The Oklahoma State wrestling team will face North Carolina State in the first NCAA dual outside of North America on Jan. 5 in Naples, Italy.
"We're excited for the opportunity to wrestle in Italy this season," said Oklahoma State head coach John Smith said in a release. "As a program, Oklahoma State has had the opportunity to be a part of many firsts in our sport, and it will be a great experience for our student-athletes to showcase college wrestling overseas for the first time."
"This was a very exciting dual to get on our schedule," said NC State head coach Pat Popolizio. "It is very special for us to have our team make this international trip, and expose them to a different culture. Anywhere you wrestle Oklahoma State you are facing one of the top teams year in and year out in the NCAA, but we are also going to have the opportunity to showcase collegiate wrestling to a whole new audience.
The Cowboys have finished in the top 10 each of the past eight seasons, including a runner-up finish to Penn State in 2017. Oklahoma State returns two-time 141-pound champion Dean Heil and seven All-Americans from the 2017 squad. Heil will have the marquee match of the dual against two-time All-American Kevin Jack.
OSU and NC State have split their last two duals. In 2015, the Cowboys rode away with a 20-12 victory after two major decisions in the final matches in Raleigh, North Carolina, while the Wolf Pack picked up a 19-15 road victory in Stillwater in 2016, by winning the final three matches.