28 min read
By Sean Mael
#24 Connor Brown (2-0) or Noah Surtin (1-1) vs. #6 Drew Hildebrandt (1-0)
This is one of many highly anticipated potential bouts between what on paper are the two best teams in the Mid-American Conference this season (truthfully Missouri and CMU are the premier programs in the MAC almost every season).
These two met one time, although the match occurred in December of 2017. Brown took that bout 5-3, whilst he was still a member of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits and both wrestlers were in their freshman, although Hildebrandt had already gone through a redshirt season.
In that match Brown got an early takedown and rode Hildebrandt hard. Hildebrandt got a takedown and had success riding late in the match after falling behind. Both wrestlers have changed significantly since then.
Brown is off to a solid start as he knocked off previously #24 ranked Danny Vega, SDSU by a major decision this past weekend and he looks healthy back down to weight after some injury concerns the past couple seasons.
Brown is a tremendous scrambler and is one of the funkiest and most exciting wrestlers at this weight class in the country. Hildebrant has changed a ton these last few seasons. He was always extremely lanky and an excellent rider, but he has added muscle and as a result he turns opponents at a much higher rate.
Hildebrant is also a very efficient finisher typically. One key to this match will be if Brown can create havoc off of Hildebrandt’s attempts and counter them for scores. Both guys are as noted extremely difficult to get away from, so this match will likely be decided in neutral and if either guy can get an early takedown and rideout they will be in great shape.
Brown looked outstanding last weekend, and both guys are likely to be AA’s this season in my opinion, but I have Hildebrandt winning a razor thin one point match here after staving off a late charge from Brown.
This match will be huge for both MAC and National tournament seeding potentially.
#6 Hildebrandt Dec. #24 Brown 6-5 (CMU 3-0)