Rapid Reaction: No 14 Wisconsin topped by No. 24 Northern Iowa

MADISON — For the second time in as many weeks, the Wisconsin wrestling team suffered an upset loss at home.

The No. 14 Badgers fell to No. 24 Northern Iowa 20-18 Thursday night at the UW Field House.

Each team won five bouts, but a pin from UNI’s Jay Schwarm in the opening bout of the night at 125 loomed large as the Panthers left Madison as victors.

UW got a victory via technical fall from No. 1 Seth Gross at 133. Fourth-ranked Evan Wick scored a major decision at 165, while No. 15 Cole Martin (149), Drew Scharenbrock (157) and No. 5 Trent Hillger (285) each won by decision.

Here are a few knee-jerk reactions and storylines that came from Thursday’s action.

Gross goes out a winner

Redshirt senior Seth Gross capped his only season as a Badger in emphatic fashion.

The No. 1 wrestler in the land at 133 pounds earned a 16-0 technical fall over UNI’s Jack Skudlarczyk.

Gross ends the regular season with a 24-1 record, including a 7-0 mark at the Field House.

He is now 12-1 against ranked opponents. That record gives him the most ranked wins and best winning percentage against ranked opponents of any UW wrestler on the roster with three or more ranked matches.

Moran upended 

By contrast, No. 4 Tristan Moran (141) saw his home career end on a sour note.

The redshirt senior fell to No. 11 Michael Blockhus 9-4.

Moran never led in the bout and suffered just his fourth loss of the season. All of his defeats have come at the hands of opponents who were ranked in the top-11 at the time.

Scharenbrock victorious in return to lineup 

Drew Scharenbrock made his first start since Feb. 2

The redshirt freshman missed Wisconsin’s last three duals because he was “dinged up” according to UW head coach Chris Bono.

Scharenbrock’s return to competition saw him score a 7-2 win over Northern Iowa’s Derek Holschlag in a bout he led wire-to-wire.

That’s a wrap

Despite the loss, the Badgers ended the dual portion of the season with an 11-6 record. That is their highest win total since the 2013-14 campaign and is nearly four wins better than their five-year average.

Tournament time draws near as Big Tens are March 7-8 in Piscataway, New Jersey.

The national tournament is March 19-21 in Minneapolis.

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