#3 NC State Wolfpack (12-0, 2-0 ACC) vs. #8 North Carolina Tar Heels (11-1, 2-0 ACC)
Friday, February 7 • 7 PM
Raleigh, N.C. • Reynolds Coliseum
#PackMentality Pop-Ins Podcast: Ep. 61 - UNC Dual Preview
Top-Three National Ranking, Now 70 Straight Polls in Top-10
After its first top-10 road win since 2016, a 21-12 win at #10 Pitt this past weekend, the Wolfpack moved up one spot in the NWCA Coaches Poll and now sits at #3 nationally. The new ranking ties as the second-highest in school history (#2 in the final poll of 2016).
NC State was ranked #10 in this season’s preseason poll, then #9 in each of the next four weeks. After wins at #15 Cornell and Binghamton, the Pack climbed to #7, and then to #6 for five straight polls. A 29-12 win over then-No. 12 Princeton brought the Pack to #5, which it held for a pair of polls, and the Pack was #4 after it opened ACC action with a 28-9 home win over Virginia.
NC State has been ranked in the top-10 in the Coaches Poll for 70 straight polls dating back over five seasons, after having not been ranked in the top-10 at all since 1993.
In this week's InterMat Rankings, NC State has six of its 10 starters among the top-20, including three in the top-10 - both of those marks lead the ACC.
@PackWrestle vs. Ranked Foes
#8 North Carolina is the second of three straight top-10 ACC foes the Pack will face in the upcoming weeks. NC State is 25-8 against ranked foes over the last five seasons, with a winning record each season. Even more impressive, NC State is 14-4 in ranked battles outside of Raleigh during that time.
This season, the Pack is 3-0 against ranked squads: 25-9 win at #15 Cornell (25-9), a 29-12 home win over #12 Princeton, and a 21-12 win at #10 Pitt last weekend.
The Home Advantage
NC State enjoys one of the biggest home mat advantages when it competes in Reynolds Coliseum. Since Reynolds was reopened for the 2016-17 season after a $35 million renovation, NC State is 23-3 in home duals inside Reynolds. The Pack is 7-1 in ACC duals in that span.
Undefeated in Dual Action
NC State is off to a 12-0 start to the 2019-20 season, the second-best start in school history (21-0 in 2015-16). The Pack also hit 10-0 for the third time in the past five seasons.
So far this season, NC State has outscored its foes 379-88 (31.6-7.3) in its 12-0 start. The Pack has won 95 of its 120 individual matches (79.2%) and 49 of those 95 wins have been for bonus points (51.6%).
NC State is one of just two remaining undefeated teams in the NCAA (Iowa - 8-0).
Hayden Hidlay on a Mission
R-Jr. Hayden Hidlay has won the 157-pound ACC Championship each of his first two seasons, and he isn't done yet. In his career, Hidlay is 18-0 all-time against ACC foes, including 12-0 in duals and 10-0 vs. ranked conference foes.
This season he has gone for bonus points in his first two conference duals, a 14-1 major vs. #27 McCoy of Virginia and then a 16-1 tech fall at Pitt vs. Rahmani last weekend.
Trent Hidlay Enjoying Rookie Success
The NC State coaching staff could hardly wait all of last season, as Trent Hidaly was a part of practice and open tournaments while redshirting. The patience paid off, as Hidlay has ascending into the top-three of every poll after his 20-2 start to the season.
Hidlay has already scored four top-10 wins this season, and five wins over ranked opponents this year. He is a perfect 12-0 in dual action, 2-0 in ACC duals this far.
Five times this season, the ACC Wrestler of the Week award has gone to one of the Hidlay brothers. Hayden has won the award a league-best three times, while younger brother Trent has been named twice. Only one other wrestler in the ACC has won the award multiple times.
Trent was the most recent winner, earning the award for his fourth top-10 win of the season (6-3 over #7 Bonaccoris of Pitt last weekend).
@PackWrestle vs. North Carolina
NC State has won the last six matchups in the series with UNC, by a combined 134-74. The Wolfpack has also won three in a row at home vs. the Tar Heels. Last year, after dropping the first bout, #10 NC State won the next five, and six of the next seven, and picked up the road ACC win over #13 North Carolina, 20-14.
Friday's Probable Starters
125: R-Fr. Jakob Camacho (15-6) vs. R-Fr. Joey Melendez (8-4) OR R-Fr. Jeremiah Derby (4-6)
133: R-Fr. Jarrett Trombley (16-6) vs. R-So. Jaime Hernandez (12-7)
141: #11 R-Jr. Tariq Wilson (21-4) vs. #10 R-So. Zach Sherman (22-3)
149: R-So. A.J. Leitten (17-7) OR R-Fr. Matt Grippi (17-6) vs. #3 R-So. Austin O'Connor (18-1)
157: #2 R-Jr. Hayden Hidlay (23-1) vs. #15 R-Sr. A.C. Headlee (14-5) OR R-Jr. Josh McClure (18-5) OR R-Fr. Michael Goldfeder (3-6)
165: #10 R-Jr. Thomas Bullard (20-5) vs. #16 R-Jr. Kennedy Monday (18-5) OR R-Jr. Sawyer Davidson (15-7)
174: #18 R-Jr. Daniel Bullard (21-5) vs. R-So. Clay Lautt (15-5)
184: #3 R-Fr. Trent Hidlay (20-2) vs. R-Fr. Joey Mazzara (16-10)
197: #20 R-Jr. Nick Reenan (5-4) OR So. Tyrie Houghton (10-7) vs. So. Brandon Whitman (10-11)
285: So. Deonte Wilson (15-8) vs. R-Jr. Andrew Gunning (9-8) OR R-Fr. Keaton Kluever (4-3)
141: #11 Tariq Wilson vs. #10 Zach Sherman
Tariq Wilson is 3-0 in duals since the Southern Scuffle, including back-to-back wins to open his ACC slate. Sherman is one of the most improved wrestlers in the ACC, he has 11 straight wins and sits at 22-3 this year. Wilson holds a 3-0 career mark against Sherman, all coming at 133 pounds. The two met last year in the Wolfpack Wrestling Club Open, a 9-3 Wilson win. Then in 2018 they were both one-takedown matches, Wilson won 4-1 in the dual and 3-2 at the ACC Championship.
157: #2 Hayden Hidlay vs. #15 A.C. Headlee
Hidlay was won 11 straight matches, and sits at 23-1 on the year. He is a perfect 9-0 in duals, 2-0 in ACC action, and 18 of his 23 wins have been for bonus points. Headlee was a two-year NCAA Qualifier at 141 pounds the past two seasons before bumping up this year. He is at 14-5, 8-2 in duals including a 3-2 win over Virginia Tech’s LaPrade. This will be the first career meeting between Hidlay and Headlee.
165: #10 Thomas Bullard vs. #16 Kennedy Monday
Fresh of his fourth top-12 win of the seasonat Pitt, Bullard has moved into the top-10 by both InterMat and FloWrestling. He is 20-5 on the season, and has started 2-0 in ACC duals. Kennedy is back in the UNC lineup after missing last year, and just two weeks ago tech falled McFadden up at Virginia Tech. This will be the first career meeting between Bullard and Monday.