A bigtime college dual meet is going down Friday night at Detroit Catholic Central High School as #4 Michigan will be taking on #11 Arizona State. It will be a dual filled with great matchups, including four matches between top-15 wrestlers.
The atmosphere should be a great one with three Shamrock grads - Malik Amine, Myles Amine, and Kevin Beazley - slated to compete in their former gym. It's also a homecoming of sorts for Arizona State Head Coach Zeke Jones, who is an Ann Arbor native.
The match is slated to start at 7 p.m. and is FREE to the public. Below is a quick preview of the probable matchups.
125: Austin Assad (Michigan) vs. #7 Ryan Millhof (Arizona State)
Millhof saw his first action as a Sun Devil last weekend at the MSU Open, where he wrestled and won his first match before pulling out of the tournament. Two years ago he was an All-American for Oklahoma, placing 7th. On paper you'd think this match favors ASU bigtime, but Assad is a very talented lightweight. He spent some time in the rankings last year before an injury shortened his season. Assuming he is at full health, expect this to be a great match.
133: #2 Stevan Micic (Michigan) vs. Ali Naser (Arizona State)
Both of these guys competed last weekend, with Micic getting the honor of being selected for the NWCA All-Star Classic while Naser placed 3rd at MSU. Naser is a bit unknown to many D1 fans but he's notched wins over Olympians Coleman Scott and Sam Hazewinkel on the freestyle circuit. Having said that, Micic is the heavy favorite in this match. Simply put he's one of the best guys in the nation and extremely fun to watch.
141: Sal Profaci (Michigan) vs. Nikko Villarreal (Arizona State)
These two met last weekend at MSU, with Profaci taking the 7-2 victory en route to his fourth-place performance. The Wolverine sophomore is a returning NCAA qualifier and hovering around the top-20 in most publications. He's got the experience and the confidence coming off of last week, so I'd anticipate a similar result.
149: Malik Amine (Michigan) vs. #13 Josh Maruca (Arizona State)
This match almost happened at MSU as they were set up to compete in the wrestlebacks but Amine defaulted from the tournament. Somewhat of an interesting style matchup in that Maruca is long and really slick on his feet. Amine is a grinder and still dangerous from any position. The fact that the match is at DCC makes it even more intriguing.
157: #7 Alec Pantaleo (Michigan) vs. #12 Josh Shields (Arizona State)
In terms of intrigue, this might be the match of the dual. Shields won the MSU Open last weekend, knocking off #12 Colin Heffernan of CMU in the finals. Like Micic, Pantaleo competed at the NWCA All-Star Classic. So this will be Pantaleo's first official match at 157. Shields was an NCAA Qualifier at the weight last year. It should be an exciting, action-packed match.
165: #3 Logan Massa (Michigan) vs. #6 Anthony Valencia (Arizona State)
Massa defeated Valencia last weekend for the third time of their college career, 6-0. The two wrestled last year as well with Massa scoring major decisions in each match. The St. John's native was totally dominant last weekend and looks to have his season started on the right note. Valencia is a super talented guy, but has yet to close the gap on Massa.
174: #4 Myles Amine (Michigan) vs. #1 Zahid Valencia (Arizona State)
Valencia reclaimed the number one ranking this week after defeating Mark Hall at the All-Star Classic. He defeated Amine twice last season, both at the national tournament - including in the 3rd/4th place match. However, Amine was on fire at the MSU Open and ran through quality opponents. Knowing that the match is in his high school gym, hopefully the home field advantage is a big enough boost to push Valencia to the limit.
184: #5 Domenic Abounader (Michigan) vs. Anthony Anderson (Arizona State)
Another rematch of an MSU Open bout, Abounader defeated Anderson 18-6 in the first round before marching to a title. He looked outstanding in the process, and his top game is still one of the best in the nation at the weight class. Look for Abounader, a Big Ten Champ, to win in similar fashion over the freshman.
197: #6 Kevin Beazley (Michigan) vs. Austyn Harris (Arizona State)
This is assuming that Beazley gets the green light. He initially lost a 2-of-3 wrestle-off to Jackson Striggow, but rebounded by winning the MSU Open, where Striggow placed 5th. Throw in the fact that he's a DCC grad and it's a safe bet that he'll get the nod. Striggow defeated Harris 7-5 at MSU. Beazley had three pins at MSU, so bonus points could definitely be in the picture for him.
285: #2 Adam Coon (Michigan) vs. #4 Tanner Hall (Arizona State)
This should be a great match to close the dual out with (assuming it starts at 125). Coon is fresh off his first competition in a year last weekend, where he won at MSU. Hall competed at the All-Star Classic. Coon was an NCAA Runner-Up two years ago, Hall was 3rd last year. They are two great heavyweights and this should be a great match.
MIG Prediction: Michigan 21, Arizona State 12