The four-team Big 12 received 24 automatic NCAA Wrestling Championship bids across the 10 weight classes, which will be decided Saturday at the conference tournament inside McCasland Field House.
Automatic bids will be awarded at the Big 12 tournament based on place-finish, depending on how many spots were allocated to the weight class.
The automatic bids were awarded based on current year data. Each wrestler was measured on 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 an automatic bid in that weight class.
Each qualifying tournament was awarded a minimum of one wrestler per weight class, which will go to the champion, even if they did not have any wrestlers reach at least two of the three thresholds.
After all of the qualifying tournaments are done, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet to select the remaining 40 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on March 12. All weight classes will consist of 33 wrestlers at the NCAA tournament.
The Division I Wrestling Championships will be in Oklahoma City on March 20-22 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Here’s a look at the number of automatic bids, the favorite, and a breakdown of each weight class at Saturday’s Big 12 tournament:
NCAA bids: Three.
The favorite: Jarrod Patterson, OU.
Breakdown: Patterson, who recently returned after missing a month with a knee injury, is the favorite, but OSU’s Eddie Klimara and Iowa State’s Earl Hall have come on strong late in the season and will be capable contenders.
NCAA bids: Two.
The favorite: Jon Morrison, OSU.
Breakdown: Morrison, ranked second in the RPI and fourth by the coaches, and OU’s Cody Brewer are heavy favorites to meet in the finals. Both are All-Americans, but Morrison owns a 5-0 career record against Brewer.
NCAA bids: Three.
The favorite: Colin Johnston, West Virginia.
Breakdown: Maybe the most competitive weight class of the tournament with all four competitors — Johnston, OSU’s Anthony Collica, OU’s Nick Lester, and Iowa State’s Gabe Moreno — ranking 10 to 30 in the RPI. Johnston was the only one to go 3-0 in Big 12 dual competition.