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In one of college wrestling's greatest upsets, Matt Ramos (Purdue) pinned three-time national champion Spencer Lee with one second left in their 125 lb semifinal match Friday night.
Lee's quest for four national titles and his 58-match win streak, the longest in America, came to an end with this stunning loss. ESPN broadcast also captured Lee's mother Cathy's reaction after witnessing the stunning defeat - she threw away her glasses in disbelief!
Ramos' pin of Spencer Lee in the 125-pound semifinals was one of the more thrilling finishes at this year's NCAA Championship. Lee had taken a late lead and appeared to be heading for his fourth national title when Ramos rallied to tie the match and then, with just seconds remaining in the third period, he pinned Lee.
Ramos, Purdue's first All-American since 2013, will face Pat Glory of Princeton in the finals. Glory has been unbeatable this season, defeating two-time champion Anthony DiMagno of Arizona State by 12-1 score and defending champion Austin O'Connor of North Carolina via 14-1 technical fall.
Top seeds in the 184-pound division -- Aaron Brooks from Penn State, Carter Starocci also from Penn State and Roman Bravo-Young from Michigan -- have all made it to championship matches. Additionally, freshman Levi Haines of Penn State made it into the 157 pound finals by defeating Nebraska's Peyton Robb.
Three wrestlers have won their opening four bouts by a combined total of 57 points and are in pursuit of their third national titles. Bravo-Young also prevailed in his fourth match, defeating Arizona State's Michael McGee with a two-point takedown in sudden victory time.
Kerkvliet advanced to the 197-pound finals with a 4-2 victory over Air Force's Wyatt Hendrickson. He will face No. 1 seed Nino Bonaccorsi of Pitt, who defeated Tanner Sloan of South Dakota State 5-3 in the quarterfinals for a place in the championship matchup.
Rooks' win in the 141-pound final would give him his third national title and place him behind Lee (2019) and Alirez (2021) as Iowa's most decorated wrestling champions of all time. Last season's runner-up to Lee, Rooks finished his collegiate career at 99-6 and is planning on competing in the 2024 Olympics.
On Monday, the fifth-seeded boxer at 165 pounds became a national champion after winning six consecutive bouts. He took care of Stanford's Shane Griffith with a 2-1 decision to advance to the semifinals, where he will face top-seeded David Carr of Iowa State for a place in the title matchup.
Lee's story is one of resiliency, as he overcame torn ACLs in both knees and underwent surgery to repair them. Returning to the wrestling program in December 2022 with hopes of becoming Iowa's first-ever four-time NCAA champion is truly inspirational.
At the NCAA Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma earlier this month, Matt Ramos of Purdue shocked the wrestling world by pinnating Spencer Lee of Iowa to claim victory in the 125 lb Semifinals. It was one of the most dramatic upsets in collegiate wrestling history.
Lee entered the tournament 58-0 and was hoping to become just the fifth four-time national champion in college wrestling history. As the top-ranked 125 pound wrestler in America, he was widely expected to take home the title in Tulsa.
Ramos came on in the semifinals and ended Lee's winning streak with a pin in the last seconds, cementing himself as one of college wrestling's biggest upsets and capping off an incredible career at Iowa. It will go down as one of the greatest upsets ever and provided him with an unforgettable sendoff.
Lee started off strong in the opening round with a takedown and three nearfalls. He also used a back point to score two points during that span, giving him an early 4-2 lead going into the second period.
Ramos had an exciting third period, tying the match and then pinnating Lee with only seconds left to advance to Saturday's finals.
Lee was able to fight through the match with help from his family and training staff at Iowa, holding off Ramos' attempt at a takedown and staying upright throughout the final minutes.
Ramos secured a 6-4 victory to advance to the finals against Pat Glory of Princeton - the defending champion. This will be an exciting battle between two of 2023's greatest national champions.
Lee had the advantage early, but Ramos was able to restore order with a takedown late in the first period. He held an advantage going into the second, and when Lee started faltering late in the final frame, Ramos was there to capitalize and pin him.
