PHILADELPHIA – Saturday’s Ivy League showdown between the Penn Quakers and the No. 15 Cornell Big Red has major Ivy League championship implications, and the match (1 p.m.) will now a have a broadcast reach worthy of such a contest as the dual meet has been picked up for simulcast by ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app in addition to its regularly-scheduled airing on the Ivy League Digital Network.
The Quakers and Big Red have secured at least a share of the last 29 Ivy League championships. Cornell has had an impressive run of late, winning the Ivy title each of the past 13 seasons dating back to 2002-03. The Quakers have won six Ivy titles since the two teams took control of the Ivy League in 1986-87, and the winner of the Penn-Cornell dual has earned at least a part of the Ivy crown every year since.
The Quakers are 2-1 in Ivy League matches and 5-3 overall, while Cornell will enter the weekend with a 4-5 overall record and a 3-0 record in Ivy duals.
Last season, the Quakers were thinking upset in Ithaca, winning three of the first four matches and holding a 9-8 lead at halftime before a pin for Cornell at 165 changed the momentum and the Big Red then won a pair of overtime matches and a one-point decision at 197 pounds secured the win for Cornell.
A total of eight wrestlers ranked inside the Top 20 in this week’s InterMat rankings will compete on Saturday, including a pair of matchups between ranked opponents.
At 184 pounds, No. 15 Lorenzo Thomas and No. 1 Gabe Dean will meet for the seventh time. Dean has had the better of each meeting as collegians, but four of the previous six have been decided by three points or less – including a 3-1 decision in overtime in last season’s dual and a 10-7 decision at EIWAs last March. Dean is the defending national champion and a two-time All-American, while Thomas earned All-American honors in 2014.
At 174 pounds, expect a rematch between No. 15 Casey Kent and No. 5 Brian Realbuto from this season’s Southern Scuffle. Kent won that bout, 8-5, when Realbuto was ranked No. 1 in the country.