The tail end of senior heavyweight Nick Gwiazdowski's career is starting to become a little ridiculous, even by story-book standards. The two-time national champion was the deciding factor in NC State's dual against No. 5 Missouri a week ago, and he was the deciding factor again on Monday night, at No. 2 Iowa. Gwizz helped the Wolfpack deliver a historic victory over the Hawkeyes, 21-17.
It's difficult to put the brilliance of State's wrestling team into perspective, especially for a layman like me. NC State has had standout, national-title winning wrestlers before. NC State has won a lot of ACC titles. But NC State has never been a player on the national level like it has been this season.
NC State became the first ACC team ever to defeat Iowa, as the Hawkeyes were 12-0 against the conference. NC State also accomplished the same feat at Oklahoma State, as the 19-15 win in December was the first for the ACC over the Cowboys.
Prior to this year literally zero ACC teams had ever beaten Iowa or Oklahoma State, which count among the bluebloods of the wrestling world. When you add up the the national titles between those two, you get about 400. Give or take.
The Wolfpack won on the road at both of those schools this year. The Pack's win in Iowa City was the Hawkeyes' first loss in a dual match all year. NC STATE WRESTLING JUST WON AT IOWA. That's insane. It's insane that this has become possible. There is not a team better on campus than the wrestling team, and no one is as singularly dominant as Nick Gwiazdowski.
23-1! Wins @ #2 Iowa, @ #4 Ok. St. and vs. #5 Missouri. 9-1 vs. ranked foes over. We are on to the ACC Championship! pic.twitter.com/r8ZKyk2gBd— NC State Wrestling (@PackWrestle) February 23, 2016