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#3 PackWrestle: New Rankings & UNC Preview

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2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Wrestling Championship Photo by Justin K. Aller/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

New Rankings

Movin’ on up! The Pack (12-0) remain one of two unbeaten teams in the country and slide up to #3 with Ohio State’s loss to Nebraska over the weekend.

Tuesdays also represent the new FloWrestling rankings release. Find out where our guys stack up below:

  • 125 - Camacho #16 (last week: 18)
  • 141 - T. Wilson #14 (15)
  • 157 - H. Hidlay #2 (2)
  • 165 - T. Bullard #10 (14)
  • 174 - D. Bullard #16 (15)
  • 184 - T. Hidlay #3 (3)
  • 197 - Reenan #22 (22)

UNC Dual

How to Watch: ACC Network Extra

These days, ACC wrestling is no cake-walk. So when NC State went up to Pennsylvania and earned a convincing victory over the Pitt Panthers, they couldn’t afford to exhale. It was only the first of three straight top-10 ACC opponents. In Week 2 of this run, the Pack will play host to their Triangle rivals, #8 North Carolina. This is an important meeting, as the winner will take the inside-track to the ACC dual championship.

Popolizio has really put a focus on dominating this rivalry since his arrival in Raleigh. The Pack have won each of the last six meetings against the Tarheels, and are favorites to make it seven on Friday. It’s undeniable that Carolina have found their footing under fifth-year head coach Coleman Scott. They are starting to recruit at an elite level and should begin to see the fruits of that labor in the next couple years. For 2020 however, I just don’t think they’ll have enough to leave Reynolds with a W. Projected lineups and my predictions are below:

  • 125: #16 Jakob Camacho vs. Joey Melendez (Camacho decision; 3-0 NCSU)
  • 133: Jarrett Trombley or Kellen Devlin vs. Jaime Hernandez (Trombley decision; 6-0 NCSU)
  • 141: #14 Tariq Wilson vs. #11 Zach Sherman (Wilson decision; 9-0 NCSU)
  • 149: AJ Leitten vs. #3 Austin O’Connor (O’Connor major; 9-4 NCSU)
  • 157: #2 Hayden Hidlay vs. #11 AC Headlee (Hidlay major; 13-4 NCSU)
  • 165: #10 Thomas Bullard vs. #16 Kennedy Monday (Bullard decision; 16-4 NCSU)
  • 174: #16 Daniel Bullard vs. Clay Lautt (Bullard decision; 19-4 NCSU)
  • 184: #3 Trent Hidlay vs. Joey Mazzara (Hidlay major; 23-4 NCSU)
  • 197: #22 Nick Reenan or Tyrie Houghton vs. Brandon Whitman (Whitman decision Houghton; 23-7 NCSU)
  • 285: Deonte Wilson vs. Andrew Gunning (Wilson decision; 26-7 NCSU)

Key Matchups

#14 Tariq Wilson vs. #11 Zach Sherman

This is a huge matchup, because it means that one of these teams won’t be getting points from a guy they typically rely on. And if Carolina plans on pulling off the upset, this is one they will definitely need. However, I don’t see Tariq losing here. First off, he’s 3-0 against Sherman in his career. Also, Tariq tends to thrive in big home duals, so I see him feeding off what should be palpable energy in Reynolds and letting it carry him to the victory. Regardless, these two will get after it and I expect it will be one of the more entertaining bouts of the evening.

#10 Thomas Bullard vs. #16 Kennedy Monday

Don’t let the rankings fool you - Monday was #8 in Flo’s rankings last week after he took out three-time All-American, David McFadden in Blacksburg. He undoubtedly has natural ability, but sometimes you don’t know what you’re going to get out of him. Monday’s fluidity on his feet scares me a little bit - I think he has more tools to score takedowns than Bullard does, but I’m going with Thomas and his scrambling ability, toughness on top, and cardio advantage at home. If he can keep this one close going into the third period, and make Monday work for his takedowns, I see him having a huge energy advantage late.

NC State starters vs. Injury

The health of Jarrett Trombley and Nick Reenan still appear to be somewhat in doubt. Trombley appeared to tweak his groin in last week’s bout against Pitt, and Reenan didn’t even take the mat against the Panthers following his scare two weeks ago. Indications from Coach Pop seem to be that Reenan’s injury was not serious and he can go if needed. It remains to be seen how much of this is true, but it would be nice to be able to start at heavyweight, and give the staff the option to rest Reenan another week should the dual be out of reach. If neither Trombley nor Reenan can go on Friday, the margin for error shrinks drastically.

Hayden wants to see you there on Friday night at 7:00! Don’t be late, Reynolds will surely fill up quickly with Pack faithful looking to see the boys put it on the Heels for the seventh year in a row.