College wrestling rankings: Penn State wraps regular season unanimous No. 1
MANHEIM, Penn. — After a stellar performance in front of a hostile crowd of 14,000-plus at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on Sunday, Penn State stands as the nation’s lone unbeaten team in Division I wrestling at the conclusion of the regular season. The 14-0 Nittany Lions won their second straight NWCA National Duals Championship and fourth overall by handing Oklahoma State its first loss of the season 27-13. The win secured PSU the top spot in the final USA TODAY/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.
Oklahoma State (14-1), spent the entire season ranked No. 1, fell one spot to No. 2, but did set a Gallagher-Iba Arena record for attendance as 14,059 witnessed the dual. The previous high for an Oklahoma State dual came of 10,082 came in 2001 against Oklahoma. The previous arena high was 14,044 during a 2007 Big 12 basketball game between Oklahoma State and Missouri.
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Iowa finished the regular season 13-2 and maintained its position at No. 3 for the entire season. The Hawkeyes traveled east and defeated then-No. 23 Edinboro (8-6) 28-9 on Saturday in the NWCA Dual Championship Series.
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Virginia Tech improved to 18-1 and moved up to No. 4 in the final poll after a 22-15 win over then-No. 6 Nebraska (12-4) on Sunday. The win was bittersweet for Hokie fans as the following day, coach Kevin Dresser announced he was leaving Blacksburg to take over the coaching position at Iowa State. Nebraska finished the regular season at No. 5.
Ohio State (11-3) slid two spots to finish the regular season at No. 5 after being upset on the road at then No. 8 Cornell (13-2) on Saturday. The win vaulted the Big Red up two spots to No. 7.
Despite beating then-No. 16 Michigan (8-7) on Friday night, NC State (13-2) ended its regular season at No. 8. Cornell leapfrogged the Wolfpack, pushing them pack one spot from last week. NC State head coach Pat Popolizio has guided his team to a 36-3 record over the past two seasons
Illinois (9-3) was idle, while Missouri (11-4) finished up its season with a win over unranked SIU Edwardsville.
Purdue (9-7), which hadn’t been ranked since Feb. 15, 2016, snuck into the final poll after beating then-No. 17 South Dakota State (14-5) by criteria on Friday in Brookings, South Dakota, as part of the NWCA Dual Championship Series.
The Big Ten Conference finishes the regular season with 10 teams ranked in the Top 25. The ACC, Big 12 and MAC have three each in the Top 25, while the EIWA and Pac-12 each finished with two teams ranked. The EWL and the Southern Conference had one apiece.