NCAA Watch Party: Penn State/Mich & Iowa/tOSU

#2 Penn State vs #3 Michigan: Preview and Prediction

#2 Penn State vs #3 Michigan: Preview and Prediction

Full preview and breakdown of one of the best duals of the season: #2 Penn State vs #3 Michigan.

Jan 13, 2022 by Jon Kozak
#2 Penn State vs #3 Michigan: Preview and Prediction

The #2 Penn State Nittany Lions will head to Ann Arbor to square off against #3 Michigan Wolverines Friday, January 21st at 6pm (ET). The FloWrestling team will give you all the commentary you need during our Friday Night Watch Party but take a look below at the projected matchups and a breakdown of the entire dual.

Projected Lineups:

125: #1 Nick Suriano (Michigan) vs #10 Drew Hildebrandt (Penn State)

133: #8 Dylan Ragusin (Michigan) vs #1 Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State)

141: #9 Stevan Micic (Michigan) vs #1 Nick Lee (Penn State)

149: HM Kanen Storr/Cole Mattin (Michigan) vs #15 Beau Bartlett (Penn State)

157: #14 Will Lewan (Michigan) vs Tony Negron (Penn State)

165: #10 Cam Amine (Michigan) vs #17 Brady Berge/Creighton Edsell (Penn State)

174: #6 Logan Massa (Michigan) vs #1 Carter Starocci (Penn State)

184: #2 Myles Amine (Michigan) vs #1 Aaron Brooks (Penn State)

197: #8 Patrick Brucki (Michigan) vs #2 Max Dean (Penn State)

285: #2 Mason Parris (Michigan) vs #4 Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State)

The matchups in this dual are incredible - 7 top 10 matches featuring five #1’s and 19 of 20 wrestlers ranked in the top 20!

125: #1 Nick Suriano (Michigan) vs #9 Drew Hildebrandt (Penn State)

The Hildebrandt-Suriano match will tell us valuable information on both wrestlers. For Penn State, this match is an opportunity to see how close Hildebrandt is to challenging the best in the country at 125 pounds. For Michigan, this is Suriano’s first big test of the season and will show us if he can be dominant against an All-American contender. While I don’t expect Suriano to get bonus points over Hildebrandt, expect a controlling decision where Suriano uses his positioning and reattacks to win by 4-5 points.

Prediction: Suriano by decision - Michigan 3, Penn State 0


133: #8 Dylan Ragusin (Michigan) vs #1 Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State)

Bravo-Young and Ragusin met last year in dual meet competition and RBY won by a score of 9-2. Expect a similar outcome in this match with RBY’s offense being a little too much for Ragusin to handle. This could be an opportunity for Penn State to earn valuable bonus points but Ragusin should be capable of keeping it to a decision.

Prediction: RBY by decision - Michigan 3, Penn State 3

RBY's victory over Ragusin from last season:


141: #9 Stevan Micic (Michigan) vs #1 Nick Lee (Penn State)

If this match were two weeks ago before Micic lost to Cole Matthews, most would predict this to be a potential preview of the NCAA semis or finals. While the hype may have cooled off a bit, the matchup between Micic and Lee is still fascinating. Micic, a 2020 Olympian, is a high-level technician and could use the match with Lee to prove he is a legitimate contender.

Prediction: Lee by decision - Michigan 3, Penn State 6

Micic's win over Julian Chlebove:

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149: HM Kanen Storr/Cole Mattin (Michigan) vs #15 Beau Bartlett (Penn State)

Beau Bartlett has had a bit of an “up-and-down” year but has put together an 8-3 record with ranked wins over #7 Kyle Parco, HM Anthony Artalona, HM Cory Crooks, and #19 PJ Ogunsanya. Outside of the loss to #1 Yianni Diakomihalis, Bartlett has only lost to #22 Manzona Bryant and #14 Mike Van Brill. 

Bartlett would normally be a slight favorite over Storr, but Storr hasn’t wrestled since going down with an injury over a month ago at the CKLV. Cole Mattin has wrestled well in his place and lost in a competitive bout last week to #2 Sammy Sasso (9-4). Either way, expect Bartlett to be the considerable favorite against whoever takes the mat for the Wolverines. 

