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    Six Wildcats Tabbed in Final NCAA Coaches' Panel Rankings

    Senior Jason Welch is ranked No. 1 in the country at 157 lbs. in a variety of polls, including the final NCAA coaches' panel rankings released Thursday.

    Senior Jason Welch is ranked No. 1 in the country at 157 lbs. in a variety of polls, including the final NCAA coaches' panel rankings released Thursday.

    Feb. 28, 2013

    Complete NCAA Coaches' Panel Rankings & RPI

    EVANSTON, Ill. – The NCAA released its final coaches’ panel and RPI rankings and a number of Northwestern wrestlers made the cut. Two-time All-American Jason Welch received the No. 1 slot in the final coaches’ panel ranking at 157 lbs. and is No. 2 in RPI. Welch, along with Dominick Malone (125), Pierce Harger (165), Lee Munster (174), Alex Polizzi (197) and Mike McMullan (285) were all slated amongst the top 33 in their respective weight classes.
    Four of the six ranked Wildcats are returning NCAA qualifiers as Welch is a three-time qualifier (and two-time All-American) while McMullan achieved All-American status in 2011-12. Harger and Munster look to qualify for their second trip to nationals while Malone and Polizzi will be first-time competitors in the postseason.
    Here’s where Northwestern ranks in the final NCAA coaches’ panel rankings and RPI.

    Weight: Name CPR RPI
    125: Dominick Malone 24 NR
    157: Jason Welch 1 2
    165: Pierce Harger 17 20
    174: Lee Munster 9 16
    197: Alex Polizzi 25 24
    285: Mike McMullan T-8 NR



    Additionally, the NCAA announced qualifier allocations for the 2013 championships, which take place March 21-23 in Des Moines, Iowa. The Big Ten received the most allocations out of all of the conferences with 74 and the breakdown is as follows:
    125: 7 – 133: 7 – 141: 6 – 149: 8 – 157: 7 – 165: 8 – 174: 8 – 184: 6 – 197: 8 – 285: 9

    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; rating percentage index (RPI); and coaches’ ranking.

    For each wrestler who 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.

    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 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; qualifying event placement; quality wins; results against common opponents; winning percentage; RPI; coaches’ ranking and the number of matches contested at that weight class.
    Northwestern will compete at the 2013 Big Ten Championships next weekend, March 9-10, in Champaign, Ill. Preseeds for the tournament will be announced in the coming days.


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