||W 23, R 16
||vs. North Carolina
||vs. #14 Virginia
||vs. Old Dominion
||at Navy Classic
||at #16 N. Iowa
||at Michigan State
||at Midlands Championships
||8th, 62.5 pts.
||#9 Ohio State
||at #2 Minnesota
||at #16 Northwestern
||#21 North Dakota State
||Big Ten Championships
The Week Ahead
Up Next: Closing out the regular season
No. 15 Wisconsin (12-4, 5-1) completes the 2013-14 regular season with a pair of home matches against Big Ten Conference opponents. On Friday, Feb. 21, UW hosts No. 8 Nebraska (11-2, 5-2) at 7 p.m. and on Sunday, Feb. 23, the No. 3-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes (14-2, 6-1) visit for a 1 p.m. bout. Prior to Sunday’s match, the team will celebrate Senior Day, honoring Tyler Graff, Jackson Hein, Cole Tobin, Scott Liegel and John Prezzia.
LAST TIME OUT
The Badgers took down non-conference opponent North Dakota State, 23-17, on Feb. 2 in the UW Field House. Scott Liegel’s upset victory over No. 11 Hayden Zillmer at 174 lbs., and a handful of bonus-point victories in the early goings were enough to hold off a late push from the No. 21-ranked Bison.
BADGERS IN THE POLLS
Wisconsin remained at No. 15 in the USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll Feb. 11. Big Ten teams occupy the top three spots in the poll and 10 of the top 25.
Four Badgers appear in the InterMat rankings this week.
• Redshirt freshman Ryan Taylor checks in at No. 9. Taylor holds a 13-2 record with his only losses coming against top-ranked opponents.
• Senior Tyler Graff moved up to No. 5 after posting a 19-4 tech fall over NDSU’s Justin LaValle.
• Redshirt freshman Isaac Jordan is ranked No. 7. Jordan is 15-0 in dual meets, including a 5-0 mark in conference bouts.
• Senior Scott Liegel earned his first career ranking on Feb. 18. Liegel checked in at No. 20 after upsetting No. 11 Hayden Zillmer from NDSU.
• 2013 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Connor Medbery remains at No. 10 this week. Medbery got back into the win column with a 10-1 major decision over NDSU’s Evan Knutson.
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Wisconsin will host the 2014 Big Ten Wrestling Championships on March 8-9 in the Kohl Center. It is the sixth time the Badgers have hosted the championship event and the first time in the Kohl Center.
Tickets to the two-day event are available at UWBadgers.com/tickets/wrst-champ-info.
BIG TEN REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONS
A pair of wins this weekend would give the Badgers a share of the 2014 dual meet championship title. Wisconsin holds a 5-1 league record and wins over Iowa and Nebraska would clinch a spot with Minnesota and Penn State as dual meet champions.
Iowa also has a chance to earn a piece of the dual meet championship title. A win on Sunday would give the Hawkeyes a share of the title.
FIVE IS NICE
UW earned its fifth conference win of the season on Jan. 26, marking the first time since 2007-08 that it has reached that total and the third time head coach Barry Davis has led the team to that mark. With a pair of league contests remaining on the schedule, the Badgers have a chance at a sixth win, last achieved in 1991-92, or a seventh, last accomplished in 1986-87.
MID-SEASON AWARDS STANDINGS
The NCAA released its initial standings for the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Awards that will be awarded in March on Jan. 15 and senior Tyler Graff’s five tech falls are tied for second-most in Division I. Oklahoma’s Cody Brewer paces the field with seven.
GRAFF JOINS 20-WIN CLUB
With a 5-2 record and fourth-place finish at this year’s Midlands, senior Tyler Graff added his name to a list that includes Dan Gable, Barry Davis and Cael Sanderson. Graff joined the elusive 20-in-4 Club with a career Midlands record of 21-3. Twice, in 2009 and 2010, Graff won the event, with unblemished 5-0 records, while in 2012 he placed third with a 6-1 showing.
