The NCAA West Regional Tournament has been allocated 17 automatic qualifying spots for the 2012 Division I Wrestling Championships, as announced by the NCAA today. Participants in the West Regional include all seven members of the Western Wrestling Conference.
Also on Thursday, the NCAA released the final Coaches' Panel Rankings and Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) for the 2011-12 season. Air Force junior Cole VonOhlen is rated third in the Coaches' Panel Rankings and 11th in the RPI at 149 pounds, while junior Clayton Gable is ranked 31st in the RPI at 174 pounds.
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; 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 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.
The breakdown of the 17 automatic bids per weight class for the West Regional/WWC Championships, are as follows: 125 pounds (2), 133 (2), 141 (1), 149 (2), 157 (3), 165 (2), 174 (1), 184 (2), 197 (1) and Heavyweight (1).
After all of the qualifying events have concluded, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 40 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; qualifying event placement; quality wins; results against common opponents; winning percentage; RPI; coaches ranking and the number of matches contested at that weight class.