Cedar Falls, Iowa - When the Minnesota Wrestling team opens up the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals on Jan. 9, they will do so against the University of Missouri.
The Gophers and Tigers are scheduled for a 9:00 a.m. start on Jan. 9. Minnesota is ranked No. 6 in the latest NWCA Top-25 poll, while Missouri is ranked No. 17. The Gophers are 8-1 all-time against the Tigers with the last meeting in 2007 also at the National Duals where Minnesota won 20-16 in the Championship match. Missouri is 0-2 in duals on the season.
The top eight teams in the tournament are all seeded, and the Gophers earned the fifth seed, behind No. 1 Iowa, No. 2 Iowa State, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Central Michigan. Also earning seeds are No. 6 Cornell, No. 7 Maryland and No. 8 Boise State.
Minnesota is in the same half of the bracket as top seeded Iowa, but before a potential meeting with the Hawkeyes, a first round win would pit the Gophers against the winner of Northwestern and Central Michigan on Jan. 9 at 1:00 p.m. in the quarterfinals. Along with Iowa as a possible semifinal opponent, Minnesota could meet Nebraska, Buffalo and Boise State on their road to the Championship match. The semifinals are at 11:00 a.m. Jan. 10 with the championship match at 3:00 p.m. on Jan. 10.
The Gophers are 1-1 this season against teams also in the field, having beaten Nebraska 28-14 on Dec. 10, but falling 19-16 to Iowa State on Jan. 3.
The Gophers have won the National Duals five times previously, most recently in their 2007 National Championship season. Minnesota also won National Duals championships in 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2006. Last season, Minnesota placed sixth, falling 25-12 to Ohio State in the fifth place match.
In the latest NWCA National Rankings Minnesota is number six, and will enter the tournament with a 3-2 dual meet record. Both of Minnesota's losses have come to teams ranked in the top-five.
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