Boise State senior wrestler Jason Chamberlain faced two nearly impossible tasks Saturday night in Des Moines, Iowa.
Score a takedown against undefeated and top-seeded Jordan Oliver of Oklahoma State in the NCAA's 149-pound championship match.
Or avoid a takedown for 7 minutes to drag the match into overtime.
Chamberlain never came close to the former. But he came within 10 seconds of the latter, until Oliver sensed pressure from Chamberlain, pushed down on his opponent's head and grabbed him from behind for the title-winning takedown.
Oliver won 3-2.
"I didn't even see it, it happened so fast," Boise State coach Greg Randall said. "It was just like lightning."
Oliver, who beat Boise State's Andrew Hochstrasser in the 133-pound final two years ago, did not allow a takedown all season, according to the ESPN broadcasters.
He collected takedowns at an impressive rate - winning his first four NCAA matches this year by a total of 39 points.
So while Chamberlain made a few stabs at Oliver's legs, he hoped to wear him down and get a late takedown or possibly force an overtime tiebreaker, where he could win the match without a takedown. That's how he beat Oliver in a freestyle match a couple of years ago.
"I stayed real focused and in position most of the match and made him wrestle my style," Chamberlain said. "I didn't let him get any of the takedowns he's used to getting on other opponents. Toward the end of the match, I knew I had to score to win and started getting more aggressive and kind of going after him a little bit. I just kind of forgot about something, and he took advantage of that and scored on me there at the end. It was just kind of a slip-up on my part."
Each wrestler earned a quick escape point in the second and third periods to set up a 1-1 tie before Oliver's big move.
"I tried it early in the match and almost had it," Oliver told ESPN. " I went to different shots to get his mind off it. At the right time, I went right back to it."
Chamberlain (30-2) was the seventh Bronco wrestler to reach an NCAA final and became the eighth two-time All-American (he finished third in 2011). The Broncos finished 19th as a team with 29 points.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat