Last Updated 9:54 AM, January 30, 2022

No. 1 Penn State beats No. 2 Iowa 19-13 in top-ranked Big Ten showcase

The top storylines to follow this college wrestling season
2:01 am, January 30, 2022

5 takeaways from No. 1 Penn State's win over No. 2 Iowa

Here are the 5 biggest takeaways from No. 1 Penn State's 19-13 win over No. 2 Iowa. 

  1. Iowa's lightweight situation continues to be a story 
  2. Bonus points will be the deciding factor in March 
  3. Defending champs continue to find a way to win close matches 
  4. Michael Kemerer can earn a national title this year, despite his Friday loss 
  5. Athleticism defines the upperweights 

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4:34 am, January 29, 2022

No. 1 Penn State beats No. 2 Iowa 19-13 in top-ranked wrestling showcase

The Penn State Nittany Lions were unfazed by Carver-Hawkeye Arena. They weren’t bothered by Iowa’s win streak, and they didn’t care that the defending champions had most of their stars back again this year. 

Behind tough, gritty wins from Drew Hildebrandt, Roman Bravo-Young, Nick Lee, Carter Starocci, Aaron Brooks and Max Dean, the Nittany Lions prevailed over the Hawkeyes 19-13 in a hostile environment to hold on to their No. 1 ranking. 

Hildebrandt was the only Nittany Lion to score bonus, as he beat Jesse Ybarra 9-0 to kick off the dual and send some early momentum Penn State’s way, but NCAA champions Nick Lee and Carter Starocci also made headlines by earning overtime wins against their No. 2 ranked opponents. 

Iowa won all of the matches they were predicted to win on paper as well as heavyweight, and the Hawks kept themselves in the team race though the first nine bouts by holding Penn State to just one bonus point win. Max Murin worked for a hard-fought decision against Beau Bartlett at 149 pounds to put Iowa on the board first, and his teammates Kaleb Young and Alex Marinelli both followed with victories of their own — Marinelli’s win came by major too in a notable rebound victory after last weekend’s loss to Carson Kharchla of Ohio State. Iowa heavyweight Tony Cassioppi also gave the Black and Gold something to cheer about at the end of the intense night, as he beat No. 2 Greg Kerkvliet 7-2 with strong takedowns and fearless wrestling. 

Iowa and Penn State will see each other again at the Big Ten tournament and the NCAA championships, but, as it stands now, the Nittany Lions remain No. 1, and head coach Cael Sanderson’s squad is on top again. 

Full weight-by-weight results 


WEIGHT NO. 1 PENN STAE  NO. 2 IOWA result team score
125 No. 7 Drew Hildebrandt Jesse Ybarra HILDEBRANDT 9-0 PSU 4-0
133 No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young No. 3 Austin DeSanto BRAVO-YOUNG 3-2 PSU 7-0
141 No. 1 Nick Lee No. 2 Jaydin Eierman LEE 6-4 PSU 10-0
149 No. 19 Beau Bartlett No. 10 Max Murin MURIN 4-1 PSU 10-3
157 Tony Negron
OR Terrell Barraclough
No. 12 Kaleb Young YOUNG 2-0  PSU 10-6
165 No. 11 Brady Berge No. 5 Alex Marinelli MARINELLI 10-2 PSU/IOWA 10-10
174 No. 1 Carter Starocci No. 2 Michael Kemerer STAROCCI 2-1 PSU 13-10
184 No. 1 Aaron Brooks No. 17 Abe Assad BROOKS 8-3 PSU 16-10
197 No. 2 Max Dean

No. 4 Jacob Warner

DEAN 8-3  PSU 19-10
285 No. 3 Greg Kerkvliet No. 5 Tony Cassioppi CASSIOPPI 7-2  PSU 19-13
4:19 am, January 29, 2022

285 pounds: Tony Cassioppi takes down Greg Kerkvliet

THIRD PERIOD: Cassioppi starts on the bottom to begin the third and escapes for a point. A takedown for the Hawk gives him a 6-2 lead. Thirty seconds left. Cassioppi pushes his riding time up over a minute, and he's helping to give Iowa something to cheer about on a night that didn't entirely go their way. That's time. 


