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This Week in Wrestling: Big Ten action heats up

ON WISCONSIN <b>Graff will make his dual meet debut at 133 lbs. against the Wolverines.</b>
Graff will make his dual meet debut at 133 lbs. against the Wolverines.

Jan. 10, 2013

Match Notes  Get    Acrobat  Reader   l   Season Stats Get    Acrobat  Reader

• This week, Wisconsin (5-2, 2-0 Big Ten) returns to dual meet action when it hosts No. 9 Michigan (6-1, 0-0) at the UW Field House on Sunday, Jan. 13, at 1 p.m.

#22 Wisconsin (5-2, 2-0) vs. #9 Michigan (6-1, 0-0)
 Date  Sunday, Jan. 13, 1 p.m.
 Location  Madison, Wis.  |  UW Field House
 Fan Information  UWBadgers.com
 Live Video  InsideBadgerSports.com Small Video Graphic
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Last time out: Michigan State & Nebraska
• The Badgers scored 50.5 points on their way to a 12th place team finish at the 50th Midlands Championships on Dec. 29-30 in Evanston, Ill.

• Wisconsin had three wrestlers earn a spot on the podium at third place. Tyler Graff returned to 133 lbs. and posted a 6-1 record and a third-place finish, while Connor Medbery won the backside of the bracket to finish third at heavyweight. Isaac Jordan brought home bronze after wrestling unattached at 157 lbs.

• The Badgers were one match away from an all-UW championship bout at 133 lbs. Both Tyler Graff and Jesse Thielke earned a spot in the semifinals of the championship bracket. A win for both would have created an all-Badger matchup, but fate wouldn’t have it. Both wrestlers suffered losses, sending them to the consolation round where Graff ended up placing third and Thielke finished his Midland’s debut in sixth place. 

Second half test
• Wisconsin faces its biggest test of the season during the month of January. The No. 22 Badgers will spar with four opponents ranked higher than them, including three road duals. UW travels to No. 1 Penn State on Jan. 18, visits No. 5 Ohio State on Jan. 20 and meets No. 21 Purdue on Jan. 28 at a neutral site.

Familiar foes
• Sunday’s dual features a handful of familiar matchups.

• At 133 lbs., No. 3 Tyler Graff will square off with Rossi Bruno. Bruno suffered a 4-1 decision at 133 lbs. to Tom Kelliher at the Cliff Keen Invite on Nov. 30.

Scott Liegel is scheduled to wrestle No. 11 Dan Yates, a matchup from Midlands on Dec. 29 where Liegel suffered a 12-4 major decision to Yates.

• At 197 lbs., Jackson Hein is set to dual with No. 18 Max Huntley, an opponent he faced at the Cliff Keen Invite on Dec. 1. The match was down to the wire with Hein suffering a 3-1 sudden victory decision.

• Heavyweight has the potential for a battle of ranked opponents. If No. 11 Connor Medbery suits up, he will face No. 19 Ben Apland. Apland is a familiar foe, Medbery defeated the senior. 3-1, at Midlands on Dec. 30 to claim third place.

Wisconsin lineup at Midlands Championships
 125 Matthew Kelliher or Matt Cavallaris
 133 #3 Tyler Graff
Tom Kelliher
 149 Cole Schmitt
Kalvin York
 165 Frank Cousins
Scott Liegel
 184 Ben Cox or Dylan Iczkowski
 197 Jackson Hein
Hwt. #11 Connor Medbery or Cole Tobin

Welcome back Graff
• The Badgers have already gotten a boost from the return of Tyler Graff following an Olympic redshirt year, but Graff might make his biggest impact now that he has dropped a weight class.

• After posting an 11-2 record at 141 lbs., Graff moved down to 133 lbs. -- a familiar weight for the junior -- and went 6-1 at Midlands, finishing third. His performance earned him a No. 3 ranking in the Jan. 1 InterMat polls.

• The lighter weight is a familiar place for Graff. He is a two-time All-American at 133 (2010 & 2011), earning titles at the 2009 and 2010 Midlands Championships at 133.

Unbeaten Badgers
• Through seven dual meets, two Badgers remain undefeated. Both 197 lbs., starter Jackson Hein (7-0) and No. 11 heavyweight Connor Medbery (6-0) are unbeaten in dual competitions this season.

• Hein went 2-0 as the Badgers opened Big Ten competition against Michigan State and Nebraska. The Wausau, Wis., native knocked off the Spartans’ Nick McDiarmid in a 4-0 decision before beating Nebraska’s Caleb Kolb, 3-1, in a sudden victory match.

Connor Medbery started off his Big Ten season by upsetting the then-No. 10 heavyweight in the country, Michigan State’s Mike McClure, in a 6-2 decision, and then defeated the Cornhuskers’ Donny Longendyke, 4-2.

Wrestling Post Season
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