Purdue's Matt Ramos celebrates his win over Iowa's Spencer Lee. Purdue’s Matt Ramos celebrates after pinning Iowa’s Spencer Lee at 125 pounds in the semifinals during the fourth session of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, Friday, March 17, 2023, at BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. 230317 Ncaa S4 Wr 017 Jpg

How will Purdue’s athletic department remember March 17, 2023? That’s a complicated question.

In one respect, it will not be remembered well at all. The Boilermakers, the top seed in the East Region of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, were on the wrong end of a 63-58 final score against No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson. Given that’s only the second time in the history of the tournament that a No. 16 seed beat a No. 1 seed, it’ll be a hard loss for Purdue to stomach.

But elsewhere in the athletic department, the Boilermakers scored a win that might even be a bigger upset.

Iowa’s Spencer Lee was heavily favored to win the 125-pound division at the NCAA Wrestling Championships in Tulsa. Lee was going for his fourth championship. And carrying a late lead, there was no reason to believe that Lee wouldn’t at least get into the finals.

But Ramos battled back to tie the match. Then, with only seconds remaining in the third round, he did the unthinkable. Ramos not only beat Lee, but he pinned him.

Following the match, ESPN’s camera’s caught Lee’s mother breaking her glasses in frustration. The reaction to that overshadowed the larger story.

Matt Ramos pinned Spencer Lee. Lee is not only the best collegiate wrestler in the world today but he’s arguably the greatest ever. He was vying for his fourth national championship, something only four other men have done in history. To show how rare that is, 12 people have walked on the moon.

In the aftermath of the incredible upset, wrestling fans marked the occasion.


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