LUBECK PINS NATIONAL CHAMP
Wrestling at 149 lbs., redshirt freshman Rylan Lubeck pinned No. 2 seed and 2009 national champion Darrion Caldwell in his second bout of the day at Midlands Dec. 29. Caldwell was a two-time All-American at NC State and named Most Outstanding Wrestler at the 2009 NCAA Championships. Lubeck wrapped up the tournament with a 4-3 record and an eighth-place finish.
GRAFF NAMED BIG TEN WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
Six bonus point victories -- including four technical falls and two major decisions -- an unblemished record and Navy Classic title earned Tyler Graff Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honors on Nov. 26. It was Graff’s first weekly award and the Badgers’ first honor since January, 2011.
GRAFF GRAPPLES WITH CAREER RECORD
Senior Tyler Graff’s .838 winning percentage (119-23) is ranks 10th on the UW career list. His 119 career victories rank seventh all-time at UW.
Graff recorded his 100th career win on the road at the Hokie Duals with a 15-6 major decision over North Carolina’s Tony Heilmann on Nov. 10.
Wisconsin opened its season on the road, traveling to Chattanooga for a double dual and the Hokie Duals for three matchups, Nov. 8 -10, and five guys returned home unbeaten. Senior Tyler Graff, freshman Isaac Jordan and sophomore Connor Medbery each posted perfect 5-0 records, while freshman Ryan Taylor finished the weekend 3-0 and Ben Cox and Scott Liegel each posted a 2-0 record. The Badgers then visited UW-Whitewater where Graff, Jordan and Medbery added a pair of victories to improve to 7-0. Three Badgers remained unbeaten after a trip to American (Nov. 21) and the Navy Classic (Nov. 23). Taylor improved to 8-0 with five wins, while Graff and Medbery each moved to 13-0. Medbery pushed his record to 15-0 before falling to No. 11 Mike McClure of Michigan State on Dec. 8.
Complete wrestling match notes in printable PDF format.
FANS ON FACEBOOK
A fan vote on the Badgers’ Facebook page determined match order at the Intrasquad Scrimmage and it was a perfect choice. The final bout was at 149 lbs., between TJ Ruschell and Rylan Lubeck. It took two tie-breaks before Ruschell was able to claim a 2-1 decision.
UW returns eight of 10 starters from last year’s squad, including NCAA qualifiers Tyler Graff, Jackson Hein and Connor Medbery.
WELCOME TO WISCONSIN
Wisconsin announced the signing of six student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Nov. 19. Ryan Christensen (Woodinville, Wash.), Johnny Jimenez (St. Charles, Ill.), Luke Rowh (Hastings, Minn.), Jens Lantz (Ellsworth, Wis.), Jared Scharenbrock (Sun Prairie, Wis.) and Tyler Schmidt (Merrill, Wis.) will join the Badgers in the fall of 2014.
The Badgers boast three sets of brothers and a pair of guys with UW family connections on this year’s squad. Brothers Scott and Seth Liegel, Brandon and Justin Weber and TJ and assistant coach Kyle Ruschell, along with Isaac Jordan (son of Jim, 1983-86, nephew of Jeff, 1985-88 and brother of Ben, 2009-12) and Jarod Donar (brother of Jake, 2005-08) make up this year’s roster.
HULL ADDED TO STAFF
Former UW All-American and Big Ten champion Mitch Hull is back in the Wisconsin wrestling room as a member of the Badgers’ administrative staff. Hull joins the UW coaching staff as a volunteer administrative assistant after previously serving as the National Team Director for USA Wrestling.
WATCH THE BADGERS
The Badgers’ dual meet at Michigan State Dec. 8 will be aired live on BTN. The network will also air championship Sunday of the 2014 Big Ten Wrestling Championship. Home meets will stream online at InsideBadgerSports.com.