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Hawks not about to 'spiral'

BY JORDAN HANSEN | FEBRUARY 23, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Iowa wrestling team isn’t in trouble.

Yes, it fell, 18-12, in the National Duals finals to Missouri, and it was a disappointing loss, but not much more than that, at least according to Iowa’s Mike Evans.

“It’s not the end of the year; it’s not the end of the season,” he said. “There’s another next competition, so you have to focus on that.”

He’s certainly correct. Iowa still has the Big Tens and NCAAs to worry about and a dual loss to Missouri shouldn’t have any residual effect.

“There are close situations there where it’s got to go your way, and it didn’t go our way,” Brands said. “Here’s the thing, you’re not going to get me to say this will define our season or spiral. It’s just a matter of what do you want and when you decide what you want, to go get it.

“It’s not going to be handed to you, and that’s nothing new, is it?”

His assessment was more than correct. The swing weights did not swing Iowa’s way against Missouri, and with all due respect to the National Duals, at the end of the day, it’s just losing a dual.

It won’t have much effect on seeding in March. Sure, the trophy would have looked nice in the case, but there’s more important fodder to go after. 

“Who’s talking about spiraling, you know?” Brands said. “That’s what I would say.”

He certainly has a point. Falling to Missouri is Iowa’s only blemish on the season to this point. The Hawkeyes have a couple weeks to figure out what went wrong during the dual, fix it, and move on.

Similarly, while Missouri head coach Brian Smith was ecstatic after winning the Duals, he felt that it was just a step forward for his team. 

“We’ve got to show up in March and get the job done, and that’s our focus, we just got to keep going,” Smith said. “This was big; we won the National Duals, but now we got to get our mind focused and get ready for the MACs in two weeks.”

Until the National Duals are part of the NCAA Tournament or dissipated, teams will use the competition as a warm-up for March competition.

For Iowa, there is work to do, but it’s not work that can’t be done. A lot of buildup went into the tournament and everything that went along with it, but now isn’t the time to push the panic button.

If anything, it’s just proof that there’s more work for them to do.

“You grow every time, that’s a philosophy that I think you learn as you get mature, as a young kid you might not think that way and your whole world comes crashing down, but you always go forward,” Brands said. “I’ll tell you, this stings — but you have to keep walking.”

Follow @JordyHansen on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa wrestling team.


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