could prove to be a tougher challenge. But with a Parris win, the Wolverines would emerge victorious 21-15.
Fantasy Dual: Michigan vs. Iowa Predictions
Unfortunately, Michigan and Iowa will not wrestle this season. However, I still wanted to look at the potential of a Michigan vs Iowa dual meet. What would happen in this fantasy scenario?
Using the new Fanco College Wrestling Score Sheets gives us a diagram to write in a match prediction. Let’s see what happens if the new, star-studded Michigan took on the defending National Champion Iowa Hawkeyes.
2018 NCAA Finals Rematch
If this match started off at 125 lbs, it would feature a rematch of the 2018 NCAA finals. Spencer Lee and Nick Suriano are guaranteed to bring entertainment to the mat. Spencer Lee is the proven pony that would outlast his opponent. Although, this version of Suriano may be the biggest obstacle Lee will encounter in his collegiate career.
141 lbs Main Event: Micic vs Eierman
The next huge matchup that would have a major outcome in a dual would be at 141 lbs with 3x All-American Stevan Micic against 4x All-American Jaydin Eierman. The duo have yet to cross paths because this is the first year Micic is wrestling 141 lbs. A match between these two all-time greats would bring everyone into the arena to their feet. My prediction: Micic 8-6 in sudden victory.
165 lbs Upset?
At 165 lbs, Amine and Marinelli would start off the second half of the dual. The Wolverines would NEED this win to stay in the fight. In his career, Cam Amine is 1-1 against the Bull; however, the win was a medical forfeit at last year’s NCAA Tournament. The loss, on the other hand, was only 2-0. Amine is completely capable of digging deep and upsetting one of the top wrestlers in the country.
Big Boys Put On A Big Show
The last two matches: 197 lbs and 285 lbs will be crucial. Brucki and Warner would be squaring off for their 4th time in their careers! The former Princeton Tiger holds the 2-1 advantage, with a pair of decisions (10-5 and 4-2). His lone loss was a close 5-4 match. Brucki would have the chance to help out his team and go up 3-1 in the series.
Closing out the match would be a fun one: Mason Parris vs. Anthony Cassioppi. The two heavyweight conference rivals have faced off twice, with Parris earning a pinfall both times. Even with his herculean transformation, the Hawkeye would have his hands full in another matchup. Similarly to the Penn State dual, Mason Parris needs a win for his team, this time a fall. Parris v. Cassioppi III may be closer than in the past but Parris is fully capable of getting the pinfall. Michigan wins 18-16.
After looking at the results, is Michigan tougher than you expected? Maybe you don’t agree with my predictions, but I’d love to hear your lineup breakdowns. Could Michigan beat Penn State and Iowa this year in a dual meet?