Sunday afternoon’s dual wrestling meet between No. 1 Minnesota and No. 2 Iowa State will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network, network officials announced today. The meet will be held in Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus and will begin at 2 p.m. It was previously scheduled to air via tape delay on Dec. 7.
“It doesn’t get any bigger than No. 1 vs. No. 2,” Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman said, “and we’re honored to bring a live telecast of this event to national audience of more than 30 million people.”
The Cyclones (5-0) were runners-up behind the Golden Gophers (3-0) at last year’s NCAA Championships, finishing with 88.5 team points to Minnesota’s 98. J Robinson’s Gophers also got the better of Iowa State in two regular season dual meets, winning 19-13 in Ames last Dec. 8 and 24-11 at the National Duals in January of 2007. The Gophers are 17-33-2 all-time in meetings with the Cyclones but have won the last three dual meets between the two schools. Both schools are defending champions of their respective conferences (Big Ten and Big 12).
Minnesota enters the match with a perfect dual meet record following convincing victories Saturday against Northern Illinois, Northern Colorado and North Dakota State at the Northern Quad in Rochester, Minn. The Gophers have now won 23 consecutive dual meets dating back to Nov. 25 of last year.
Tim Johnson, a veteran of over 150 college wrestling dual meet broadcasts for Iowa Public Television (IPTV), the Fighting Illini Wrestling Network, ESPN and Real Pro Wrestling, will be providing play-by-play. Jim Gibbons is a former All-American and national champion wrestler and coach at Iowa State and will be providing color commentary for the telecast.
This event marks the first of 10 wrestling meets to air on the Big Ten Network this season. The full schedule will be announced once dates and times are finalized. Stay tuned to bigtennetwork.com and gophersports.com for more information.
The Big Ten Network is dedicated to covering the Big Ten Conference and its 11 member institutions and is currently available in Minnesota on Dish Network (channel 439) and DirecTV (channel 220). The BTN is also tentatively scheduled to broadcast the finals of the 2008 Big Ten Championships, to be held in Minneapolis at Williams Arena March 8-9, 2008.