Fifth-seeded Jason Tsirtsis and 11th-seeded Joshua Kindig wrestled to a virtual and litteral draw after three periods.
Every lunge and attack Kindig made was met with the incredible balance from Tsirtsis to stay on his feet. Every quick move to escape Tsirtsis was met with an equally quick move to keep him right where he was and gain some riding time.
Finally, the desperation of sudden death gave forced Tsirtsis’ hand, and the gamble paid off. Tsirtsis lunged and got a hold of Kindig’s ankle. This would be the second time Tsirtsis would keep control of the match by holding on desperately to that vital balance point. This time, Tsirtis had a firm handle on him and pushed and pushed and pushed. Kindig fell to the ground, desperately trying to keep himself off the mat. Eventually, Tsirtsis twisted and wriggled his way to some leverage and Kindig went down to his rear end.
Tsirtsis had secured his third straight sudden victory win. This one for a national championship in a 3-1 victory. This was Northwestern’s first national championship in six years when Dustin Fox won the title. The win also eliminated Oklahoma State from national championship contention as a team, ensuring the wrestling national championship would be won by a Big Ten team. Penn State won the national championship after winning the following match.
Tsirtsis though had a lot to celebrate in winning a national championship as a freshman. He really had a dream season winning the Big Ten title first and then making his way through the NCAA Wrestling Tournament. This is a national championship earned quite literally with his blood and sweat.