Friday night, Ramos stunned the collegiate wrestling world with an epic upset of top-ranked Spencer Lee in the semifinals of the 2023 NCAA Championship. In a dramatic finish, Ramos pinned Lee with one second left to end Lee's remarkable win streak of 58 matches and deny him his fourth national title.
Lee's loss is the first major upset in the NCAAs for some time and it will be a difficult obstacle for him to overcome. His 97-5 record entering the championships already marked an incredible achievement; but his consistency continued as he never lost in any semifinal before this fourth consecutive finals appearance and fifth overall.
On Friday night, Matt Ramos - a sophomore at Purdue - made history with an astonishing upset of top-ranked 125-pounder Spencer Lee. After going 18-0 this season, Ramos reached the semifinals at 125 pounds against Lee who had never lost before against anyone this season.
Ramos became the first 125-pounder to reach the finals at the NCAA Championship since Dan Gable in 1972, as his reversal with one second remaining sealed a stunning upset and sent him through to the 2023 semifinals.
David Carr, the top-seeded 165 pounder at the 2023 championships, advanced to the finals with a 6-5 win over Quincy Monday - father of 1988 Olympic wrestling gold medalist Kenny Monday. He will face Missouri's Keegan O'Toole in the finals.
Parker Keckeisen of UNI, who earned his third All-American title with a fifth-place finish at 184 pounds, also advanced to the finals. He won his quarterfinal match by fall against Ohio State's Aaron Brooks and his semifinal match by pin against Nebraska's Brock Hardy.
Northern Iowa, which finished 16th overall, boasted two All-Americans. Senior Max Murin went 6-0 in the wrestlebacks while Nelson Brands (174), Jacob Warner (197) and Real Woods (141) combined to go 6-4 in their consolation matches, finishing as high as sixth.
Lee's loss on Friday was devastating for him and the Hawkeyes, yet it will not be the end of his career. He plans to continue training in the weight room and stay at Iowa for another season while mentoring his teammates in the future.
In one of college wrestling's biggest upsets, Purdue redshirt sophomore Matt Ramos shocked three-time NCAA champion Spencer Lee with a reversal with one second left in their 125 lb semifinal match. Lee, who had won three national titles despite missing time due to a torn ACL, battled with the fourth seed throughout most of the contest until Ramos used a front head pinch he learned while practicing freestyle to take Lee down and put him on his back for the pin.
Ramos now advances to the national finals, where she will face Princeton senior Pat Glory - the No. 2 seed - for a spot in the championship matchup that kicks off Saturday night at 7pm ET on ESPN.
Glory, a two-time New Jersey state champion as a wrestler for Delbarton, is in his third year at Princeton and has won 17 matches. His average match score this season stands at nearly 22 points per match and includes victories over InterMat ranked opponents such as No. 5 Dylan Shawver of Rutgers and No. 19 Brandon Kaylor from Oregon State in dual meets.
He's a two-time EIWA Champion and finished as the conference's top 125-pounder this year. A first-team All-Ivy selection, he has an overall record of 20-2 with 13 bonus point victories.
Glory has reached the 125-pound final in his second NCAA tournament after easily defeating Nebraska's Liam Cronin 8-2 on Friday in the semifinals. Now he will get another shot at winning a national title after falling to Nick Suriano of Michigan last year in the 125-pound final.
In the finals, Penn State, who has advanced five of its finalists into the championship round, and six total All-Americans, will compete for the team title. Roman Bravo-Young (133), Carter Starocci (174) and Aaron Brooks (184) are all seeking their third straight NCAA title while Levi Haines (157) and Greg Kerkvliet aim to claim their first collegiate titles.
Other New Jersey-based wrestlers making the finals included Iowa's Real Woods at 141 pounds, Rider's Quincy Monday at 165 pounds and Bethel Park graduate Nino Bonaccorsi of Pitt at 197 pounds. If all goes according to plan, Bonaccorsi could become Pitt's first champion since Keith Gavin won at 174 pounds in 2008.