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Purdue’s Matt Ramos pins Iowa’s Spencer Lee in colossal wrestling excitement
Purdue’s Matt Ramos is a stunner as he pins three-time defending champion Spencer Lee in the semifinals of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship.
TULSA, Oklahoma — Purdue’s Matt Ramos pulled off one of the most impressive upsets in NCAA Division I wrestling history, ending Iowa’s Spencer Lee’s pursuit of four national titles with a pin in the dying seconds of their semifinals game Friday night.
Ramos, the No. 4 at 125 pounds, fell with a second remaining in the third period to end the nation’s longest 58-game winning streak.
Ramos had been vocal about his belief that he could beat Lee.
“I work really hard and have faith in what I believe in and to be able to put it into action – I’m not trying to be cocky or anything, but if I can’t get it out into the world then I can don’t think that will happen,” he said.
That leaves Cornell’s Yianni Diakomihalis the only wrestler still in contention for a fourth title on Saturday. He defeated Penn State’s Shayne Van Ness 8-3 in his semifinal match at 149 pounds. If Diakomihalis defeats Ohio State’s Sammy Sasso in the finals, he will become the fifth wrestler to win four Division I national championships.
Purdue’s Matt Ramos (left) on one of the biggest upsets in NCAA wrestling history: “It’s a dream come true for me.” Brett Rojo – USA TODAY Sports
Diakomihalis was aware that Lee had lost before his semifinals.
“In that moment it was like, ‘Wow, I didn’t know what to think,’” Diakomihalis said. “I mean, he’s one of those guys who was very dominant — probably more dominant than me.”
Diakomihalis said he understands the pressure Lee is under.
“You have to feel a bit for him, don’t you?” he said. “I’m kind of in a similar position. The whole arena is waiting for you to lose. Maybe they’re not cheering against you, but in the back of their minds it gets a little louder when the other guy goes to score.”
Penn State is nearing its 10th national title in 12 years. The Nittany Lions have 116.5 points. Iowa is second with 77.5 points, followed by Cornell (64) and Ohio State (62).
But Ramos was the story of the night. He led Lee 4-1 at the end of the first period, but Lee scored a 4-point near fall in the second period to take a 5-4 lead and set the stage for drama in the third period.
Ramos meets Pat Glory of Princeton for the championship on Saturday, who defeated Liam Cronin of Nebraska 8-2 in the other semifinal. Glory, the No. 2 seed, is undefeated.
“It’s a dream for me,” said Ramos. “The work is not done yet.”
The three Penn State wrestlers seeking their third national titles — Roman Bravo-Young at 133, Carter Starocci at 174, and Aaron Brooks at 184 — all made it to the finals.
Bravo-Young hit a two-point takedown on Arizona State’s Michael McGee in sudden winning time. He now has the nation’s longest winning streak at 56 games.
“It was a fun match,” said Bravo-Young. “I found a way to do it.”
Bravo-Young meets Cornell’s Vito Arujau in the other semifinal, who defeated Oklahoma State’s Daton Fix 11-3. Fix had lost three times in the final but he was undefeated and second.
Starocci defeated Cornell’s Chris Foca in the semifinals and faced Nebraska’s Mikey Labriola in the finals. Starocci defeated Labriola 6-1 in the Big Ten finals in an unbeaten clash.
Brooks, who was seeded third, defeated number two seed Trent Hilday of North Carolina State 6-3 in a semifinal. He meets top seed Parker Keckeisen of Northern Iowa in the final.
Penn State got a fourth finalist when freshman Levi Haines, No. 2 seed, defeated Nebraska’s Peyton Robb in the semifinals with 157. In the final he meets Austin O’Connor from North Carolina. The top finisher went undefeated after defeating Lehigh’s Josh Humphreys.
At 165, No. 1 seed David Carr defeated Princeton’s Quincy Monday 6-5 in a semifinal. Monday’s father is Kenny Monday, winner of the 1988 Olympic wrestling gold medal.
Other No. 1-seeded players who advanced to the Finals were Michigan’s Mason Parris with 285, Pitt’s Nino Bonaccorsi with 197, and Iowa’s Real Woods with 141.
Purdue’s Matt Ramos Pins Three-time Wrestling Champion Spencer Lee In Breathtaking Excitement – ESPN India – S Chronicles
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