Gophers' (10-0) 29th-year head wrestling coach J Robinson didn't waste any time getting the trash talking started before Friday's monster showdown with the Hawkeyes (10-0) to determine a true No. 1 team in the country.
"Like they say, when you drive into Iowa, the IQ of both states go up," said Robinson, according to the Des Moines Register. Robinson added: That'll piss some of the Hawks off."
Iowa's second-ranked 174-pounder Mike Evans welcomed the jab from Robinson.
"I like it, man. I mean, you've got to look at it this way," Evans said. "We're going to go into their arena. And we're going to hear a bunch of boos. And we're going to hear a huge crowd. And then we're going to shut them up.
"Ain't nothing better than that."
Iowa is ranked No. 1 in both the USA Today/NWCA Coaches' poll and WIN Magazine poll while the Gophers own the top ranking on Intermat.
“I don’t know if it gets much bigger than this,” Hawkeye coach Tom Brands said, via NCAA.com.
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KSTP reports that at least 12,000 fans are expected to fill Williams Arena for the 6 p.m. dual. What's a sold out Williams Arena look like for a dual meet? Check out the photo the Gophers posted on Twitter from a Minnesota-Iowa border battle in 2000.
Up to 18 nationally ranked wrestlers will be featured, including eight ranked-versus-ranked battles. GopherSports.com has the details:
"Three of these matches will pit top-five wrestlers against each other. At 133, No. 1 Chris Dardaneswill put his undefeated records on the line against No. 5 Cory Clark. Following that match, two more top-five wrestlers will take the mat at 141, when No. 4 Nick Dardanes takes on No. 5 Josh Dziewa. Then, for the second consecutive dual, No. 4 Logan Storley will face a familiar foe at 174, when he takes on No. 2 Matt Evans. In addition to those top-five tilts, 197 will feature a pair of top-six wrestlers, as No. 6 Scott Schiller meets No. 3 Nathan Burak."
For the Gophers, top-ranked Dylan Ness leads the way at 157 pounds. The senior is a strong candidate to win the Hodge Trophy, which goes to the nation's best wrestler.