Five Pokes in NCAA Coaches’ Panel Rankings, Six in RPI

UW Photo by Troy Babbitt

Indianapolis– The NCAA released the latest Coaches’ Panel Rankings and rating percentage index (RPI) for the 2017-18 season on Thursday.

Furthermore, the NCAA has announced the qualifier allocations for the 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships with the Big 12 Conference awarded 45 spots heading into next weekend’s conference championship.

The rankings and RPI will be used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers and seeding for the National Tournament. This year’s event is March 15-17 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

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Ranked Cowboys

All five Cowboy wrestlers that were ranked in the last Coaches’ Panel Rankings on February 8 all remain in today’s rankings. Senior and two-time All-American Bryce Meredith leads the way with the top spot at 141 pounds.

Redshirt Freshman Montorie Bridges is sixth at 133 pounds, while senior Archie Colgan is the third Poke ranked in the top-ten of their weight class, sitting at tenth at 157 pounds. Junior Branson Ashworth (165) is 13th, as redshirt freshman Sam Turner is 26th at 149 pounds.

Six Cowboys are ranked in the release of the RPI. Meredith is sixth at 141 to once again lead UW, as Bridges is eighth at 133 pounds.

Ashworth is 12th at 165, with Colgan 23rd at 157. Additionally, senior Chaz Polson is 30th at 184 pounds, while sophomore Drake Foster is 31st at 125 pounds.

Big 12 Will Have 45 Automatic Bids to NCAA Championships

The NCAA announced the Big 12 will have 45 automatic bids to the NCAA Championships. Those 45 bids will be up for grabs at the Big 12 Championship next weekend at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.

The Big 12 were behind the Big Ten Conference with 80 bids and Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association, which had 47 bids.

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.

NCAA Championships Will Consist of 33 Wrestlers Per Weight Class

After all of the qualifying events have concluded, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 47 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on March 6. All weight classes at the NCAA Championships 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.

Automatic Big 12 Conference Bids

  • 125: 7
  • 133: 5
  • 141: 3
  • 149: 5
  • 157: 3
  • 165: 6
  • 174: 5
  • 184: 4
  • 197: 4
  • 285: 3

A full description of the entire selection process is in the 2017 Division I Wrestling Championships Pre-Championships Manual which is available at