NCAA D1 Weekly Roundup: 2023-24

NCAA D1 Week 17 Roundup: Dual Season Finale

NCAA D1 Week 17 Roundup: Dual Season Finale

The world's finest collection of noteworthy happenings from the 16th week of the 2023-24 NCAA D1 wrestling season.

Feb 26, 2024 by Andrew Spey
NCAA D1 Week 17 Roundup: Dual Season Finale

You can put the 2023-24 NCAA D1 college wrestling dual meet season in the books! Another outstanding four months of collegiate grappling, wrapped up by a stellar weekend featuring some of the best matches of the year.

Box Scores | Rankings | Last Week's Roundup

And we love to see it, don't we? Yes, wise and learned wrestling fans, yes we do.

Unfortunately, some of the things we hate to see were also on display this weekend, specifically illness and injury. 

Before we get into all that, I'd like to direct everyone's attention to this video, where my esteemed colleague Christian Pyles gives his thoughts about the prevalence of ducking this season, which mostly hew to my own. I'd even go one step further and say that even if there are instances of 'textbook' ducking, then we need to revisit the rules and NCAA qualification system and make some tweaks so that ducking is no longer an effective strategy. 

But anyway, we've unfortunately seen multiple teams laid low by illness this season. For example, the Missouri Tigers were operating with a skeleton crew lineup where eight of their starters were out of commission this weekend.

You can listen to the estimable Brian Smith provide more background on his flu-ridden Tigers in the video below:


No one likes it when wrestlers miss matches. Fans feel cheated, media members and staff get grumpy about hyping matches that don't happen (not that I'm looking for sympathy!) and most of all, coaches and teammates hate it when their guys are convalescing and not competing. 

We also all hate injuries, which are also unfortunately an unavoidable part of the sport. Among the more high profile recent instances of injury was the undefeated top-ranked Carter Starocci injuring his knee in the final moments of his match in Penn State's shut-out victory over Edinboro on Sunday. 

Doctors are no doubt attending to Carter as I type, so there's no official word yet on whether or not Carter will be healthy and able to wrestle in the postseason where a potential fourth NCAA title awaits. Coach Sanderson did note, however, that this would not be the first time Starocci has competed at NCAAs with an injury, as he previously won a title with a broken hand

There is still time for Starocci to heal. Big Tens don't begin until March 9, a full 13 days away. Additionally, all Starocci has to do is weigh in, get to the mat for his first match, then injury default, and he'll be eligible for an at-large bid. Carter will receive two losses that will factor into his seed (for the injury default and then subsequent medical forfeit), but he'll also get another two weeks to heal before NCAAs start on March 21. 

We wish Starocci nothing but the speediest of recoveries. College wrestling is better with him on the mat!

Now that I've spent far too long speaking about the negative events of the 17th and final week of the NCAA D1 college wrestling season, let's celebrate the positive events!

The Dual of the Century, of the Week!

Wolfpack Devours ACC Rival to Claim Dual Meet Title

NC State put on a command performance inside the Reynolds Coliseum in Raliegh, NC against their conference arch-rival, Virginia Tech, to close out their regular season with a 20-12 win. 

The Wolfpack did not put their best foot (paw?) forward to begin the dual, however. NC State won the coin toss before the dual and elected to start at 149-pounds, perhaps in an attempt to catch #2 Caleb Henson coming off the scale. If that was the plan, it didn't work, as Henson beat #4 Jackson Arrington for the third straight time in his career. 

NC State got those points back with Ed Scott's win at 157, but the Hokies won the next three bouts, including an upset by #20 TJ Stewart over fellow redshirt freshman #10 Dylan Fishback at 184 to take to 12-3 lead into the break. 

Leading off the second half for NC State was senior Trent Hidlay, and what better way to stop a losing streak than with the 100th win of Hidlay's legendary Wolfpack career. 

NC State won the next four bouts to complete the comeback, including a pivotal win by #16 Jakob Camacho over #7 Cooper Flynn. 

The dual was griping, hard fought by both teams, and most importantly, had a crowd that made the competition venue come alive. And that's how you earn the Dual of the Century of the Week honors, with an electric environment like the one we saw Friday night at NC State. 

Kudos to both teams, who clearly know how important of rivalries are to the entire wrestling community. I also live blogged the dual, which you can read here if you are so inclined. 

Around The Horn

Rider Wraps Up MAC East Title

Rider kept their conference record a perfect 8-0 with a win over Cleveland State on Friday. The Broncs clinched the MAC East title as a result. 

Rider also defeated MAC West champ Northern Illinois, which gives them the unofficial ovreall MAC regular season title. They'll be in good shape to take home the MAC tournament crown in two weeks.

The Ivies Say Adieu to the EIWA

The Ivy League will begin sponsoring wrestling starting in the 2024-25, which will necessitate the removal of the six Ivy programs from the EIWA. 

It was a successful weekend for the departing programs. Four of them beat non-Ivy EWIA foes. Princeton defeated Bucknell, Brown defeated Sacred Heart, Cornell beat Binghamton, and Columbia defeated American. Additionally, Harvard beat Brown in the only Ivy vs Ivy dual, and Penn beat Edinboro and Morgan State, two non-EIWA programs. 

The Sun Devils Depart the Pac-12 on a Mostly Positive Note

Arizona State split out-of-conference duals to end the season, beating Lehigh 24-14 and losing to Nebraska 26-9. For the record, both of those teams will still be out-of-conference opponents when Arizona State joins the Big 12 next season.

Richie Figueroa had a productive weekend, defeating #2 Luke Stanich of Lehigh on Saturday and #5 Caleb Smith of Nebraska on Sunday. 

Figueroa's now 7-5, with some seemingly out of character losses that dropped him all the way to #25 in the 125lb rankings, though he did miss some time this season with an injury. If Figueroa is healthy and if this weekend is any indication, he very well could be in the mix for a title. But also it's 125-pounds, so make predictions at your peril. 

The Sun Devils also got a big win from #3 Kyle Parco, who defeated previously undefeated #1 Ridge Lovett of Nebraska

David Carr Autographs the Mat in Ames

With most of Mizzou's starters at home with the aforementioned flu, there wasn't much drama in the Cyclones victory over the Tigers. But we'd be remiss if we didn't mention David Carr's final bout in Ames. 

Kevin Dresser was announced as Iowa State's new head coach in February of 2017. In October of the same year, he landed his first major recruit when David Carr committed to the program. The two have defined the current era of Cyclone wrestling ever since.  

The Border Bell Belongs to the Jackrabbits

South Dakota State beat rivals North Dakota State for the Border Bell Trophy, a kettlebell painted in Jackrabbit Blue on one side and Bison Green on the other. 

It was the last dual for the seniors, which means one last gator-bacon for the high-flying Tanner Cook. 

The Jackrabbits won eight of ten against their neighbors to the north and are firing on all cylinders going into the postseason. They have eight ranked wrestlers and a very good chance of qualifying that many for NCAAs. It's not an impossibility that we see all ten going dancing. 

Iowa 'Bruised Up' Oklahoma State in Stillwater

We'll let Cowboy head coach John Smith sum up the initial thoughts of most of the spectators in a sold-out Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater.

It was the most anticipated dual of the week, and it delivered, just mostly for the Hawkeye fans, while spoiling the evening for the Cowboy faithful. 

It started with a win by Drake Ayala over Troy Spratley at 125 and it never got much better for the Cowboys. 

The highlights for the orange and black came at 133, where Daton Fix got a win in his last home dual, at 149, where Jordan Williams beat former Cowboy and current Hawkeye Victor Voinovich, and at 184, where Dustin Plott beat true freshman phenom Gabe Arnold. 

Big wins from Iowa at 157 and 165, in particular from #7 Michael Caliendo's 7-2 win over #3 Izzak Olejnik, which all but sealed the deal for the Hawkeyes. A win from Ben Kueter, another true frosh phenom, at heavyweight over #11 Konner Doucet, slammed the book shut, or at least this particular chapter, of this storied rivalry. 

The Hawkeyes' social media team even got one last zing in before the night ended. 

The big question for the Hawkeyes moving forward is who do they start at 184 and 285? Do the true freshmen go or do they redshirt? We'll find out in less than a fortnight!

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Not bad!

Send Me Tips!

This roundup is for you, so if you see something noteworthy happen in D1 NCAA wrestling, let me know so that I can make note of it! 

Best way to reach me is on Twitter (@speywrestle) or email [].

Next week: NOTHING! No NCAA D1 college wrestling that is. There may or may not be a roundup. It depends on how news-y the off week is. 

And of course, we'll know the conference allocations for the NCAA Tournament between now and then, which will undoubtedly be much discussed. 

Then, conference championships! See you no later than March 11!