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NCAA.com | February 11, 2015

Epic Eight NCAA Wrestling Finals Matches

Fans on social media will determine the most epic NCAA Wrestling finals match in history.

In Round 1, “Unprecedented Achievement” took on “ All on the Line” and #DakeTaylor13 claimed victory. 

Round 1: Unprecedented Achievement vs. All on the Line

2013: Dake (Cornell) over Taylor (Penn State), 4-3


Two talents like Dake and Taylor don’t come around that often, and when they meet in the same weight class (165), with one a three-time champion and the other a two-time champion, anticipation was high. The match reminded many of the Banach-Schultz hype from the 1980s. Dake and Taylor would wrestle last, as the NCAA re-ordered the finals to showcase this match. Dake had beaten Taylor twice earlier in the season, in the All-Star Classic (unofficial) and the finals of the Southern Scuffle. Taylor would strike first with a takedown, but Dake would take a 3-2 lead after a period with an escape and a takedown of his own. Dake extended the lead to 4-2 after an escape in the second. Taylor would escape and draw a stall point to knot the match 4-4, but Dake’s riding time (1:13) would be the difference-maker. Dake became the first wrestler in NCAA history to win four titles at four different weight classes.









1978: Kemp (Wisc) over Ward (Iowa State), 10-8


Wisconsin’s Lee Kemp was looking to win his third straight NCAA title, while Kelly Ward of Iowa State was aiming for his first. The rival grapplers were the top two seeds of the tournament in the 158-pound weight class. For Ward, an individual title would give the Cyclones the team championship. With the pressure of a team championship on the line and wrestling in his home state of Maryland, Ward slipped behind early in the match. Kemp jumped out to an 8-1 lead heading into the third period before Ward closed the gap, making it one of the most exciting matches in finals history. ;