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Fishbane

2009 NCAA Team Championship

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There has been a lot od dicussion regarding how the team title is decided and how it should be decided.  I looked at some of the closer team title races of the past 20 years and there is something really interesting about 2009.  Iowa won with 96.5 team points over Ohio State with 92 team points.  Their lineups with placement, team points earned, and seeds are listed in the table below.  The breakdown of team points was Iowa 30.5 advancement, 23 bonus,  44 placement, -1 penalty (Metcalf) and for Ohio State 26.5 advancement, 16.5 bonus, 49 placement.  Iowa had 1 more AA, but Ohio State's finished higher and earned more placement points.  The one more Iowa AA and non AAs that generally won more matches gave Iowa the edge in advancement points.  But the real difference was in the bonus points where Iowa had a 23 to 16.5 edge.

Taking a closer look at the bonus points revealed that Iowa wrestlers won three matches by injury default whilst Ohio State won zero.  Dan Dennis won his 7th place match by injury default over Navy's Joe Baker.  This earned Iowa 1 additional placement point and 2 bonus points.  Alext Tsirtsis won a consolation match over Trenton Washington (UNI) by injury default giving Iowa 0.5 advancement points and 2 bonus points.  He lost his next match.  Finally, Dan Erickson won his consi semi-1 match over Pitt's Zach Sheaffer by injury default.  This earned Iowa 0.5 advancement and 2 bonus points.  It also gave them additional placement points as the minimum possible placement points went from 3 (8th where Sheaffer ultimately defaulted to) to 6 (6th).  Ultimate he finished 4th so it's unclear how much this helped his placement total directly.

The bonus points alone (6) from these matches represent the difference in the team scores, but their impact could be much larger taking into account advacement and bonus points, up to 16.5.  Should wrestlers from Pitt, Navy, and UNI (3 teams not even in the top 20) getting injured have this kind of impact on the team race?  I don't recall any discussion on this point coming up at the time and I think it is because the team scoring is so complicated.  Fans just look at the standings, but it hard to tell how close it will be at the end and how small actions will play into it.  It wouldn't surprise me if even Ohio State wrestles and coaches didn't realize the impact these medical forfeits had on the team race.

Some things happened that favored Ohio state.  The team penalty levied on Iowa.  Ohio State was randomly drawn such that they received a consolation pigtail at 157 and a championship pigtail at 149 whereas Iowa didn't receive any pigtails.  Ohio State gained an extra 2.5 from these matches and had the opportinuty to earn another 2, which of course Jonstone didn't.

  Iowa Team Points Placement Ohio State Team Points Placement
125 Charlie Falck (5) 6 R12 Nikko Triggas (US) 3.5 R16
133 Daniel Dennis (4) 9.5 7 Reece Humphrey (2) 21 2
141 Alex Tsirtsis (4) 4.5 R16 Jake Jaggers (3) 26 1
149 Brent Metcalf (2) 22 2 Lance Palmer (4) 15.5 4
157 Matt Ballweg(DNQ) 0 DNQ Jason Johnstone (US) 0.5 R32
165 Ryan Morningstar (3) 14.5 3 Colt Sponseller (6) 4 R12
174 Jay Borschel (4) 4 R12 Dave Rella (US) 2 R24
184 Phillip Keddy (2) 16.5 4 Mike Pucillo (3) 18.5 2
197 Chad Beatty (US) 1 R24 Cody Gardner (DNQ) 0 DNQ
285 Dan Erekson (7) 19.5 4 Corey Morrison (US) 1 R24
  Team -1   Team 0  
    96.5     92  

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Yes, the injury default points were a big topic of conversation back then.  I'm not sure how this ties into the dual conversation necessarily, as Iowa would be favored to win a dual over Ohio State (Iowa was 24-0 in duals that year, Ohio State 16-2 with losses to Cornell and Minnesota) unless you're pointing out that a dual between two teams is a much more direct competition and not affected directly by outside factors (you seem to be hinting at that in paragraph 3).  However, I was on board for the duals back then, but as I am no, I was in the minority of both national and Iowa fans.  But there was a bunch of discussion about those bonus points Iowa accrued from injury defaults at the time of the event being the reason they won.

5 minutes ago, Jimmy Cinnabon said:

How many Iowa fans were pushing for a dual team championship in the months following March 2009?  I'm gonna guess few to none.

Ahh, the troll speaks.

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9 minutes ago, VakAttack said:

Yes, the injury default points were a big topic of conversation back then.  I'm not sure how this ties into the dual conversation necessarily, as Iowa would be favored to win a dual over Ohio State (Iowa was 24-0 in duals that year, Ohio State 16-2 with losses to Cornell and Minnesota) unless you're pointing out that a dual between two teams is a much more direct competition and not affected directly by outside factors (you seem to be hinting at that in paragraph 3).  However, I was on board for the duals back then, but as I am no, I was in the minority of both national and Iowa fans.  But there was a bunch of discussion about those bonus points Iowa accrued from injury defaults at the time of the event being the reason they won.

