University of Missouri

Mizzou wrestling draws Nebraska for National Championship Dual Series

The Missouri wrestling team beat Iowa in the final of last year’s NWCA National Duals in Iowa City.
The Missouri wrestling team beat Iowa in the final of last year’s NWCA National Duals in Iowa City. 2015 file photo

Missouri qualified for the 2016 National Wrestling Coaches Association Division I National Championship Dual Series as the undefeated Mid-American Conference regular-season champions.

The Tigers, who are ranked No. 6 nationally, will battle former Big Eight/Big 12 rival Nebraska at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Devaney Center in Lincoln, Neb.

It will be the first meeting with the Cornhuskers, who are ranked No. 11 in the country, since Jan. 30, 2011.

Missouri won the National Duals title last season, knocking off Iowa in the final, but the format has changed. There is no bracket for advancement this season.

The dual will be streamed live on the Big Ten Network Plus.

The Tigers — who have won four straight conference titles, including the last three MAC championships and the 2012 Big 12 title — are 13-2 in duals this season with losses at No. 3 Oklahoma State and No. 4 North Carolina State.

Missouri, which has nine wrestlers ranked by the NCAA Coaches’ Panel that helps set the national tourney field, takes aim at a fourth straight MAC crown March 5-6 at Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti, Mich.

Junior J’den Cox is the No. 2-ranked wrestler in the 197-pound weight class, junior Lavion Mayes is third at 149 and redshirt freshman Daniel Lewis, a Blue Springs graduate, is fourth at 165. Senior Blaise Butler checks in fifth at 174.

The other ranked Tigers are sophomore Barlow McGhee (125 pounds, No. 11), junior Zach Synon (133, No. 14), junior Matt Manley (141, No. 6), senior and Belton graduate Le’Roy Barnes (157, No. 29) and sophomore Willie Miklus (184, No. 11).

Tod Palmer: 816-234-4389, @todpalmer

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