What is it about the ides of March that make heavy NCAA favorites and Roman rulers so susceptible to catastrophic losses?
If you’re a college basketball fan, your busted bracket (seriously, what in the world is a “Fairleigh Dickinson”?) is a harsh reminder of that reality.
If you’re a fan of Julius Caesar, sorry for your loss.
But if you are a college basketball fan, you were likely watching those Fairleigh Dickinson Knights become just the second 16-seed to beat a 1-seed in NCAA tournament history on Friday night, at the expense of the Purdue Boilermakers and star Zach Edey.
Obviously, it was an immensely painful loss for Purdue. Just look at the whiteboard in the team’s locker room:
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But Purdue fans can take some solace in knowing that they were on the opposite end of a massive upset in a different NCAA sport — wrestling.
Purdue’s Matt Ramos stunned the amateur wrestling world when he upset Iowa’s Spencer Lee in a semifinal match on Friday night. Ramos won via pinfall with just one second left in the third period.
The gravity of this upset can’t be understated.
Lee wasn’t just chasing a fourth Division I national title (a feat only accomplished by four wrestlers in history, according to The Associated Press). The Iowa grappler was also in the midst of a 58-match winning streak — the longest win streak in the country.
It’s the equivalent of a dynastic college basketball program winning three national championships in a row, only to lose before even making the NCAA tournament finals in its bid for a four-peat.
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And if you still have any doubts as to how huge this upset was, look no further than Lee’s mother, who went viral for treating her glasses worse than Purdue treats whiteboards:
That reaction was as pure a distillation of “the agony of defeat” as has ever been caught on camera.
Ramos will next be wrestling Princeton’s Pat Glory on Saturday in the finals of the 125-pound weight class.
Ironically, Princeton knows a thing or two about massive NCAA upsets itself. Just ask President Joe Biden, whose bracket (probably like yours) is in shambles thanks to the Tigers.
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