SECOND PERIOD: One minute down and the score remains 3-2 — that score carries through the end of the second. 

FIRST PERIOD: Tony Cassioppi needs a pin to win it for Iowa, but he's taken down almost immediately by Kerkvliet, the Penn State heavyweight who is on a roll after just beating NCAA finalist Mason Parris last weekend. Cassioppi escapes, and secures a takedown of his own to take a 3-2 lead. The Hawk knows what he needs, and he won't be able to accomplish that goal on the bottom. Cassioppi works for the ride, and he'll end the period on top and put his riding time at 42 seconds to finish out the first. 

4:05 am, January 29, 2022

197 pounds: No. 2 Max Dean notches a gritty win over No. 4 Jacob Warner

THIRD PERIOD: Warner is cautioned at the center, but it's Dean on the bottom to start the third. Escape for the Nittany Lion, and it's 3-1 Warner. The Hawk has 52 seconds of riding time, so that's not a factor at the moment. It comes down a takedown. Carver-Hawkeye Arena is on its feet, but Dean goes for the shot, and nearly gets the takedown. Warner starts scrambling, and let's shoutout these 197-pounders for their scrambling. Dean gets to the takedown, so it's 4-3 Dean with 25 seconds to go. Dean looks for backpoints, so Penn State will take this one after Dean notches an 8-3 win. 

SECOND PERIOD: Warner chooses down to begin the second, and Warner is out within 25 seconds. The Hawk still has 42 seconds of riding time, and he has the 3-0 lead. Less than a minute to go in the period, and Dean is looking for a shot. Warner's defense and stability has stood out in these first five minutes. He's showing great fight here in the spotlight. Warner will hold a 3-0 lead going into the third. 

FIRST PERIOD: Iowa needs this match, and heavyweight, to win the dual, so the pressure is on Jacob Warner. If you read Cody Goodwin's excellent feature on Warner in the Des Moines Register though, you know that Warner has experience keeping his focus during these big Carver moments. He likes putting the team on his back, and that's what he'll have to do right here. 

Takedown Warner! He works for a ride and throws Dean down the mat. Thirty seconds. Warner wants to ride out the period. Let's see if he can do it. Kemerer watches from the sideline as his teammate fights for a potential team win. Lots of action there in the final seconds of the period, and Dean nearly had him on his back, so let's go to the refs. 

No change in the mat calls. That's going to rile up the Penn State bench. Iowa holds a 2-0 lead heading into the second. 

3:53 am, January 29, 2022

184 pounds: No. 1 Aaron Brooks defeats No. 17 Abe Assad

THIRD PERIOD: Assad chooses down to start the third, likely to try and voice giving up more points from neutral and avoid too many bonus points being scored against him. Assad escapes, bringing the score to 7-3 with Brooks holding riding time. Assad takes a shot — an admirable move — but Brooks holds him off, even as Assad tries to reposition himself and earn points. Less than a minute remains, and Brooks needs another takedown and back points for the major. If Assad can hold this to a decision, he can hold his head up high. Thirty seconds. Brooks was the aggressor all match, and he's still moving Assad around the mat, and with ten seconds left, he goes for one more takedown. He doesn't get it, but he'll leave with the decision win. 


SECOND PERIOD: Brooks chooses down to start the second period. Assad stays tough on top, but Brooks earns the escape within the first 30 seconds. He has a 5-1 lead with riding time with 1:22 to go in the second. Takedown Brooks! He's putting on a clinic. Escape Assad makes the score 7-2, but Assad gets warned for stalling, putting him in a bad spot as Brooks continues to push the pace. The second period ends with Brooks holding that same 7-2 lead with riding time. 

FIRST PERIOD: Brooks takes the mat looking about as cool and confident as you could, but you know Assad has ice in his veins as well. What a fun match-up. Penn State will be looking for bonus here, so we'll see what he can do. 

