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The 2017 NCAA Championships will once again feature more Big Ten Conference wrestlers after the NCAA announced on Feb. 23 that the conference has earned at least 77 of the 330 spots that will be available over 10 weights in this year’s event, held March 16-18 in St. Louis.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association has earned 43 spots, followed by the Big 12 (38), Mid-American Conference (37), Atlantic Coast Conference (31), Pac-12 (21), Eastern Wrestling League (17) and the Southern Conference (17).
The following is a weight-by-weight breakdown of how many automatic qualifiers each of the eight conferences earned.
Each qualifying tournament was awarded spots per weight class based on current year data. Each wrestler was measured on the following: Division I winning percentage at the weight class; ratings percentage index (RPI); and coaches’ ranking.
For each wrestler that reached the threshold in at least two of the three categories, his qualifying tournament was awarded a qualifying spot in that weight class. Each qualifying tournament, with automatic qualifying status, was awarded a minimum of one wrestler per weight class, which will go to the tournament champion, even if they did not have any wrestlers reach at least two of the three thresholds. NCAA tournament spots for each qualifying event will be awarded at the tournament based solely on place-finish.
After all of the qualifying events have concluded, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 49 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on March 7. 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.
The following illustrates how many qualifiers each conference earned last season and how many champs and All-Americans each conference produced: