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The #17 Wisconsin Badgers are finally back in action after some much deserved rest. Last time we saw them they were wrestling at the Midlands Championships where they placed 2nd! The highlight of that weekend was Dean Hamiti going unscored upon and bonusing pointing his way to a title and Shane Liegel also capturing a title!

In the newest rankings the #17 Badgers are currently ranked at 5 weights.

125: #4 Eric Barnett

149: #22 Joey Zargo

165: #6 Dean Hamiti

174: #18 Max Maylor

184: #16 Shane Liegel

Well we are finally back after roughly two weeks. This weekend the Badgers will be competing at the Virginia Duals where they will have two duals. First they will face #21 Oklahoma on Friday afternoon at 2pm central and then they will face an unranked Virginia Squad at 12:30pm central on Saturday. The Badgers will be favored in both duals, but Friday afternoon will be the more highly contested matchup.

With my minimal brain power I calculated the final score live on Tuesday live on our Badger Den Podcast and I believe the Badgers will win 19-17 against #21 Oklahoma. However, on wrestlestat they flipped it 19-17 Oklahoma. If you dig a little deeper though, wrestlestat has Wisconsin native Luke Mechler losing to an opponent he is 2-0 against, winning both matchups last year. Even with my lack of brain power I was able to figure out that Mechler should be favored in this matchup.

The first big matchup of the dual will likely come at 149 pounds with #22 Joey Zargo for Wisconsin and #30 Willie McDougald for Oklahoma. I suspect this match will have a heavy impact on the final score of this dual. I would label it a good ole classic swing match. However, as much as it could go either way I will be favoring Zargo who has been as high as the top 15 this season. A quality win here would help momentum for the Badgers in the dual and help Zargo get back on track after a rough showing at Midlands.

At 174 we will need #18 Max Maylor to keep rolling for the Badgers when he face #29 Tate Picklo. My earlier calculations included a win here for the Badges. I also believe another quality win here would do a lot to help continue to improve on Maylor’s confidence who has not yet qualified for the NCAA tournament, but has racked up several quality wins thus far this season and could do so for the first time this year.

Finally in this dual as a Wisconsin fan it will be cool to see Wisconsin native #2 Stephan Buchanan wrestling at 197lbs, but it will be sad to see it for Oklahoma and not the Badgers. Nonetheless he is someone we can all appreciate and keep and eye out for in this dual. Although, if everything goes according to plan the Badges will be in the driver seat going into these final two matches at 197 and HWT.

On Saturday the #17 Badgers face off against unranked Virginia and this should be a comfortable win for Wisconsin. Virginia currently only has two ranked wrestlers, so this will be a great opportunity for some of the guys to get a win under their belt and close out the weekend on a high note.

At 157 Wisconsin Badger Luke Mechler will have a great opportunity for a quality win as he should see #30 Dylan Cedeno. If Mechler can put a full 7 minutes together he can get the job done here. Cedeno is a great test for Mechler and someone we should expect him to be able to battle with.

Then at 174 we will be looking for an upset. #18 Max Maylor will face #13 Justin McCoy. The Badgers will almost certainly be coming off a win at 165 so a little momentum rolling into this match will not hut. If Maylor can secure an upset here it will go a long way for his current ranking and conference allocations at the end of the year. Keep an eye on this match because it could give us a real induction on where he really stands so far this year.

Badger fans this weekend we will see two duals. One Friday and one on Saturday. Both duals we should expect to come away with the W. The Badgers are currently 4-1 in duals this season and a couple more wins before we get into the conference season would be nice to see. Tune in live on Flowreslting to watch both duals this weekend and check out the Badger Den podcast next week when we sit down with Coach Bono for a recap.