Hawkeyes to host national dual series

IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa has been selected as one of eight host sites for the 2016 National Wrestling Coaches Association Division I National Championships Dual Series.

The second-ranked Hawkeyes will host an undetermined conference champion on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa’s opponent will be announced Sunday.

Formerly the NWCA National Duals Tournament, the National Championships Dual Series is a new format designed to match the top-eight Big Ten Conference programs against the regular season champion from the other seven NCAA Division I conferences. The eighth non-Big Ten team will be selected as an at-large based on its national ranking.

The eight Big Ten host schools include No. 1 Penn State, No. 2 Iowa, No. 9 Michigan, No. 10 Ohio State, No. 11 Nebraska, No. 14 Rutgers, No. 18 Minnesota and Indiana.

“The concept is similar to the bowl game series in football,” NWCA President Mark Cody said. “This format was developed by the Division I wrestling coaches and the NWCA’s role is to ensure that it gets off the ground. Our goal is to have the top eight ranked Big Ten schools host a non-Big Ten opponent with one of the duals determining the national dual meet title.”

Tuesday’s USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll is available at nwcaonline.com.

Iowa baseball 4th in B1G coaches poll

IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa baseball team has been picked to finish fourth in the Big Ten Conference preseason poll in a vote of the league’s 13 coaches.

Michigan was voted as the preseason favorite, followed by Maryland, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan State. Only the top six teams of the poll are released.

Seniors Calvin Mathews, Tyler Peyton and Nick Roscetti represented the Hawkeyes on the conference’s Players to Watch List.

Mathews was a second-team all-Big Ten selection in 2015 as a starting pitcher, going 5-3 with a 2.35 earned run average over 73 1/3 innings. Peyton was a third-team All-American by two publications after going 7-4 with a 3.03 ERA as Iowa’s Friday night starter, while hitting a team-best .337 with 31 RBIs. Roscetti was a third-team all-Big Ten honoree after hitting .303 with 27 runs and 27 RBIs in 56 games. He hit .391 in league play and his 36 hits were second-most in the conference.

The Hawkeyes open the 2016 season facing off against Dallas Baptist from Feb. 19-21 in Dallas.