Yes, I do think a dual is a much more direct form of competition.  If a default happens in a dual it's unfortunate, but it's makes more sense for that to decide something in that situation, whereas a default against a 3rd party deciding something seems more unfair.  The same thing is more generally true about bonus points.  Why should a 1 or 2 seed pinning the 30th best guy from some other team be what determines the national championship?

This may not a tie in to the dual conversation apart from what I just said, but I think it is more relevant to discussions to tweak how team points are allocated at NCAAs.  There had been discussion regarding the value of advancement to bonus points.  On FLR yesterday it was suggested to double advancement points.  Though the title race at NCAAs is generally not close, the two closest team races of the past 20 years (2009 and 2013) were decided by bonus points.  Bonus points used to be worth half their current value and were doubled in 1995.  The placement points were changed in 2001.  If the 2009 tournament were scored with the point values from 2000 (before the placement point change) Ohio State wins 90 to 88.5 (including the penalty) if it was scored with the system from 1994 Ohio State would win 81.75 to 77 (again with a 1 point penalty).  Doubling advancement would increase Iowa's advantage and though the bonus points from the med forfiets would not be the differnce the advancement and placement points that resutled from them arguably would be.  If advancement points were kept the same and bonus points halved then Iowa still wins and bonus points from the defaults are still the difference.

Iowa and Ohio State went to the 2009 national duals and though they did not meet Iowa won them.  Ohio State was seeded 6th and lost to 3 seed Cornell.  Iowa beat Cornell in the final.  Iowa would be favored in a dual.

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Great stuff, @Fishbane

I have been thinking about the default bonus points, too. And I would like to see them eliminated. The purpose they serve in the dual format is not served in the tournament format. It seems like they exist as a form of "because that is how we have always done it" argument.

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1 hour ago, Wrestleknownothing said:

Great stuff, @Fishbane

I have been thinking about the default bonus points, too. And I would like to see them eliminated. The purpose they serve in the dual format is not served in the tournament format. It seems like they exist as a form of "because that is how we have always done it" argument.

I would think the argument to keep them would be that eliminating them would deprive the uninjured wrestler from earning bonus points and that isn't fair.  Also if the wrestler isn't 100% its more likely that should the match happen it would result in bonus points.  I suppose also if it is a match that has started (none of these 3 from 2009 were stopped due to an injury mid bout) it could lead to some gamesmanship of the rules.  In 2009 suppose an Iowa wrestler was about to win a MD against an Ohio State wrestler and with 1 second left the Ohio State wrestler asks for injury time and defaults.  If there was no bonus for an injury default then he would save 1 team point by doing this.  Of course other rules changes could be made too.

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5 minutes ago, Lunaticfringe said:

That Iowa team crapped the bed and still won. That wasn’t a good Ohio st team. 

I think that may be why more wasn't made of this at the time.  Iowa was seen as the superior team.  They had won the big ten championships by over 25 points and Ohio State finished 6th.  They had also won the national duals which Ohio State attended and lost in the quarterfinals. Perhaps it would have been a bigger talking point if it had been two teams seen as near equals like PSU and Ohio State in 2018 and bonus points from medical forfeits decided the team champ. 

That Iowa team was pretty poor too.  Their total was the lowest winning margin since bonus points doubled in 1995.

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7 hours ago, Fishbane said:

I think that may be why more wasn't made of this at the time.  Iowa was seen as the superior team.  They had won the big ten championships by over 25 points and Ohio State finished 6th.  They had also won the national duals which Ohio State attended and lost in the quarterfinals. Perhaps it would have been a bigger talking point if it had been two teams seen as near equals like PSU and Ohio State in 2018 and bonus points from medical forfeits decided the team champ. 

That Iowa team was pretty poor too.  Their total was the lowest winning margin since bonus points doubled in 1995.

Not that poor at all, they had 7 top 5 seeds and 8 seeded to AA. They only had 5 AA and no champs. Basically everyone failed to wrestle to prior performance.

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Fishbane?  Great analysis !

I am surprised there is not more discussion on scoring criteria.

1) mff getting 2 bonus pts in Consolations.  Wrestler A wins a hard fought match by Dec in Conso’s & gets 0.5 pts.  Wrestler B gets a mff, doesn’t have to wrestle & gets 2.5 pts.  Five (5) times the reward for zero effort ?  

2) bonus points being the same in consolation bracket as winners bracket.  This has never passed the gut check.  A Conso pigtail or R32 win by mff or Fall gets 2.5 pts while a wrestler who gets to Quarterfinals gets 2 pts.  That is just insane.

Absolutely no logic in either of the above. How can anyone justify this  scoring criteria with a straight face ?

Edited by Show_Me

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1 hour ago, Show_Me said:

Fishbane?  Great analysis !

I am surprised there is not more discussion on scoring criteria.

