Kolas Projections (Men): Update #2

Updated: Nov 13, 2019


Click here for women's projections


If the season ended today, who would be going to the Big Dance? Who would be ending their season early? Thanks to the incredible work from Bo Waggoner, we were able to work together to compile key Kolas-defining results and utilize his XC Quals calculator which allows users to input their predictions for the NCAA regional meets in order to get an expected output of the 31 teams expected to make it to Nationals.


A big thank you to Bo for working with us on this project! We highly recommend you visit his site and play with the projections on your own.


And before you ask, yes, the calculator understands how to take "B" teams into consideration.


If you haven't already, we strongly suggest that you read our UNDERSTANDING KOLAS page to get a refresher on how the Kolas system works. There are a ton of caveats to consider and they can all greatly impact the NCAA qualifying picture...


If the season ended today, here are the 31 projected teams that we have going to Nationals on the men's side...

Before we get into discussing point totals, it's important that we make a few notes about our auto-lock teams (the squads who will finish in the top two of their region).


The Great Lakes region has two spots open to five teams: Purdue, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, and Notre Dame. Truthfully, it doesn't really matter in what order these teams finish as long as they are in the top five or six. We'll just follow our rankings and say that the top two auto-lock teams will be Wisconsin and Indiana.


The Mid-Atlantic is a complete toss-up. We could realistically see five teams battle for the top two spots. Those teams are Villanova, Georgetown, Penn, Princeton, and Temple. Villanova seems like the safest bet of the them all, but you could probably make an argument for any of the other four teams. We'll go with Penn at the #2 automatic spot, but that is by no means a guarantee.


Based on our rankings, we'll take Iowa State and Tulsa as the top teams in the Midwest region. If Oklahoma State runs a lineup with a healthy Ashenafi Hatte, then they could contend for an automatic qualifying spot. However, for now, we'll keep them at 3rd in our projections.


The Mountain region will see Northern Arizona inside the top two. After that, it will be either Colorado or BYU taking the next automatic qualifying spot. Truthfully, it doesn't matter which of those teams finish inside the top two. They'll both still qualify for Nationals anyways. In this case, we'll take Colorado at the #2 spot in the Mountain region, but it could very easily be BYU.


Syracuse and Iona are clearly the top two teams in the Northeast region. Stony Brook, Army, and Harvard will be the three teams battling behind them.


The South region will be dominated by Ole Miss. After that, Middle Tennessee State will likely be the 2nd place team, but we would not at all be surprised to see Florida State sneak into that 2nd spot.


The South Central will once again be dominated by Texas and Arkansas.


The Southeast region is probably the most difficult region to figure out. We'll take Virginia Tech and Virginia in the top two spots. However, you could very easily find an argument where Eastern Kentucky, Furman, or even Wake Forest find their way into the top two. Those five teams could finish in any order and I really wouldn't be all that surprised.


I don't believe all hope is totally lost for NC State, but their future doesn't look great right now.


Finally, we have the West region. This race is often tactical as many teams attempt to conserve their best efforts for Nationals. We'll just base this region off of our rankings and say that Stanford and Oregon will be the top two teams.


Alright, let's jump into our Kolas calculations...


At-Large Bid #1: BYU Cougars

With NAU and Colorado expected to take the top two spots in the Mountain region, we have the BYU Cougars taking the first at-large bid with a total of 8 points.


They give away no Kolas points.


At-Large Bid #2: UCLA Bruins

The second at-large spot will be tied between UCLA and Purdue at 7 points (we have both of these teams finishing 3rd in their respective regions). However, since UCLA beat Purdue earlier in the season at Nuttycombe, the Bruins will get the nod for the next at-large bid.

They give away no Kolas points.


At-Large Bid #3: Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue has a total of 7 Kolas points which is more than any other team at this point in the selection process. They are the next team selected to Nationals.


Purdue gives one point to NC State (who beat them at Joe Piane) and Michigan (who beat them at the BIG 10 Championships).


At-Large Bid #4: Portland Pilots

Notre Dame and Washington are the two teams with the next most Kolas points. They each have 6 points. However, Notre Dame is expected to finish behind Michigan (who has not yet qualified) and Washington is expected to finish behind Portland (who has not yet qualified).


In order for those teams to qualify in this #4 at-large spot, they would need to push in the teams who are projected to finish ahead of them.


However, we want to avoid a "push" scenario. Since we know that these two teams will qualify for Nationals later on in the selection process, we are going to pass over them for now.


Instead, we will go to the team with the next most Kolas points. This would be the Portland Pilots who have a total of 5 points. They are the next team to qualify for Nationals.


Portland does not give away any Kolas points.


At-Large Bid #5: Washington Huskies

Washington and Notre Dame are still tied at 6 points. However, since Portland is no longer in front of Washington, we can select the Huskies to go to Nationals without having to worry about a push scenario (Michigan is still in front of Notre Dame).


Washington gives one point to Army, Stony Brook, and Harvard (who beat them at Beantown).


