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Nebraska takes a trip to the state of Indiana this weekend for a pair of duals. They’ll take on Purdue on Friday before squaring off against Indiana on Sunday. There are plenty of reasons to watch both of these duals as each will feature fantastic matchups.
Friday, Feb 7 | 7:00 PM ET
1) Lydy vs Labriola Round 6
Dylan Lydy and Mikey Labriola battle hard every time they wrestle. Lydy leads their all-time series 3-2 after a win in the CKLV semis. Neither wrestler could earn a takedown in regulation, but an overtime double-leg gave Lydy the win.
Both Lydy and Labriola have had solid seasons to earn the #4 and #6 rankings, respectively. Lydy’s season has been particularly strong with just one loss to Mikey Kemerer and several top-10 wins including, most recently, a major decision over All-American Devin Skatzka of Minnesota.
Labriola is also coming off a top-10 win over Ohio State’s Kaleb Romero. This could be the match of the dual.
2) Will #5 Brunner Return To Face #9 Schultz?
Christian Brunner hasn’t wrestled since suffering an injury in a match with Jordan Pagano of Rutgers on January 26. If he returns this weekend, he’ll have a solid test right away against #9 Eric Schultz of Nebraska.
Schultz has been wrestling well recently with wins over #4 Jacob Warner and #16 Shakur Rasheed.
This matchup between potential All-Americans is a rematch from last year’s Big Ten Championships. Shultz won 3-2 in that contest and will look to repeat the result here.
3) #14 Purinton Tries to Tie Series with #17 Parriott
Parriott and Purinton have had parallel seasons. Both were undefeated heading into CKLV, both have been ranked in the top eight this season, and both have been looking to regain their pre-CKLV consistency in the second half of the year.
Since CKLV in December, Purinton is 3-3 while Parriott is 3-5. Friday night’s contest looks like it could be very close, and this 149 bout could decide the dual.
This meeting between #17 Parriott and #14 Purinton will be a rematch of a consolation match from CKLV. Parriott came out on top in that contest 7-3.
4) Can Purdue Pull the Upset?
Purdue sits at #16 in the NCAA Dual Rankings, just a few spots behind #12 Nebraska. As these rankings suggest, this should be a tight contest.
Based on pure rankings Purdue will be favored at 125, 157, 174, 197, and 285 while Nebraska will be favored at 133, 141, 149, 165, and 184. Of course, this won't play out according to the rankings as this dual is packed with upset potential.
Duals with uncertainty like this tend to be wild and a whole lot of fun. Take Nebraska's dual with Ohio State as an example.
Sunday, Feb 9 | 1:00 PM ET
5) #14 Purinton vs #15 Rooks
Collin Purinton will have his second big match of the weekend on Sunday when he takes on #15 Graham Rooks, who has recent wins over Griffin Parriott and Wisconsin's Cole Martin.
Rooks and Purinton have yet to meet in their college careers, but this match could have Big Ten seeding implications and could set the stage for future matchups this season.
6) Red-Hot Liam Cronin vs Alex Thomsen
Indiana's Liam Cronin was 6-11 before rattling off four straight wins that included a 3-1 decision over #6 Devin Schroder and a 4-2 decision over #25 Nic Aguilar.
He'll have another solid opponent on Sunday as he faces Nebraska's Alex Thomsen who is currently unranked but who has been as high as #20 this season.
Cronin began the season as a backup to All-American contender Brock Hudkins but has filled in nicely since Hudkins' injury at Midlands.