The Feb. 1 Big Ten wrestling dual meet between the defending national champion Minnesota Golden Gophers and the No. 1 Iowa Hawkeyes will be broadcast live from Williams Arena on the Big Ten Network beginning at 7:30 p.m., network officials confirmed today. The meet is a late addition to the BTN wrestling broadcast schedule, which will feature seven dual meets and the 2008 Big Ten Championships (also at Williams Arena) on March 9.
The Big Ten Network has broadcast two wrestling events live already this season. The dual meet between then-No. 1 Minnesota and then-No. 2 Iowa State (a 19-13 Cyclone win) was broadcast on Dec. 2, and the finals of the Midlands Classic were televised from Evanston, Ill. on Sunday. The Gophers’ Feb. 8 dual meet at Northwestern is also scheduled to be televised.
The “border battle” rivalry between the Golden Gophers and Hawkeyes is one of the collegiate wrestling’s fiercest. Iowa leads the all-time series between the programs 62-24-1, but the Gophers have won nine of 15 dual meets between the two since 1998. J Robinson’s squad earned a convincing 29-13 win in Carver-Hawkeye Arena last season en route to their third national championship in seven years. The teams last met in Minneapolis on Jan. 22, 2006, a 25-9 win for the Gophers. 6,695 fans were in attendance at that meet, which was also held in Williams Arena.
The Golden Gophers are currently ranked third in the latest USA Today/NWCA/Intermat national coaches poll and have compiled a 6-1 dual meet record so far in 2007-08. The team is coming off a lopsided victory at the 2007 Southern Scuffle tournament last weekend, Minnesota’s second title at the event in three years.
The Hawkeyes moved up to No. 1 in the national rankings after defeating then-No. 1 Iowa State in a dual meet Dec. 9. It was the first time Iowa had gained the top spot since in the NWCA poll since the 2000 season.
The Gophers and Hawkeyes will both compete at the 2008 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals Jan. 12-13 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The schools have met five times all-time at the annual event, with Minnesota winning three of those match-ups.