Assad is wrestling with power, forcing a hard hand fight early. Brooks, though, gets a quick double-leg takedown within the first minute. Assad escapes, so it's 2-1 after a minute. The offense from Brooks is one another level as he picks up a second takedown, and this time, he's not giving up the quick escape. Dominating on top, Brooks has 1:28 of riding time with 23 seconds left in the period. Time ticks down, and Brooks ends the period on top. That's a 4-1 lead with riding time for the Nittany Lions.

3:33 am, January 29, 2022

174 pounds: No. 1 Carter Starocci sneaks past No. 2 Michael Kemerer

TIE-BREAKERS: Starocci chooses bottom to start the first tie-breaker. Kemerer lets Starocci out. Ten seconds left. 

Kemerer goes down for his tie-breaker. He needs an escape, and he needs it fast. Starocci looks to ride, but he gets called for stalling. Starocci looks frustrated on the mat, and Sanderson looks irritated as well, while Brands is fired up and warned by the ref to step off the mat. The refs are assessing the situation. Stay tuned. 

The point is taken off the scoreboard to make the score 2-1 with less than ten seconds to go. Starocci holds down Kemerer, and that's a match in sudden victory as Penn State takes another win. 


SUDDEN VICTORY: Carver starts chanting. Thirty seconds down. So much intensity right now. Penn State won the last sudden victory match in this dual, but this time Kemerer goes in for a shot. Great defense from Starocci initates a scramble, and, just as it looked like he might have had two points, the ref calls potentially dangerous. Back to the middle. Great action from both wrestlers all dual. This is elite athleticism on display. Starocci takes a shot, but Kemerer goes in for a shot of his own. We've been here before. The ref calls a takedown for Kemerer, and Carver goes nuts as Starocci looks stunned. Let's go to the referees table for confirmation.

No time was on the clock, so the call is reversed. Let's go to rideouts. 

THIRD PERIOD: Kemerer starts down to start the third, but Starocci puts in a big ride to hold him down. Brands throws a brick into the middle of the mat to challenge for a hands-locked call. Let's go to the refs to see what the call is, but if this call goes Iowa's way, this could change the direction of the match.

No locked hands, but Kemerer manages to escape, so it's 1-1 with one minute to go. Riding time is not a factor. Kemerer takes a shot, but Starocci counters. Another stalemate. Thirty seconds left. Starocci takes a shot, but, once again, Kemerer defends, and goes for his own shot. He nearly had it — it really looked like he might have had both ankles — but the refs will take a look. 

SECOND PERIOD: Starocci starts down to start the second, and he escapes to take a 1-0 lead. One minute left. Starocci takes another shot, and, if Kemerer can fight this one off, it's hard to see how Starocci will be able to score on the national finalist. Kemerer's fight has been unbelievable against hard, tough offense from the Nittany Lion. No takedown, scramble, stalemate, and we're back to the middle. Kemerer takes a shot! Ten seconds. He looks at the clock and looks for the second ankle, but he doesn't finish. Starocci has the 1-0 lead after two periods. 

FIRST PERIOD: Starocci makes the first major shot attempt 1:45 into the period, but Kemerer holds him off. This is the kind of technical match we expected from these two. If there's an early takeaway here though, it's that Kemerer is healthy and back to full form against this national champion. Another shot from Starocci, but, woah, The KemDawg has incredible defense. Carver loves this super senior. Scoreless after three minutes. 

3:22 am, January 29, 2022

165 pounds: No. 5 Alex Marinelli bonuses No. 11 Brady Berge

THIRD PERIOD: Berge chooses bottom, a dangerous move after being riden out in the first period, but he escapes after 40 seconds. Marinelli still has 1:49 of riding time with 1:20 to go in the period. Marinelli leads 4-1, but an edge takedown gives him a 6-1 lead and riding time. The Hawk bench is going nuts. Forty-seven seconds to go. Marinelli runs Berge off the mat again, and Carver calls for stalling, and the ref agrees. That's a 7-2 lead for Marinelli. He needs one more point for the major, and he gets it with another takedown on the edge. What tough wrestling. 


