Purdue’s Matt Ramos pinned 3-time wrestling champion Spencer Lee in a stunning upset

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Purdue’s Matt Ramos pins Iowa’s Spencer Lee in a massive grapple

Purdue’s Matt Ramos pulled off a stunning feat by pinning three-time defending champion Spencer Lee in the semifinals of the NCAA Division I wrestling tournament.

Tulsa, Oklahoma. – Purdue’s Matt Ramos pulled off one of the most stunning upsets in NCAA Division I wrestling history, ending Spencer Lee’s pursuit of four national titles with a pin in the dying seconds of Friday night’s semifinal match.

Ramos, ranked No. 4 at 125 pounds, lost with 1 second left in the third game to end the nation’s longest winning streak at 58 matches.

Ramos was talking about his belief that he could defeat Lee.

“I work hard and believe in what I believe in, and be able to speak it into existence — not trying to be cocky or anything, but if I can’t get it out into the world, then I don’t think it will.”

That would make Cornell’s Yanni Diakomihalis the only wrestler still in contention for his fourth title on Saturday. He defeated Shane Van Ness of Penn State 8-3 in his semi-final match for £149. If Diakomihalis defeats Sammy Sasso of Ohio State in the final, he will become the fifth wrestler to win four Division I national championships.

Purdue’s Matt Ramos (L) on pulling off one of the biggest upsets in NCAA wrestling history: “It’s a dream for me.”Brett Rougeau, USA Today Sports

Diakomihalis was well aware that Li had lost before he made it to the semi-finals.

“At the 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 controlling — maybe even more dominant than I was.”

Diakomihalis said he understands the pressure Li has been facing.

“You have to feel it a little bit, right?” He said. “I’m kind of in a similar situation. The whole arena is waiting for you to lose. They probably aren’t cheering against you, but in the back of their heads 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 State comes in second with 77.5 points, followed by Cornell (64) and Ohio State (62).

But Ramos was the story of the night. Lee led 4-1 at halftime, but Lee scored four near-falls in the second period to take a 5-4 lead and step up the drama in the third period.

Ramos will face Princeton champion Pat Glory, who beat Nebraska’s Liam Cronin 8-2 in the other semifinal game, in the tournament on Saturday. Glory, the No. 2 seed, is undefeated.

“It’s a dream for me,” said Ramos. “The job isn’t over yet.”

The three Penn State wrestlers seeking their third national titles—Roman Bravo Young at 133, Carter Starucci at 174, and Aaron Brooks at 184—advanced to the finals.

Bravo Young had two points in an upset victory over Michael McGee of Arizona State. He now has the country’s longest winning streak at 56 games.

“That was a fun game out there,” said Bravo Young. “I found a way to get it done.”

Bravo Young will face Cornell’s Vito Araujao, who defeated Dutton Vicks of Oklahoma 11-3 in the other semi-final. Fix lost in the finals three times, but was undefeated and the second seed.

Starucci defeated Cornell’s Chris Fuca in the semifinals and advanced to face Nebraska’s Mickey Labriola in the final. Starocci defeated Labriola 6-1 in the Big Ten Final in an undefeated battle.

Third seed Brooks defeated No. 2 Trent Hilday of North Carolina State 6-3 in the semifinals. He will face top seed Parker Kikizen of Northern Iowa in the final.

Penn State earned its fourth Final Four when freshman Levi Haynes, ranked No. 2, defeated Nebraska’s Peyton Rupp in the semifinals at 157. He would face North Carolina’s Austin O’Connor in the final. The top seed remained undefeated after Lehigh defeated Josh Humphries.

At 165, top seed David Carr defeated Quincy Princeton Monday 6-5 in a semi-final. Monday’s father is the 1988 gold wrestler Kenny Monday.

Other No. 1 seeds who advanced to the Finals include Mason Bars of Michigan at 285, Pete Nino Bonaccorsi at 197 and Real Woods of Iowa at 141.

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