Qualifier allocations for the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships were announced by the NCAA Thursday, and the Mid-American Conference, Big 12, Atlantic Coast Conference, and Southern Conference are among the conferences that have gained the most slots compared to last year.
The MAC will have at least 41 wrestlers at the 2014 NCAAs at Cheaspeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City March 20-22, an increase of 11 qualifier allotments over the 2013 NCAAs, the largest increase among major wrestling conferences.
The Big 12 have been assigned 24 qualifier slots this year, a gain of five over last year.
The ACC have gained four additional qualifier allotments for 2014, for a total of 34, compared to 30 in 2013… while the SoCon will have at least 16 wrestlers at next month’s NCAAs, a gain of three over the previous year, and the EIWA (Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) will have two more allotments, 47 this year versus 45 last year.
Three conferences have lost qualifier allocations this year: the Pac 12 (four fewer slots than last year), while the Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) and West Regional each lost one allocation. In addition, the elimination of wrestling in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) freed up 19 slots.
The Big Ten maintains 74 qualifier slots this year, the same as in recent years.
Each qualifying tournament was awarded spots per weight class based on current year data, according to the NCAA. Each wrestler was measured on the following: Division I winning percentage at the weight class; rating percentage index (RPI); and coaches' ranking.
For each wrestler that reached the threshold in at least two of the three categories, his qualifying tournament -- in most cases, the conference championships -- was awarded a qualifying spot in that weight class.
Each qualifying tournament was awarded a minimum of one wrestler per weight class; that slot will be awarded to the tournament champion, even if he did not meet two of the three criteria. NCAA tournament spots for each qualifying event will be awarded at the tournament based solely on place-finish.
The NCAA qualifier allocation process accounts for 290 wrestlers. There will be 330 wrestlers competing at the 2013 NCAAs (ten in each weight class). The other 40 at-large competitors will be announced by the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee one week before the NCAA championships.
2014 NCAA Division I qualifier allocations -- by conference:
- Big Ten: 74 wrestlers
- EIWA: 45
- MAC: 41
- ACC: 34
- Big 12: 24
- EWL: 22
- Pac 12: 17
- Southern Conference: 16
- West Regional: 15
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