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Wrestling preview: No. 3 Oklahoma State closes out regular season vs. No. 14 North Carolina

Heavyweight Austin Marsden goes for his 100th career victory.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 3-ranked Oklahoma State wrestling team will host the No. 14-ranked North Carolina for their regular-season finale Friday at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Last time out

The Cowboys (12-2, 6-0 in Big 12) shut out Stanford, 41-0, for its 10th-consecutive dual win last Sunday. It was OSU's second shutout this season. North Carolina (12-4, 2-3 in ACC) have won three of their last four, including a 26-12 win over No. 21 Pittsburgh last weekend.

The Cowboys and Tar Heels have four common opponents -- Army, Minnesota, North Carolina State and Pitt. Both OSU and UNC went 3-1 with the lone loss to NC State. The Tar Heels fell 28-8 at Raleigh, N.C., while the Cowboys lost 19-15 in Stillwater.

In the rankings

OSU moved up one spot to No. 3 in the USA Today/NWCA/Division I Coaches Poll and remains No. 2 in Intermat rankings. Once again, the Cowboys are the top Big 12 team in both polls. Nine Cowboy wrestlers rank among the top 20 in the nation at their respective weight classes. Two-time national champion Alex Dieringer (165) and returning All-American Dean Heil (141) hold No. 1 rankings. Four other Cowboys are ranked in the top-8: Eddie Klimara (125), Joe Smith (157), Kyle Crutchmer (174) and Austin Marsden (285).

UNC moved down one spot to No. 14 in the USA Today/NWCA/Division I Coaches Poll and remains No. 11 in Intermat rankings. ACC schools NC State (4) and Virginia Tech (5) are the only conference schools ranked above them. Five UNC wrestlers rank among the top 20. Sophomore Ethan Ramos (174) is the highest ranked Tar Heel at No. 2 behind freshman Bo Nickal of Penn State. Fifth-ranked Evan Henderson (149) and No. 9 John Staudenmayer (165) are also ranked in the top 10, while No. 19 Alex Utley (184) also makes the rankings.

Dieringer Streak

Two-time defending national champion Dieringer extended his win streak to 72 with a 13-5 major decision over No. 15 Jim Wilson of Stanford. It was Dieringer's 20th bonus-point victory this season.

100-win club draws near

Kilmara notched his 100th career victory last weekend against Stanford, and Austin Marsden looks to join the 100-win club with a win. He picked up his 99th career victory against the Cardinal, and would become the third active Cowboy with 100 career wins, along with Dieringer and Kilmara.

Cowboys out

Crutchmer and Smith, both ranked eighth in their respective weight class, look like they will be out for the dual. Coach John Smith said Crutchmer will be out for the weekend, while he said is son, Joe Smith, is questionable with a knee injury, reports The O'Colly.

Ranked vs. ranked

There are four bouts featuring two ranked wrestlers with Dieringer and Stadudenmayer the main attraction. Dieringer holds a victory over the Tar Heel, and Boyd also has a win over Utley. It will be a rubber match between Heil and Ward at 141 as the series is tied 1-1, while Collica and Henderson have never met.

Weight Matchup
125 No. 6 Eddie Klimara (24-3) vs. Cody Karns (1-5) OR Anthony Bosco (4-14)
133 Gary Wayne Harding (11-8) vs. James Szymanski (7-15)
141 No. 1 Dean Heil (23-0) vs. No. 11 Joey Ward (14-3)
149 No. 12 Anthony Collica (12-6) vs. No. 5 Evan Henderson (19-4)
157 Ryan Blees (12-5) OR Hestin Lamons (9-6) vs. Robert Henderson (19-4)
165 No. 1 Alex Dieringer (23-0) vs. No. 9 John Stadudenmayer (18-7)
174 Chandler Rogers (23-6) vs. No. 2 Ethan Ramos (19-2)
184 No. 13 Nolan Boyd (23-6) vs. No. 19 Alex Utley (21-6)
197 Preston Weigel (14-8) OR Andrew Marsden (16-7) vs. Chip Ness (17-9)
285 No. 5 Austin Marsden (22-1) vs. Cory Daniel (7-15)

What: No. 3 OSU vs. No. 14 North Carolina

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Gallagher-Iba Arena



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