IOWA CITY, Ia. – The EAS/NWCA National Duals will be held Saturday and Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, and as is tradition in this "Mat Mayhem" event ... there are format differences.
With that in mind, here's a fan guide to outline the important stuff you should know about the event — whether you're attending or sipping on a cold one while watching on the Internet or in front of your HDTV.
The format, pairings
There are eight quarterfinalists that advanced out of so-called "regional" action that wasn't entirely regional with matchups such as Iowa-Virginia and Oklahoma-Chattanooga.
But anyway, here is the quarterfinal schedule (all four begin Saturday at Noon CT), with the semifinals to follow. The championship and third-place match will be held at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.
Top bracket (winners meet at 3 p.m. Saturday)
No. 1 Iowa (15-0) vs. Chattanooga (12-5)
No. 4 Minnesota (11-2) vs. No. 5 Cornell (15-1)
Bottom bracket (winners meet at 3 p.m. Saturday)
No. 3 Ohio State (13-3) vs. No. 11 Lehigh (13-4)
No. 2 Missouri (21-0) vs. No. 12 Illinois (13-4)
Tickets and television
•Tickets: $10 gains entry for Saturday's quarterfinal and semifinal rounds; it's $20 for Sunday's championship. As of Friday afternoon, the University of Iowa said about 6,500 tickets had been sold for Saturday and 6,600 for Sunday.
•How to follow: The semifinals and finals will air live on the Big Ten Network. The quarterfinals and third-place matches can be streamed free at BTN2GO.com. Live statistics can be followed at trackwrestling.com.
The Iowa wrestling coach also makes an impressive comparison to what NFL teams do during a Super Bowl run.
Ranked wrestlers in action
There are 54 wrestlers ranked in Amateur Wrestling News' top 20, including at all 10 weights for Iowa, and six guys at No. 1 nationally. A team-by-team breakdown with individual ranking in parentheses:
•No. 1 Iowa (10) — 125: Thomas Gilman (5), 133: Cory Clark (5), 141: Josh Dziewa (10), 149: Brandon Sorensen (2), 157: Michael Kelly (8), 165: Nick Moore (11), 174: Mike Evans (4), 184: Sammy Brooks (8), 197: Nathan Burak (5), Hwt.: Bobby Telford (6).
•No. 2 Missouri (8) — 125: Alan Waters (1), 141: Lavion Mayes (7), 149: Drake Houdashelt (4), 157: Joey Lavallee (10), 174: John Eblen (5), 184: Willie Miklus (12), 197: J'den Cox (1), Hwt.: Devin Mellon (20).
•No. 3 Ohio State (9) — 125: Nathan Tomasello (6), 133: Johnni DiJulius (10), 141: Logan Stieber (1), 157: Josh Demas (13), 165: Bo Jordan (3), 174: Mark Martin (14). 184: Kenny Courts (17), 197: Kyle Snyder (3), Hwt.: Nick Tavanello (16).
•No. 4 Minnesota (7) — 133: Chris Dardanes (1), 141: Nick Dardanes (4), 157: Dylan Ness (1), 174: Logan Storley (3), 184: Brett Pfarr (15), 197: Scott Schiller (6), Hwt.: Michael Kroells (15)
•No. 5 Cornell (6) — 125: Nahshon Garrett (3), 133: Mark Grey (18), 149: Chris Villalonga (5), 157: Brian Realbuto (4), 184: Gabe Dean (1), 197: Jace Bennett (9).
•No. 11 Lehigh (5) — 133: Mason Beckman (8), 141: Randy Cruz (17), 157: Mitch Minotti (15), 184: Nathaniel Brown (5), 197: Elliot Riddick (10).
•No. 12 Illinois (7) — 125: Jesse Delgado (2), 133: Zane Richards (9), 141: Steven Rodrigues (11), 157: Isaiah Martinez (2), 165: Jackson Morse (8), 174: Zac Brunson (10), 184: Nikko Reyes (18).
•Chattanooga (2) — 125: Sean Boyle (8), 133: 13. Nick Soto (14).
The 125-pounder discusses how much emphasis to put on this weekend's National Duals.
•Iowa-Chattanooga: Don't wait until 12:10 p.m. to find your seat or you might miss the best bout of the mismatch dual. Thomas Gilman, one of two Iowa one-loss wrestlers at 23-1, will be pitted against No. 8 Sean Boyle, one of possibly three top-10 opponents for the sophomore this weekend. Chattanooga is riding a nine-dual winning streak and got here when unranked heavyweight Jared Johnson upset 12th-ranked Ross Larson of Oklahoma for a wild 12-11 win.
•Minnesota-Cornell: This is a rematch of last year's National Duals final, won by the Gophers. For Cornell to pull the mild upset, it'll count on bonus-point wins from No. 3 Nashon Garrett (125 pounds) and No. 5 Chris Villalonga (149) against unranked foes. Minnesota will be favored at six weights, but the biggie is at 157 where No. 1 Dylan Ness meets No. 4 Brian Realbuto. Last year, Ness pinned Realbuto in the first period. The winner likely will face the Hawkeyes.
•Ohio State-Lehigh: The dangerous Buckeyes have won nine duals in a row since a Jan. 4 home loss to Iowa, 18-14, and are heavy favorites to advance. Regardless of your rooting interest, appreciate the greatness of OSU 141-pounder Logan Stieber, who this year is aiming to become just the fourth four-time NCAA champion. His younger brother, Hunter, is returning all-American at 149 but likely is out with injuries. A spotlight match is at 133, where eighth-ranked Mason Beckman of Lehigh battles No. 10 Johnni DiJulius, who beat Iowa's Cory Clark in January.
•Missouri-Illinois: This could be a good one, with as many as five swing matches. The Tigers have been a dual-meet force in assembling a 21-0 mark, including wins over Ohio State, Oklahoma State and Cornell. Ticket-buying fans hope the Illini trot out No. 2 Jesse Delgado at 125 against top-ranked Alan Waters, who redshirted a year ago while Delgado won his second NCAA championship. Delgado (6-0) returned a few weeks ago after missing two months with an undisclosed injury. Beyond 125 there's more star power here, including exciting and unbeaten Illinois freshman Isaiah Martinez at 157 and defending NCAA champ J'Den Cox of Missouri at 197.
More about the Hawkeyes
Iowa has won the National Duals six times, including the last three years it went on to win the traditional NCAA Tournament — 2008, 2009 and 2010. ... The Hawkeyes are 15-0 but their only wrestler ranked in the top three nationally is red-shirt freshman Brandon Sorensen (29-2) at 149 pounds. ... Iowa is 9-0 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena this season, with a 25-12 win over Illinois its closest dual. ... Hawkeye 174-pounder Mike Evans needs two wins to reach 100 for his career. His year-by-year records: 26-8, 23-7, 28-7 and (currently) 21-1. ... This is the first time Iowa has hosted the National Duals since 1999.