Austin Hanson, Sports Editor

With the 2020-21 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship now in its pocket, Iowa wrestling has reignited its dormant dynasty.

Until the 2020-21 NCAA Championships, the Hawkeyes had not claimed a team title since 2010 — quite a drought for a program that has won 24 national championships over the last 46 years.

Given that, I expect Hawkeye head coach Tom Brands to bottle up the magic Iowa had in 2020-21 and use it to win a second-straight national title in 2021-22.

Brands has gone on a national championship streak before, rattling off three-straight team titles from 2008 to 2010. The Hawkeyes also went on a nine-title run from 1978 to 1986 and a six-championship streak from 1995 to 2000.

With all of Iowa’s 2020-21 lineup expected to return in 2021-22, there’s no reason to believe the Hawkeyes won’t repeat as national champions.

Two of Penn State’s 2020-21 national champions — 141-pound Nick Lee and 174-pound Carter Starocci — defeated Hawkeyes in the NCAA Championship finals.

Lee defeated Iowa’s Jaydin Eierman in overtime, and Starocci downed Iowa’s Michael Kemerer in sudden victory.

Kemerer and Eierman had defeated Lee and Starocci at the 2020-21 Big Ten Championships just two weeks prior.

Had Kemerer and Eierman won their NCAA Championship finals matches against Starocci and Lee, Penn State would’ve finished about 27 points away from first place with just two national champions to its name.

If Iowa wins close matches against foes like Lee and Starocci in 2021-22, it should have no problem claiming another NCAA championship crown.

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