Prediction: Bartlett by decision - Michigan 3, Penn State 9


157: #14 Will Lewan (Michigan) vs Tony Negron (Penn State)

Will Lewan has put together a solid season up to this point of the season and should be a considerable favorite over Tony Negron. Lewan isn't a point-scoring machine, but expect him to win a controlling match by a comfortable margin. Negron only has a 1-5 record up to this point but has yet to give up bonus points - even in his losses to #4 Jacori Teemer and #15 Josh Humphreys. 

Prediction: Lewan by decision - Michigan 6, Penn State 9


165: #10 Cam Amine (Michigan) vs #17 Brady Berge/Creighton Edsell (Penn State)

Brady Berge won his first match back in competition against Rutgers Andrew Clark, 5-1. Berge's potential opponent, Cam Amine has been out the past few weeks but would be a much greater challenge than Clark. Amine, a 2021 All-American, holds incredible position and seldom takes an errant shot. Amine also has an outstanding gas tank and often uses his pace and hard hand-fighting to fatigue his opponents. Because of that, I favor Amine in a close decision against either Berge or Edsell. If it's Berge, this will be a great "measuring-stick" for where he falls in the 165-pound landscape. 

Prediction: Amine by decision - Michigan 9, Penn State 9


174: #6 Logan Massa (Michigan) vs #1 Carter Starocci (Penn State)

Last season, Starocci and Massa decided their match in overtime with Starocci coming out on top, 7-1. Neither wrestler in that match was able to secure a takedown forcing the match into tie-breakers. Massa started the tie-breaker period on bottom and errantly attempted a dive-roll but was caught on his back, giving up 4 point near-fall. I expect a similar match playing out this time around and give a slight edge to Starocci both on the mat and in the neutral position.

Prediction: Starocci by decision - Michigan 9, Penn State 12

Starocci's win over Massa from last season:


184: #2 Myles Amine (Michigan) vs #1 Aaron Brooks (Penn State)

This is the match of the night and could be a preview of the NCAA finals! Both Aaron Brooks and Myles Amine are undefeated this year and ranked #1 and #2 respectively. Amine is prolific at frequently getting to his opponent's legs and finishing quickly for takedowns. Amine is also spectacular in scrambles and extremely challenging to finish on. However, Aaron Brooks is one of the best in the country at using his hand-fighting and positioning to capitalize on his opponent's errant shots. Will Amine be successful with his high-volume attacks or will Brooks defense and counters be too much for the Wolverine? I can't wait to find out when these two take the mat in Ann Arbor.

Prediction: Brooks by decision - Michigan 9, Penn State 15

Amine's win over Josh Nummer:

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197: #8 Patrick Brucki (Michigan) vs #2 Max Dean (Penn State)

Max Dean, a 2019 NCAA finalist, has been dominant this year at 197 by compiling an 11-0 record with 9 of his wins by bonus. Brucki, a 2019 All-American, is riding the momentum of a win over 2021 NCAA Runner-Up Nino Bonaccorsi. This is a fascinating matchup as both Brucki and Dean are stingy in their defense and incredibly physical wrestlers. Dean looks to have jumped levels this year in his top game and that might ultimately prove to be the difference in this match. 

Prediction: Dean by decision - Michigan 9, Penn State 18


285: #2 Mason Parris (Michigan) vs #4 Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State)

Last year at the Big Ten tournament, Mason Parris defeated Greg Kerkvliet by major decision, 11-3. While I still favor Parris in this matchup, I also expect a much closer bout. Going into their match at Big Tens, Kerkvliet was coming off a significant injury and didn’t have much time back to regular training prior to the match. In fact, Kerkvliet defeated Parris a month later when the two met at the Olympic Trials. This match will be crucial for Big Ten and NCAA seeding and could even determine who is opposite Gable Steveson come March in the NCAA finals.

Prediction: Parris by decision 

Final Prediction: Penn State 18, Michigan 12


There are a number of toss-up matches that could swing the dual for either the Wolverines or Nittany Lions. The dual will be decided by who can win the tight matches or secure bonus points. You can tune in to the Big Ten Network to watch this dual live and for a fantastic second-screen experience on our watch party!