SECOND PERIOD: Marinelli chooses bottom to begin the second period, and he's out quick. Escape for the Bull. Berge goes in for a shot, but Marinelli defends. One minute left in the second period. Marinelli is running Berge around the mat, subtly. Another stall call against Berge in this period would not be surprising. And there is Marinelli looks to throw him off the mat. 

Twenty-two seconds left in the period, and Marinelli leads 4-0 with riding time. We move into the third as Marinelli carries the momentum. 

FIRST PERIOD: Marinelli tends to wrestle close matches, but he loves those underhooks, and his immediate action in this dual has already generated a stall call against Berge. He's battling here — looks like a different Marinelli than we saw last weekend. With just over a minute left in the first period, Marinelli notches the first takedown of the bout, and he takes a good lead. One minute left. If he can ride Berge, that would be huge for the Hawk, with regards to both riding time and momentum. That's a mat return for the All-American! Thriving off of the energy of Carver, Marinelli looks comfortable and in control. He's confident as he comes back to the center of the mat. This is Marinelli's house. Ten seconds. Boom. What a period for Alex Marinelli. He leads 2-0 with 1:18 of riding time.

2:59 am, January 29, 2022

157 pounds: No. 12 Kaleb Young outrides Terrell Barraclough

THIRD PERIOD: Barraclough starts bottom to start the third, a decision he had to make but a tough one against someone like Young who likes his mat returns. The Hawkeye is just throwing Barraclough around the mat now, not giving up anything. A turn could be a game-changer for Iowa, and while that hasn't happened yet, Young is wrestling hard and keeping Barraclough on bottom. Less than a minute to go, and Young has 52 seconds of riding time. Barraclough is cautioned on the bottom for the second time, but, after the whistle blows, it's still all Young. The Hawk has extended his riding time to 1:19. Twenty seconds to go. What a gritty third period from Young. He's sending a message in this low-scoring bout. Barraclough might not choose bottom against Young again. 


SECOND PERIOD: Young choose bottom to start the second, but Barraclough tries to ride him, only to have Young escape within the first 12 seconds. Young is first on the board with that point, but he'll need more than that for Iowa to stay in this dual. This has not been the most offensive match, and that's a credit to Barraclough staying focused in this environment. Young looks like he's still just feeling out Barraclough's style, but we're 4:30 minutes in with no  takedown. 

Young's escape is the only point of the bout so far, and we'll held into the third with Iowa leading 1-0. 

FIRST PERIOD: The Hawks need bonus here, but Barraclough has wrestled real tough in all of his opportunities in the Penn State lineup. Stalemate after the first minute. Penn State takes a shot, but it's a stalemate, so we're back in the middle of the mat. Solid first period from Barraclough, but it's scoreless after one. 

2:48 am, January 29, 2022

149 pounds: No. 10 Max Murin beats No. 19 Beau Bartlett

THIRD PERIOD: Murin chooses down to start the third, and he's out. That's an escape for the Hawkeye, and he ties it up with 1:20 of riding time. Let's see if he shoots again. And he does, but Bartlett's defense fends off the attack. Riding time is secured for Murin as the clock ticks down. One minute remaining. 

Murin takes a half-shot. And then a full-shot. This is Murin's style, as he picks up a late third-period takedown to extend his lead to 3-1 with riding time. Twenty seconds to go. Murin takes a stall call on top, but he's the winner, and the Hawks are on the board. 


SECOND PERIOD: Bartlett chooses down to start the second period, so Murin starts his ride. Back to the center they go, but Murin's speed and power stood out in that ride. The Hawkeye continues to go to work on top, and he's cleared the one-minute mark. If Murin rides him out, he could set a new tone for Iowa, despite trailing Penn State, as a team, 10-0. Bartlett hits a roll, escapes Murin's hold, and he's out. That's a point for the Penn State Nittany Lion, but Murin responds with a shot...ten seconds. He doesn't finish, but what an effort. Bartlett will have the lead going into the third with Murin holding a minute of riding time. 

