The Wisconsin wrestling team will take on one final Big Ten opponent before the Championships begin. March 4th-5th will be the biggest wrestling meet of the season for the Badgers. However, before they can get there, the Minnesota Golden Gophers will stand on the way on February 11th in Madison.
Big Ten Match-Up: Wisconsin Badgers Take on Red Hot Gophers
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are coming off of a tough loss to #2 Iowa, 18-13. Before the loss, the team notched a four meet win streak against Purdue, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan State. Minnesota will have to travel to Madison to take on the Wisconsin Badgers before entering their bye-weeks ahead of the Big Ten Championships.
The Badgers, on the other hand, have been struggling to secure the results they are after. The meet against #2 Iowa and the one against #9 Northwestern both proved to be great team efforts. Despite the losses, Wisconsin put up quite the fight and lost by one point in each meet. The most recent 24-11 loss to Nebraska was a sign of a much needed break for the team.
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Following a bye week, the Badgers will be fresh for their meet against Minnesota. It will certainly not be an easy meet for either team, yet it will definitely be a must-win for Wisconsin. In order to win the meet, it will come down to the individual performances of the Badger wrestlers.
Wisconsin Badgers Keys to Victory
There are plenty of aspects the team will need to focus on to win the meet. However, there are two particular aspects the Badgers must key in on to be successful against Minnesota. The first key will be setting and controlling the pace of each match ahead of the Big Ten Championships.
When Wisconsin has been down in a match, it has been particularly difficult for them to come back. The Badgers have struggled against aggressive teams and wrestlers this year. The Michigan and Nebraska dual meets in particular stand out since each team controlled the speed and dominated the mat presence. Wisconsin looked flat in each match, but in wins against Purdue and Cornell the team controlled the take down shots and pace of play.
Wisconsin has certainly not enjoyed Big Ten wrestling this year. Thus far, the team is 1-6 in conference meets and 7-7 overall. It has not gone the way the team intended, but there are two chances left to defend home territory before the Big Ten Championships. The second factor that will decide if the Badgers win is whether or not they keep their intensity. If Wisconsin can rattle Minnesota, it will be hard to stop a strong, motivated team like the Badgers.
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