The NCAA has released its conference allocations for the Division I national tournament to be held in Minneapolis, MN March 19-21. The Big 12 received a total of fifty-four NCAA tournament slots, with the the 285 pound weight class receiving the most at seven. Big 12 allocations were second only to the Big 10, who registered seventy-nine.
Earning a qualifying spot for your conference is based on the following criteria:
-The coaches poll
-winning percentage against Division 1 opponents at your same weight
There are a maximum of 29 allocations per weight class. The rest of each thirty-three person NCAA bracket is filled via wildcards.
Qualifying for the NCAA tournament means placing at the conference tournament within the number of qualifiers a weight has been allotted. NDSU 285 Brandon Metz earned a qualifying spot for the Big 12 based on his season’s body of work, but Metz must still place within the top seven at the Big 12 championship next weekend to guarantee qualification.
Every year, the Seton Hall Pirate releases a list of wrestlers from each conference that gained automatic qualifying spots. This list is a pretty good indicator as to the number of qualifiers a team like North Dakota State is likely to have. Based on SHP’s numbers, Cam Sykora (133), Jared Franek (157), Andrew Fogarty (165), and Brandon Metz (285) earned qualifying spots for NDSU. Sykora and Fogarty are already three-time NCAA tournament qualifiers, while Metz and Franek-both West Fargo High School products- will look to qualify for the first time.