The most recent set of d3wrestle.com Rankings should be the last until after the regional tournaments. Here is some analysis of the rankings with regard to the six unequally sized regions used for NCAA qualification. Each region, regardless of size, will qualify 3 wrestlers at each weight to the NCAA Championships, thus creating a bracket with 18 competitors at each of the ten weights. The West is the smallest region with 11 teams, while the Northeast, East, and Mideast are the largest with 19 teams each.
Every iteration of the d3wrestle.com Rankings has 26 wrestlers listed at each weight, and they are broken into the Top Ten, eight Contenders, and eight Honorable Mentions. The order of the wrestlers in the latter two categories is a loose, but by no means definitive, representation of position. The following table lists the share of ranked wrestlers for each category in each region.
|Number||Total||Top 10||Cont.||HM||Percentage||Total||Top 10||Cont.||HM|
The West region, as has been the case for the entirety of the regional system, lags behind the other five regions in the rankings. This can be seen the performance of the regions over the past four years of the regional system. Click Here to see a breakdown of each region’s performance at the NCAA Championships over the past four years.
Another way to look at the rankings before the postseason is to see which weights in which regions have fewer than three wrestlers listed. If a weight has fewer than three listed for a region, that means a wrestler who is not currently among the top 26 wrestlers at his weight will qualify for the NCAA Championships. This table shows the number of ranked individuals at each weight per region.
There are eight regional weight classes where a wrestler not on the final rankings will qualify for the NCAA Championships. Five of these are in the West, two are in the East, and one is in the Northeast. Half of the weight classes in the West are guaranteed to send at least one wrestler to the championships that does not appear in the latest d3wrestle.com top 26.
There are two main schools of thought when determining NCAA qualifying spots. The first is the idea that the NCAA Championships should have the 18 best wrestlers at each weight, regardless of where they go to school. The second is the idea that qualifiers should be geographically distributed. The current system implements neither school of though. More can be read about this HERE and HERE. There is some hope that the flaws in the current system can be corrected before the 2017-2018 season, but nothing is guaranteed.