All Star Dual: Setting the Odds
Willie Saylor, Editor
Let's have a little fun.
The 47th edition of the All Star Classic is generating unprecedented buzz. With a marquee match-up as explosive of antimatter, there's been no shortage of opinions and prognostications.
But there are also nine other intriguing bouts and a new and little-publicized wrinkle in the format. Instead of wearing their school's singlet, the All Stars have been separated into two squads: Red and Blue.
With the day finally here, I'll give capsules of each bout, and, as a fun little exercise, set hypothetical point spreads for both the individual match-ups and the team score.
125: Nico Megaludis (PSU) vs. Jesse Delgado (ILL)
Last Year: Despite wrestling in the same conference and qualifier, these two never met. While Delgado outplaced Nico 3rd to 5th at Big Tens, Megaludis outperformed Delgado in St. Louis 2nd to 7th. It's a very intriguing match-up. Consider that Megaludis lost to McDonough, and Delgado was the only man to beat McDonough last year.
Point Spread: Megaludis - 0.5pts
133: AJ Schopp (EDIN) vs. Chris Dardanes (MINN)
Last Year: This match-up has a precedent. Both wrestlers had stellar campaigns as Redshirt Freshmen. Dardanes went 33-14 and placed 4th at NCAA's. Schopp was 42-8, won an EWL title and came up just one bout short of All American status. One of Schopp's losses at Nationals came at the hands of Dardanes in the second round by a 7-3 score.
Point Spread: Dardanes - 3.5pts
141: Kendrick Maple (OU) vs. BJ Futrell (ILL)
Last Year: Futrell is up a weight after placing 6th in the country at 133. It was at this event last year where Futrell gave reigning NCAA Champion, Jordan Oliver an 8-7 scare. As for Maple, he entered NCAA's as the 2nd seed with 32-2 record, ultimately placing 4th. Both losses were in St. Louis came in low-scoring, OT affairs (to Marion and Novachkov). Tough bout to handicap.
Point Spread: Maple -1.5pts
149: Nick Lester (OKLA) vs. Jason Chamberlain (Boise St.)
Last Year: Chamberlain redshirted last season a year after placing 3rd in NCAA's in 2010. He had a monster summer this year, beating National Champion Frank Molinaro, NCAA Runner-Up Joe Johnson, and World Silver Medalist, Cary Kolat. He's a heavy favorite over Lester, who was 8th last year in St. Louis, with a 26-16 record.
Point Spread: Chamberlain -4.5pts
157: Dylan Alton (PSU) vs. Jason Welch (NW)
Last Year: This might be the tightest bout on the card. Welch, who's now entering his SR year, won his first meeting with Alton, 2-1. But Alton, a RS Soph., turned the tables in the 3rd place bout at NCAA's, registering a 6-2 win. Did Alton progress to a new level? Will Welch come out guns blazing to start his last tour?
Point Spread: Alton -1.5pts
165: David Taylor (PSU) vs. Kyle Dake (Cornell)
Last Year: This match has been analyzed and debate from here to Kingdom Come. Taylor shredded his competition last year, even earning a technical fall in NCAA finals. But no one has quite risen to the occasion like Dake, who has won National Titles in each of his first three seasons. The two old chums met this summer in the Olympic Team Trials where Dake took it to Taylor and scored a fall. That bout seems to inform most fans' opinions. Among fans, Dake seems to be an strong favorite. It would be interesting, to me at least, to know what fans would think had that match never occurred. But I digress. Tonight, all the talking is over.
Point Spread: Dake -2pts
174: Josh Asper (Maryland) vs. Jordan Blanton (ILL)
Last Year: Each of these guys are making their third appearance in the All Star Classic. Asper has been a 165lber his entire career, but he'll move up for his final campaign. He was R12 as a Freshman, and placed 6th at NCAA's each of the last two seasons. Blanton was 5th in 2011 and 4th last year as the #7 seed. Both of his losses at NCAA's came to OK State's Chris Perry. It will be a tall task for Asper coming up a weight to face a career 174 as good as Blanton right off the bat.
Point Spread: Blanton -5.5
184: Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) vs. Kevin Steinhaus (MINN)
Last Year: In a line-up full of All Stars, this has got to be right up there as one of the premier bouts of the night as both guys of been elite for the last two years. Hamlin was a National Runner-Up in 2011 and 4th last year. Wrestling in the country's toughest conference, Steinhaus was undefeated in Big Ten duals last year, and won the Big Ten tournament. He's been 5th and 8th the last two seasons. In the NCAA consi-semi's, Hamlin edged Steinhaus, 3-2.
Point Spread: Hamlin -0.5pts
197: Quentin Wright (PSU) vs. Matt Wilps (Pitt)
Last Year: Now entering his third weight class, Quentin is coming off his second straight NCAA finals appearance. Long and rangy, his frame should allow him to transition smoothly. However, he is a historically slow starter, losing his first match of the year in 2010 (to Hamlin) and his second match of the year in 2011 (to Steinhaus). Wilps had a banner year in 2012. Not only did he win his second straight EWL crown, he reached the semi's in St. Louis and placed 4th.
Point Spread: Wright -1.5
HWT: Dom Bradley (MIZZ) vs. Mike McMullan (NW)
Last Year: This is a bout between the last two 3rd place finishers at NCAA's. A 2009 JR World Champion, Bradley, took an Olympic Redshirt last season. McMullan, in his Redshirt Freshman season, had a great national tournament, losing only to eventual champ, Tony Nelson (MINN), and beating Oregon State's Clayton Jack, 10-5, for 3rd.
Point Spread: McMullan -0.5pts
Team Blue vs. Team Red:
The above handicaps favor each team right down the middle at five bouts a piece.
Who has more bonus point potential? Where are there more likely upsets? What bouts do you see going the other way?
We'll set the team point spread at: Team Red - 2.5 pts
Red seems to have more opportunities for bonus, and the ability to poach a close bout or two.
Feel free to make your picks and comment below as we get set to open the season in style!
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