The NCAA announced the qualifier allocations for the 2020 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on Thursday.
Each qualifying tournament was awarded automatic bids per weight class based on current year data. Each wrestler was measured on Division I winning percentage at the weight class, ratings percentage index (RPI) and coaches’ ranking. The Big Ten has the most automatic qualifier spots with 79 total, followed by the Big 12 (54), EIWA (44), Mid-American Conference (41), ACC (35), Pac-12 (16) and Southern Conference (14).
Here’s how those 54 automatic qualifiers break down for next week’s Big 12 Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
To automatically qualify for the NCAA tournament March 19-21 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, a wrestler must place at his conference championship in a spot allocated by the NCAA.
The NCAA also released the second RPI and third coaches’ rankings of the season with eight Cowboys finding themselves in both. Joe Smith was No. 15 in the coaches rankings, but did not land a spot in RPI because he hasn’t wrestled in 15 matches.
RPI is based on a wrestler’s winning percentage, strength of schedule and opponent’s strength of schedule. Only matches against Division I opponents at the designated weight class count toward RPI and a wrestler needs to have wrestled 15 matches to be ranked.
125: Nick Piccininni (No. 4 coaches / No. 2 RPI)
133: Reece Witcraft (No. 23 coaches / No. 22 RPI)
141: Dusty Hone (No. 15 coaches / No. 19 RPI)
149: Boo Lewallen (No. 5 coaches / No. 4 RPI)
157: Wyatt Sheets (No. 11 coaches / No. 9 RPI)
165: Travis Wittlake (No. 8 coaches / No. 2 RPI)
174: Joe Smith (No. 15 coaches)
184: Anthony Montalvo (No. 12 coaches / No. 6 RPI)
197: Dakota Geer (No. 17 coaches / No. 14 RPI)
After the conference tournaments have concluded, the NCAA DI Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 44 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced March 10, while brackets and seeding will be released on NCAA.com at 5 p.m. March 11. All weight classes will consist of 33 wrestlers.
The at-large selections will be made based on the following criteria: head-to-head competition, quality wins, coaches’ ranking, results against common opponents, RPI, qualifying event placement and winning percentage.