4 Reasons To Watch #18 North Carolina At #24 Michigan

On Friday night, #18 North Carolina goes to Ann Arbor to take on #24 Michigan. Here are a few reasons to get excited for that dual.

Watch North Carolina vs Michigan LIVE on FloWrestling

Friday, Nov 8 | 7:00 PM ET

1) Mason Parris' Reign of Terror

Mason Parris opened his season going 5-0 at the Michigan State Open, including two major decisions, a fall, and a 9-2 win over All-American Matt Stencel. This came on the heels of Parris' Junior World title in the offseason.

While #5 Parris will be favored on Friday, #23 Andrew Gunning is no slouch. If Parris looks as dominant against Gunning as he did against the field this weekend, the rest of the country may have a big problem on its hands.


2)  Kennedy Monday is Back

A healthy and fully activated Kennedy Monday could have a major impact on UNC's success as a team and on the field at 165. Monday has defeated two NCAA finalists in his career, knocking off Joey Lavallee and Tyler Berger, but he is yet to find the consistent success UNC fans would like to see from him.

Last weekend, Monday had a solid return to the mat, beating #17 Nick Kiussis of West Virginia before falling to Campbell's #15 Quinten Perez in a thrilling Southeast Open final. Friday's Michigan dual will offer another data point as we track Monday's progress. For now, check out Monday's wild Southeast Open final with Perez.

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3) Will Lewan is off to a Great Start

Michigan freshman Will Lewan entered the preseason rankings at #22 after an up-and-down redshirt year, but his Michigan State Open performance last weekend has him all the way up at #8. Lewan dropped a front-side match to Kendall Coleman, one of the hottest wrestlers in the country, before knocking off Oklahoma's #17 Justin Thomas and Pitt's #9 Taleb Rahmani in the consolations.

In a season where the biggest Michigan wrestling story could be their Olympic redshirts, Lewan is creating great buzz for what's happening on the mat in Ann Arbor.

This Friday, Lewan will have a tough test in NCAA qualifier AC Headlee, up from 141 a season ago. This is the kind of seasoned veteran Lewan will have to beat if he wants to be on the podium in March.


4) First Year Starters in the Tar Heel Lineup

The aforementioned Lewan is the highest-profile first-year starter in the lineup for Michigan, but North Carolina is rolling out a trio of light-weights that could be the catalyst for that team all year.

At 125, freshman Joey Melendez is already ranked #22 despite very little time to create a résumé. Sophomores Jaime Hernandez and #23 Zachary Sherman are holding down the 133 and 141 spots respectively. Tar Heel fans expect a lot out of these three in their first year as full-time starters. We'll see what they have on Friday night.


This dual should teach us a lot. For more context, check out the full lineup predictions announced by North Carolina:


Bonus Reason: Jelani Embree Returned To Form

Embree was a massive recruit coming out of Michigan. His 15-2 redshirt season only amped up the hype leading into last season. Unfortunately hampered by injuries, Embree did not have the breakout freshman campaign Wolverine fans had hoped for. 

But last weekend, at the Michigan State Open, Embree returned to form, making the finals and taking out a pair of ranked wrestlers along the way. Despite many of Michigan's stars taking Olympic redshirts, a reinvigorated Embree makes the Wolverines must-see wrestling. 

Kyle Haas Commits To Oklahoma State

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Another huge recruiting domino falls as Kyle Haas commits to Oklahoma State. The junior at Maize High School in Kansas is the #6 on the Class of 2021 Big Board. 

#2 Ryan Sokol Commits To Cornell

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Another big piece of the class of 2021 recruiting puzzle just snapped into place, as #2 Ryan Sokol committed to continue his academic and athletic career at Cornell. 

Northwestern Scoops Up #5 Joel VanderVere

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The Wildcats landed a prize recruit in Joel VanderVere, who verbally committed to continue his academic and athletic career at Northwestern. 

This Really Happened: The 8 Most Interesting Farrell Matches

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While you can check out all the Bill Farrell results and final brackets here, there are just a few matches that have me thinking either “wait this match actually happened” or “whoa, this guy won?”   

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The Bill Farrell Set The Tone For Greco's Olympic Season

By Tim Hands of Five Point Move - Was the 2019 Bill Farrell Memorial the tone-setting first tournament the US Greco-Roman program needed? 

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Immediate Bracket Reactions For The 2019 Bill Farrell

Today's the day! The Bill Farrell is about to get rolling. It will serve as the first qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Team Trials.

Zeke Jones Breaks Down Zahid Valencia's Close Match, Talks Olympic Push

After helping the Sun Devils overcome Virginia and Purdue on one night, Zahid Valencia, the country’s No. 2 pound-for-pound wrestler, came back the next day for the Journeymen Collegiate Classic and went down to the wire in the final.

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Brock Mauller & The Wrestlers Who Could Snap The MAC National Title Drought

The Mid-American Conference has been without an NCAA Champion since Missouri's J'den Cox won the last of his three titles in 2017. 

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What 2 Watch 4: Drinking From The Firehose

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We must prepare ourselves for the third weekend of NCAA wrestling, as things are about to get serious. A favorite metaphor of mine that pertains to trying to do or consume more than is reasonable in any given amount of time is to 'drink from the firehose'. It gets tossed out during things like freshman orientation or during your first week at a new job. I just like because it gives me a chance to post this sublime clip from the hilarious 1989 cult classic 'UHF'.

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Down To 133, Quinn Kinner Is Ready To 'Make It A War' For Ohio State

Luke Pletcher’s decision to move up to 141 sent ripples across Ohio State’s lineup, most notably altering the plan for redshirt freshman Quinn Kinner. 

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