MAC Awarded 27 Allocations to the NCAA Wrestling Championships

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Story courtesy of MAC

INDIANAPOLIS--- The NCAA has announced the qualifier allocations for the 2019 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships and the Mid-American Conference has received 27 allocations, the fifth highest of any Division I Wrestling Conference. 

The eight MAC wrestling programs will compete in the MAC Wrestling Championships March 8-9 in Norfolk, Virginia, on the campus of Old Dominion to determine which wrestlers will qualify for the 2019 NCAA Wrestling Championships at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh on March 21-23.

NCAA Division I Wrestling Qualifier Allocation

To determine the qualifier allocations, each qualifying tournament was awarded automatic bids 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 conference tournament was awarded a qualifying spot in that weight class.  Each conference was awarded a minimum of one automatic bid 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 conference tournaments have concluded, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 44 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on March 12, while brackets and seeding will be announced on NCAA.com at 6 p.m. on March 13.  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.

In addition, the individual wrestler rankings for the top 33 wrestlers in each weight class were released by the final coaches' panel rankings as well as by RPI.  The NCAA released the third coaches' panel rankings for the 2018-19 season and the second release of the RPI.

SIUE freshman 157-pounder Justin Ruffin is tabbed 25th in the coaches ranking and 33rd in the RPI.

The MAC had 31 wrestlers earn spots in the coaches rankings, including one second-place listing, two within the top five of the weight classes and five total ranked in the top ten.  In addition 37 MAC wrestlers were ranked in the RPI rankings, including one second-place listing, three within the top five of the weight classes and seven total ranked in the top ten. The final rankings will be one of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2019 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, March 21-23 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa. 

NCAA Division I Wrestling Coaches Rankings (through matches of Feb. 24, 2019)
125:
16. Michael McGee, Old Dominion
19. Drew Hildebrandt, Central Michigan
21. Shakur Laney, Ohio
22. Dack Punke, Missouri
33. Kyle Akins, Buffalo

133:
  7. John Erneste, Missouri
23. Mario Guillen, Ohio
28. Derek Spann, Buffalo

141:
  4. Jaydin Eierman, Missouri
13. Bryan Lantry, Buffalo
14. Cameron Kelly, Ohio
17. Sa'Derian Perry, Old Dominion

149:
  6. Brock Mauller, Missouri

157:
  8. Larry Early, Old Dominion
16. Jarrett Jacques, Missouri
18. Zac Carson, Ohio
21. Logan Parks, Central Michigan
25. Justin Ruffin, SIUE
32. Alex Smythe, Buffalo

165:
13. Connor Flynn, Missouri
32. Troy Keller, Buffalo
33. Kenny Moore, Northern Illinois

174:
  2. Daniel Lewis, Missouri
13. Brit Wilson, Northern Illinois

184:
17. Andrew McNally, Kent State
18. Dylan Wisman, Missouri
31. Jordan Atienza, Central Michigan

197:
25. Wyatt Koelling, Missouri

285:
12. Matt Stencel, Central Michigan
16. Jake Gunning, Buffalo
23. Zach Elam, Missouri


The RPI rankings require a minimum of 17 matches against other Division I competition to earn a ranking. The RPI factors winning percentage, opponent winning percentage and opponents' opponent winning percentage.

NCAA Division I Wrestling Ratings RPI -- 17 match minimum vs. Division I opponents (through matches of Feb. 24, 2019)
125:
  7. Drew Hildebrandt, Central Michigan
13. Michael McGee, Old Dominion
22. Shakur Laney, Ohio
24. Dack Punke, Missouri

133:
  2. John Erneste, Missouri
20. Derek Spann, Buffalo
23. Tim Rooney, Kent State
30. Alijah Jeffery, Northern Illinois

141:
  4. Jaydin Eierman, Missouri
16. Sa'Derian Perry, Old Dominion
18. Cameron  Kelly, Ohio

149:
  9. Brock Mauller, Missouri
29. Alec Hagan, Ohio
32. Kevin Budock, Old Dominion

157:
  8. Larry Early, Old Dominion
15. Zac Carson, Ohio
23. Alex Smythe, Buffalo
29. Logan Parks, Central Michigan
31. Jarrett Jacques, Missouri
32. Justin Ruffin, SIUE

165:
11. Connor Flynn, Missouri
24. Kenny Moore, Northern Illinois
27. Troy Keller, Buffalo
29. Colt Yinger, Ohio

174:
  4. Daniel Lewis, Missouri
27. Brit Wilson, Northern Illinois

184:
12. Dylan Wisman, Missouri
13. Andrew McNally, Kent State
18. Antonio Agee, Old Dominion
28. Jordan Atienza, Central Michigan

197:
22. Wyatt Koelling, Missouri
30. Brett Perry, Buffalo

285:
  7. Matt Stencel, Central Michigan
15. Jake Gunning, Buffalo
19. Zach Elam, Missouri
20. William Hilliard, Old Dominion
32. Zack Parker, Ohio