Minnesota and Big Ten Dual Champ Michigan Finish 1-2 in Final National Poll
Feb. 22, 2006
Michael Watts, Michigan
Watts, a true freshman, got the momentum rolling early for the Wolverines in their weekend duals against top-ranked Minnesota and No. 17 Indiana, earning back-to-back wins at 125 pounds as U-M captured its third straight Big Ten dual-meet title. Last Friday, Watts used a pair of third-period takedowns to take control against Minnesota's Travis Lang and claim an upset 9-6 decision. Against the Hoosiers on Sunday, Watts boasted a dominant 13-1 major decision against Blane Culp behind three takedowns and five back points. Finding his groove heading into the postseason tournaments, the Wolverine has won four straight matches.
Last MICH WOW: Josh Churella (2/1/06)
This past week, the Michigan Wolverines claimed sole possession of the 2006 Big Ten regular-season dual-meet title with a sweep of top-ranked Minnesota and No. 17 Indiana. The then-No. 3 Wolverines knocked off the previously undefeated Golden Gophers with a 19-15 victory on their home mat Friday and followed with a 31-9 victory over the Hoosiers on Sunday. With the wins, the Wolverines closed the regular season with a 16-2 overall record and won their third-straight Big Ten dual-meet championship outright with a perfect 8-0 mark.
For the first time this season, more than one team received first-place votes in the USA Today/NWCA/InterMat Division I Coaches Poll, and both of those teams are from the Big Ten. Michigan's upset over Minnesota gave the Wolverines the conference title, but the Golden Gophers held on to their No. 1 ranking. Minnesota's 20-1 record, combined with two wins over previous No. 1 Oklahoma State, gave the Golden Gophers the top spot in the final poll, as the majority of the dual meet season came to a close this past weekend.
No. 18 Michigan State, however, will finish its regular season on the road at 10th-ranked Oklahoma on Thursday.