Purdue’s Matt Ramos pinned three-time wrestling champion Spencer Lee in an incredible upset

Associated Press4 minute reading

Purdue’s Matt Ramos defeated Iowa’s Spencer Lee in a colossal wrestling upset

Purdue’s Matt Ramos pulled off an incredible feat by defeating three-time defending champion Spencer Lee in the semifinals of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.

TULSA, Okla. — Purdue’s Matt Ramos pulled off one of the most stunning upsets in NCAA Division I wrestling history, ending Iowa’s Spencer Lee’s pursuit of four national titles with a pin in the final seconds of their semifinal match Friday night.

Ramos, the No. 4 seed at 125 pounds, was down with one second left in the third period to snap the nation’s longest winning streak at 58 games.

Ramos has been vocal about his belief that he can beat Lee.

“I work really hard and I believe in what I believe in, and the ability to bring it into existence — I’m not trying to be cocky or anything, but if I can’t bring it out into the world, then I don’t believe it’s going to happen,” he said. .

That will leave Cornell’s Yianni Diakomihalis as 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 Sass in the finals, he will become the fifth wrestler to win four Division I national championships.

Purdue’s Matt Ramos (left) on pulling off one of the biggest upsets in NCAA wrestling history: “It’s a dream come true for me.”Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sport

Diakomihalis was aware that Lee had lost before his semi-final.

“In the moment it was like, ‘Wow, I didn’t know what to think,'” Diakomihalis said. “I mean, he’s one of those guys that was very dominant — probably more dominant than me.”

Diakomihalis said he understands the pressure Lee is facing.

“You have to feel him a little, 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 rooting for you, but secretly in the back of your head, it gets a little louder when the other guy goes to score.”

Penn State is closing in on 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 talk of the night. He led Lee 4-1 at the end of the first period, but Lee scored four close points in the second period for a 5-4 lead and set up drama in the third.

Ramos will face Princeton’s Pat Glory, who beat Nebraska’s Liam Cronin 8-2 in the other semifinal, for the title on Saturday. Glory, the second seed, is undefeated.

It’s a dream for me, Ramos said. “The work is not done yet.”

Three Penn State wrestlers seeking their third national title — Roman Bravo-Young at 133, Carter Starocci at 174 and Aaron Brooks at 184 — all advanced to the finals.

Bravo-Young earned two sudden victory points against Arizona State’s Michael McGee. He now has the longest national streak at 56 matches.

“It was a fun match,” Bravo-Young said. “I found a way to do it.”

Bravo-Young will face Cornell’s Vito Arujau, who beat Oklahoma State’s Daton Fix 11-3 in the other semifinal. Fix lost three times in the finals, but was undefeated and was seeded second.

Starocci defeated Cornell’s Chris Foca in the semifinals to advance to the finals against Nebraska’s Mikey Labriola. Starocci defeated Labriola 6-1 in the Big Ten final in a battle of the undefeated.

Brooks, seeded third, defeated second-seeded Trent Hilday of North Carolina State 6-3 in the semifinals. He will face top seed Parker Keckeisen of Northern Iowa in the finals.

Penn State got a fourth finalist when freshman Levi Haines, the second seed, defeated Nebraska’s Peyton Robb in the semifinals at 157. He will face North Carolina’s Austin O’Connor in the finals. The top seed remained undefeated with a win over Lehigh’s Josh Humphreys.

At 165, top seed David Carr defeated Princeton’s Quincy Monday 6-5 in the semifinals. Monday’s father is 1988 Olympic gold medalist in wrestling, Kenny Monday.

Other No. 1 seeds to advance to the finals were Michigan’s Mason Parris at 285, Pitt’s Nino Bonaccorsi at 197 and Iowa’s Real Woods at 141.

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