FIRST PERIOD: This one will likely come down to a point, as these wrestlers like to compete in close matches — that's just their style — but does the energy in this arena and the results in the dual so far change that tactic? 

Scoreless after the first minute. Scoreless for the second minute. Scoreless after the third minute. 

2:37 am, January 29, 2022

141: Nick Lee beats Jaydin Eierman in OT

SUDDEN VICTORY: Eierman takes the first shot, but Lee responds with a counter-attack, and the Nittany Lion survives Carver. Penn State leads 10-0 after three. 


THIRD PERIOD: Nick Lee chooses neutral to start the third. Eierman needs to takedown and an eleven second ride to erase the riding time advantage and put himself back in this match. You can feel Lee's energy. His feet are moving, but he knows Eierman is looking for something. Fifteen seconds, and Eierman gets the takedown. And he rides him out. Let's go to sudden victory! We've been here before. 4-4 into extra time. 

SECOND PERIOD: Eierman starts on bottom to begin the second, but, wow, can Nick Lee ride. He works for a tough mat return and continues to rack up riding time. The referee brings the wrestlers back to the center of the mat, giving Eierman a chance to recollect himeslf and reposition himself, but Lee is back to the hard ride. Eierman escapes, but he gave up 47 seconds of riding time in that sequences.

Eierman takes Lee to his back, but Lee responds and secures the first takedown. That came out of nowhere. Lee takes his riding time over a minute. Eierman escapes, but Lee's lead is notable. With one more second in the period, Lee extends his lead with a short-time takedown. The Nittany Lion leads 4-2 into the third. 

FIRST PERIOD: After two great, fast, fun first matches, the pace of this one is more patient. You can just see how technically savvy these two wrestlers are. Lee took a shot 1:45 into the period, but he doesn't finish. Scoreless after two minutes. Lee looks a little more comfortable in the moment than Eierman, but that might just be a perception after Eierman's tighter matches this year and his lower bonus rate. Regardless, we're scoreless after one. 

2:25 am, January 29, 2022

133: Bravo-Young holds off DeSanto

THIRD PERIOD: Bravo-Young takes bottom to begin the third, and DeSanto goes in for a hard ride. Bravo-Young works for the escape and earns it with 1:15 to go. DeSanto goes in for another shot, but stalemate is called. Bravo-Young leads 3-2 with less than a minute to go. Here's where the crowd might play a role. Bravo-Young is poised, can he hold on? Thirty seconds to go. Bravo-Young goes in for a shot, but he doesn't finish, though he still manages to secure the win. What a fight, as Bravo-Young leaves the mat the champ 3-2. 


SECOND PERIOD: DeSanto starts on the bottom for the beginning of the second, and he quickly picks up the escape. He runs Bravo-Young off the mat, looking for a takedown, or, at the least, another stall call. More shots from DeSanto. Wow. Carver wants another stall call. And they get it after DeSanto takes another shot — this call extends DeSanto's lead to 2-0. Let's scramble. Bravo-Young was in a good spot to look for some points of his own, but the referee calls potential dangerous. We're back in the middle. 

And Bravo-Young ties it with a takedown and rides out the period. Oh boy. Things are heating up. 

FIRST PERIOD: DeSanto makes the first attack, charging Bravo-Young in his typical aggressive style, and he goes in for a shot. Bravo-Young's defense is tough, and he's making DeSanto work for it. The wrestlers go out of bounds, but what a momentum turner for the Hawkeyes. There's no fear for DeSanto. 

Another shot for DeSanto after the reset, but Bravo-Young forces a stalemate. Now back at the center, the hand-fighting continues. DeSanto looks like the aggressor, and Carver wants to see more action. DeSanto goes for another shot, this time a single-leg attempt, and after locking the second ankle, Bravo-Young draws a stalemate. The Hawkeye is running the Nittany Lion around the mat and is setting the pace. 

Bravo-Young puts his hand behind his back, trying to force a shot in an effort to generate counter-offensive, but, instead, he's hit with stalling. Scoreless first period, but great effort from DeSanto. 

