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Kolas Projections (Women): Update #1

Before we get started, we need to send a big thank you to Bo Waggoner for helping us (and you) out with Kolas projections this year! Bo created a program that allows users to enter their order of which teams will finish where at their respective regional meets. Then, based off of results from the season, the program calculates which teams will be going to Nationals.

And yes, this program does take "B Teams" into account.

Before we get into the at-large bids, we need to have a quick discussion about the auto-lock teams (the programs who will finish inside the top two of their region) and why we chose them.

Let's start with the Great Lakes region. Currently, we have Michigan State and Michigan taking the top two spots, but don't at all be surprised if Wisconsin hops in there. Notre Dame could also be an outside threat to earn a top two spot. A lot of these finishes will depend on race tactics and this region is no exception.

The same goes for the West region. Stanford and Washington are the projected top two, but if they decide to conserve energy for Nationals, it could be a different story.

The Mountain region is pretty solid as we expect the top two to be BYU and Colorado. New Mexico, Utah, or NAU could possibly shake things up, but BYU and Colorado are safe bets. We're predicting New Mexico to finish 3rd (assuming Cohen returns), Northern Arizona 4th, Utah 5th, and Air Force 6th. That order could very easily change. With the exception of New Mexico, we simply based projections these off of our rankings.

The Northeast region is interesting. There's a pretty good argument that Syracuse and Columbia will be the top two teams, but Boston College could play spoiler and knock out one of those groups from the top two. Don't be surprised if that happens.

The top two in the South Central region and Southeast region are all pretty safe. Texas and Arkansas will cruise to automatic qualifiers like usual while NC State and Furman should make it out of the Southeast region unscathed.

The South region is where there is less clarity. Florida State seems to be an easy pick to finish inside the top two, but you could make a pretty good argument for either Ole Miss or Georgia Tech. We currently have Georgia Tech ranked ahead of Ole Miss, but I chose to put the Rebels in the #2 spot because although they haven't been great, they have been a little more consistent. That said, I could totally understand an argument where Georgia Tech takes the second automatic qualifying spot.

The Midwest is going to be a little different than usual this year. Minnesota and Illinois are the two heavy favorites while usual powerhouse Oklahoma State seems to be severely lacking on the backend of their lineup. Iowa State hasn't looked like a top two regional team either. You could, however, make an argument for the Tulsa women who were only 32 points behind Minnesota at Nuttycombe. Still, barring any surprises, you can expect Minnesota and Illinois to be in the top two.

Finally, we have the Mid-Atlantic region. Truthfully, I have no idea what to expect here. It feels like five teams could realistically finish inside the top five. I'll take Penn State and Georgetown to finish inside the top two, but I don't at all feel confident about those picks (specifically Georgetown). Penn (who we're predicting to finish 3rd), West Virginia (who we're predicting to finish 4th), and Princeton (who were predicting to finish 5th) could all find their way inside the top two come November.

At-Large Bid #1: Wisconsin Badgers

With our automatic qualifying teams now decided, it's time to find out who will receive the 13 at-large bids to Nationals.

Utah technically has the most points (10) at this point in the selection process, but they are not yet eligible for qualification since two teams who have not yet qualified for Nationals are projected to finish ahead of them in their region (New Mexico and Northern Arizona).

The first qualifying spot goes to the Wisconsin women who have 8 points after beating Michigan State, Georgetown, Minnesota (twice), Syracuse, Columbia, Ole Miss, and Furman.

Wisconsin gives one point to Utah who beat them at Joe Piane.

At-Large Bid #2: Boise State Broncos

The next two eligible teams are New Mexico and Boise State who both have 7 points. We must now go to the tie-breaker to decide who will get the next qualifying spot.

Boise State beat New Mexico at Nuttycombe in a head-to-head matchup, so the Broncos will get the next spot to Nationals.

Boise State gives one point to Northern Arizona who beat them at Nuttycombe.

At-Large Bid #3: New Mexico Lobos

New Mexico and Northern Arizona are now tied with 7 points for this spot, so we must go to the head-to-head tie-breaker.

Northern Arizona beat New Mexico at Nuttycombe, but since New Mexico is projected to beat Northern Arizona at the Mountain Regional Championships, that means New Mexico gets the nod for this spot since their win was the most recent.

New Mexico gives a point to Northern Arizona, Air Force, and Utah.

At-Large Bid #4: Northern Arizona Lumberjacks

The NAU women are the next group selected to go to Nationals thanks to their 8 Kolas points. Utah has 12 points and they are actually eligible to be selected. However, since Northern Arizona is projected to finish ahead of them in the region and because we want to avoid a push scenario, we are going to have NAU qualify first. This is because we know Utah will eventually get in later on.

NAU now qualifies, but they do not give any teams any Kolas points.

At-Large Bid #5: Utah Utes

We can now finally select the Utah women who have an astounding 12 points.

The Utes give one point to Air Force who beat them at Nuttycombe.

At-Large Bid #6: Air Force Falcons

The team with the next most points is Air Force who has 9 points.

They do not give up any Kolas points to any other teams.

At-Large Bid #7: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The next two teams eligible to be chosen for a spot to Nationals is Notre Dame and Oregon who both have 7 points. The Notre Dame women will be selected ahead of Oregon because Notre Dame beat Oregon at Nuttycombe in a head-to-head matchup.

Notre Dame gives away no Kolas points.

At-Large Bid #8: Oregon Ducks

Now that Notre Dame is out of their way, we can now select the Oregon women who still have 7 points.

They give one point to Ohio State since the Buckeyes beat them at Nuttycombe.

At-Large Bid #9: Ohio State Buckeyes

The Ohio State women are the next team selected with 6 points.

They do not give away any Kolas points.

At-Large Bid #10: Indiana Hoosiers

Indiana is the next team selected as they have 4 points.

They give one point to Boston College who beat them at Joe Piane.

At-Large Bid #11: Boston College Golden Eagles

The 29th overall spot and the 11th at-large bid is tied between Boston College and Oregon State who each have 2 points. This means we must go to the tie-breaker.

Boston College and Oregon State never raced each other during the season, so we must compare their common opponents throughout the season and see who has the better winning percentage.

After comparing the results of 18 common opponents, we find that the Boston College women easily trounce the Oregon State women. Boston College had a 50% win rate while Oregon State had a 27.7% win rate. This means Boston College is the next team selected.

Boston College gives one point to Virginia Tech and one point to Butler after losing to each of those teams at Pre-Nats.

At-Large Bid #12: Virginia Tech Hokies

The #12 at-large bid is now tied between Virginia Tech, Butler, and Oregon State. Each of these teams have 2 points.

We can already drop Butler from consideration since Virginia Tech beat them at Pre-Nats in a head-to-head matchup. However, since Virginia Tech never faced Oregon State during the season, we must compare their common opponents.

Once that is calculated, you'll find that Virginia Tech has a better win percentage than Oregon State when comparing the six common opponents that the two teams faced this season. Virginia Tech had a win rate of 50% while Oregon State had a win rate of 42.8%. Therefore, Virginia Tech qualifies for Nationals.

Virginia Tech does not give away any points.

At-Large Bid #13: Butler Bulldogs

The final spot to Nationals comes down to Butler and Oregon State. Each team has 2 points.

These two teams never faced each other during the season, so we must compare common opponents. After comparing 15 common matchups, we find that the Butler women have a better winning percentage (30%) than the Oregon State women (26.6%).

Therefore, Butler secures the final spot to Nationals.

First Team Out: Oregon State Beavers

The Oregon State Beavers are the First Team Out in our current projections. They are the only eligible team with 2 points left in the selection process.


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