At-Large Bid #6: Michigan Wolverines

Notre Dame has the most points out of any other team in this stage of the selection process with 6 points. However, we still want to avoid a "push" scenario and since we know Notre Dame will qualify later on in the selection process, we can go to the team with the next most Kolas points.


In this case, that would be the Michigan Wolverines and the Boise State Broncos. Both teams have 4 points. However, since Michigan beat Boise State at Nuttycombe, the Michigan men are granted the #6 at-large bid to Nationals.


They give one point to Notre Dame and NC State.


At-Large Bid #7: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

We can finally select Notre Dame to qualify for Nationals. They have 7 points.


With Notre Dame now selected, they give one point to Southern Utah, Utah State, Boise State, and NC State.


At-Large Bid #8: Boise State Broncos

The Boise State Broncos are the next eligible team that will qualify for Nationals. They have 5 points. NC State also has 5 points, but there are too many teams who have not yet qualified for Nationals who are expected to finish ahead of them at their regional meet.


With Boise State now qualified, they give one point to Utah State, Colorado State, and Wyoming after losing to those teams at the Mountain West Championships.


At-Large Bid #9: Utah State Aggies

The Utah State men have 5 points and will be the next team selected to qualify for Nationals.


NC State also has 5 points, but are not yet eligible to qualify.


The Aggies give one point to Southern Utah.


At-Large Bid #10: Eastern Kentucky Colonels

At-Large Bid #11: Furman Paladins

Now things get complicated.


The #10 at-large bid is tied between FIVE different teams.


Furman, Oklahoma State, Stony Brook, Army, and Florida State are all tied with 3 Kolas points.


Oklahoma State lost to Florida State at Pre-Nationals, so we already know that the Cowboys will not be selected at this spot.


Army lost to Stony Brook twice during the regular season and is expected to finish behind them in the Northeast region. Therefore, Army will not be selected at this spot.


Furman, Florida State, and Stony Brook never raced each other during the season. That means we must compare their common opponents from the season and see who has a higher winning percentage against those common opponents.


Furman has a better winning percentage than Stony Brook when it comes to common opponents. Therefore, Stony Brook is not selected at this stage in the selection process.


Furman also has a better winning percentage than Florida State when comparing common opponents. Therefore, Florida State is not selected to Nationals.


We are now left with the Furman men. They have won all of the tie-breakers and should be the next team to qualify for Nationals. However, we are projecting the Paladins to finish 4th in their region behind Eastern Kentucky.


Since Eastern Kentucky will not be able to qualify for Nationals on their own (since they don't have enough Kolas points), they must have Furman "push" them into the national meet.


This means that the Eastern Kentucky men get the #11 at-large bid while the Furman men get the #12 at-large bid.


Since Eastern Kentucky was pushed into the national meet, they don't give up any Kolas points (even if there are non-qualified teams who beat them during the regular season).


Furman gives one point to Southern Utah, Gonzaga, and Princeton.


At-Large Bid #12: Stony Brook Seawolves

We once again have a very intricate tie for this qualifying spot...this time between six teams who are all tied at 3 points. Those teams are Oklahoma State, Princeton, Stony Brook, Army, Gonzaga, and Florida State.


Princeton lost to Gonzaga at Nuttycombe, so the Tigers are not selected.


Oklahoma State lost to Florida State at Pre-Nats, so the Cowboys are not selected.


Army lost to Stony Brook on numerous occasions throughout the season, so the Black Knights are not selected.


Gonzaga lost to Florida State at Joe Piane, so the Bulldogs are not selected.


This leaves us with Stony Brook and Florida State. We must now compare the common opponents between these teams and see who has the higher winning percentage.


Stony Brook has a better winning percentage than Florida State when it comes to common opponents. Therefore, Florida State is not selected at this stage in the selection process.


This means that Stony Brook is next team selected to qualify for Nationals.


Stony Brook gives one point to Army who beat them at Beantown.


At-Large Bid #13: Army Black Knights

Army is the next (and final) team selected to Nationals. They have 4 points.


The Black Knights would have been tied with a handful of other teams at 3 points, but since Stony Brook qualified, they gave Army the edge they needed to qualify for Nationals with an additional Kolas point.


Army gives up one point to Minnesota and two points to Navy.


First Team Out: Florida State Seminoles

We now have four teams tied at 3 points. Those teams are Florida State, Gonzaga, Oklahoma State, and Harvard. Princeton also has 3 points, but Georgetown is projected to finish ahead of them and we aren't looking for a push scenario.


NC State, Southern Utah, and Navy all have more points, but they are not yet eligible to be selected.


Oklahoma State lost to Florida State at Pre-Nats, so the Cowboys are not selected.


Harvard lost to Gonzaga at Joe Piane, so the Crimson are not selected.


Gonzaga lost to Florida State at Joe Piane, so the Bulldogs are not selected.


This means that the First Team Out would be the Florida State Seminoles.