2:09 am, January 29, 2022

125: Hildebrandt majors Jesse Ybarra

THIRD PERIOD: Hildebrandt chooses down to start to third, and he escapes to pick up a takedown and extend his lead 4-0. Continuing to work on top, Hildebrandt eclipse one minute of riding time, and Ybarra's in a tough spot. This is not a good situation for the Hawkeyes, but if Ybarra can keep Hildebrandt to a decision, that's his best hope at the moment. Ybarra, on bottom, is hit for stalling for the first time of the match, but he's looking he'll hold to just a decision. Except Hildebrandt has one last trick. Back points for four gives him a major, and the Nittany Lions are pumped. 

SECOND PERIOD: Hildebrandt leads 2-0 and finishes the period on top, recording about 50 seconds of riding time. He just overpowered Ybarra on that takedown. 

FIRST PERIOD: Ybarra is back down to 125 after wrestling two weeks ago at 133 pounds, and this is perhaps his biggest Carver momentum. Iowa alum Pat Lugo gives him some words of encouragement in the tunnel, and he's off running into the middle of the arena, to the cheering of his fanbase. 

Despite the hype though, the first period ends scoreless. We're on to the second. 

That Mark Ironside hype video and commercial just gave me chills. Oh boy, this is it. 

1:46 am, January 29, 2022

Recommended pre-match reading

You know this upcoming dual is going to be intense when the broadcasters for the Michigan-Minnesota dual are already talking about Penn State - Iowa in the middle of their play-by-play coverage.

Before Drew Hildebrandt and Jesse Ybarra take the mat and kick off this highly-anticipated matchup, here are a few stories to read to learn more about the athletes competing tonight: 

1. State of the Weight: The top NCAA wrestling contenders, challengers at 125 pounds

Hear directly from 125-pounders No. 2 Patrick Glory, No. 3 Vito Arujau, No. 4 Brandon Courtney, No. 8 Eric Barnett and No. 9 Pat McKee as they talk through their mindsets and what it will take to win an NCAA title.

2. College wrestling: No. 1 Penn State dominates No. 3 Michigan 29-6

The Nittany Lions roared through Ann Arbor last weekend, winning eight of ten duals against then No. 3 Michigan. Click the link to read more about how they did it. 

3. NWCA rankings: Penn State holds top spot, Nebraska cracks the top 10 after a loaded weekend

Last weekend brought tons of unexpected results and upsets in college wrestling, leading to some rankings shuffle. This reaction column covers all of the major news and takeaways from those results. 

4. Iowa Hawkeyes win 2021 NCAA wrestling team title

Iowa had just one NCAA champion in the 2021 national tournament, but team depth and bonus points put the Hawks on top. Here's a full recap of everything that happened in St. Louis at last year's nationals. 

1:21 am, January 29, 2022

30 minutes to go

The crowd is ready for a battle. The dual will start at 125 pounds at 9:15 p.m. ET with Penn State expected to wrestle No. 7 Drew Hildebrandt and Iowa, in a surprising turn of events, set to wrestle Jesse Ybarra, per the Des Moines Register's Cody Goodwin

Ybarra and Hildebrandt have not wrestled before in college, as Ybarra is just in his first season out of redshirt. The Hawkeye backup, who previously filled in for Spencer Lee in the early part of the season, is 5-2 on the year with losses to Kysen Terukina and Matt Ramos of Purdue, with the latter loss coming up at 133 pounds. Ybarra is solid, but he'll have an All-American on his hands tonight in Hildebrandt in the first of what will be ten wild matchups. Stay tuned, folks. It's almost time. 

10:10 pm, January 26, 2022

How to watch No. 1 Penn State vs. No. 2 Iowa wrestling

No. 1 Penn State comes into this dual after dominating then-No. 3 Michigan, 29-6, but the Nittany Lions will be marching into enemy territory on Friday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena when they take on No. 2 Iowa. Here's everything you need to know about match time, weight previews and athletes to watch. 

Date: Friday, Jan. 28
Time: 9 p.m. ET
TV channel: Big Ten Network