1) mff getting 2 bonus pts in Consolations.  Wrestler A wins a hard fought match by Dec in Conso’s & gets 0.5 pts.  Wrestler B gets a mff, doesn’t have to wrestle & gets 2.5 pts.  Five (5) times the reward for zero effort ?  

2) bonus points being the same in consolation bracket as winners bracket.  This has never passed the gut check.  A Conso pigtail or R32 win by mff or Fall gets 2.5 pts while a wrestler who gets to Quarterfinals gets 2 pts.  That is just insane.

Absolutely no logic in either of the above. How can anyone justify this  scoring criteria with a straight face ?

Solid point. Also one brought up by Askren on a recent FRL. Why not reduce bonus points on the backside to 0.5, 1, and 1.5  for majors, TFs, and pins, respectively?

I also wonder if mffts/injury defaults shouldn't be worth the same as pins. I'm not sure what to change them to. Maybe the equivalent of a major?

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2 hours ago, Lunaticfringe said:

Not that poor at all, they had 7 top 5 seeds and 8 seeded to AA. They only had 5 AA and no champs. Basically everyone failed to wrestle to prior performance.

What prior performance are you talking about?  The year before they won NCAAs with 117.5 points.  Mark Perry graduated and he accounted for 26 of those.  Matt Fields another 11.  That leaves 80.5 points returning. They filled Perry's spot in the lineup by bumping up Morningstar and inserting Ballweg.  Fields was replaced with Erekson.  None of those three had AAed before.

Erekson, Morningstar and Keddy had their best ever tournament.  Dennis was an AA for the first time too.  Metcalf only underperformed slightly.  Saying Tsirtsis and Falck underperformed is like say Marinelli underperforms at NCAAs.  Did either of them ever wrestle to their seed?

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9 hours ago, Mr. Poopy butthole said:

Why not reduce bonus points on the backside to 0.5, 1, and 1.5  for majors, TFs, and pins, respectively?

I also wonder if mffts/injury defaults shouldn't be worth the same as pins. I'm not sure what to change them to. Maybe the equivalent of a major?

1.  Bonus points in the Consolations should be worth HALF of what they are in the Winners bracket … to be consistent with “advancement points”.  Nothing else makes any logical sense.  Fall - 1.0 pt, Tech - 0.75 pt, MD - 0.5 pt

2.  I like your idea of awarding a ID/mff to the same extent as a Major Dec.  There needs to be some compensation for the advancing wrestlers lack of opportunity for Bonus, however, awarding Fall points is too much.  

The mff award wouldn’t be as egregious if the Conso Bonus pts were decreased as discussed in 1).  Then a mff would be awarded with 1.5 (0.5 + 1) vs the existing 2.5 (0.5 + 2).  

In other words, fixing Consolation Bonus points would to a large extent fix/improve the mff scoring farce.

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1 hour ago, Show_Me said:

1.  Bonus points in the Consolations should be worth HALF of what they are in the Winners bracket … to be consistent with “advancement points”.  Nothing else makes any logical sense.  Fall - 1.0 pt, Tech - 0.75 pt, MD - 0.5 pt

2.  I like your idea of awarding a ID/mff to the same extent as a Major Dec.  There needs to be some compensation for the advancing wrestlers lack of opportunity for Bonus, however, awarding Fall points is too much.  

The mff award wouldn’t be as egregious if the Conso Bonus pts were decreased as discussed in 1).  Then a mff would be awarded with 1.5 (0.5 + 1) vs the existing 2.5 (0.5 + 2).  

In other words, fixing Consolation Bonus points would to a large extent fix/improve the mff scoring farce.

How about 0.5 points for a default?

From 2009 - 2022 (13 tourneys) the average bonus points per match was 0.43, with a low of 0.38 this year and a high of 0.51 in 2017.

If we compensate for missed bonus opportunities, then we should probably compensate at the "expect" bonus points rather than the maximum possible bonus points.

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15 minutes ago, Wrestleknownothing said:

How about 0.5 points for a default?

From 2009 - 2022 (13 tourneys) the average bonus points per match was 0.43, with a low of 0.38 this year and a high of 0.51 in 2017.

If we compensate for missed bonus opportunities, then we should probably compensate at the "expect" bonus points rather than the maximum possible bonus points.

This would be a logical & reasonable solution for sure.

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2 minutes ago, Show_Me said:

This would be a logical & reasonable solution for sure.

If this had been the rule in 2009 this would have resulted in a tie.  That of course after the penalty point assessed for Metcalf's action after the final.  I wonder if he would have acted the same if they were only up 1 point and whether the official would have even made the call.  That would have created real controversy at the the time.  Defaults that ultimately decided the title and were added in over the past couple days went lagely unnoticed. Heck people would be arguing the opposite.  Iowa guys would be saying 0.5 for a default is unfair because their guys would have scored 6 for sure.  The main focus would be on the penalty though.  It is an oddity in wrestling that points can be taken off the board.

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One thing occurred to me. The four guys seeded in the 30's 4 guys who probably got to the tournament by over performing. You probably want to be 32 or 33. Figure the 32 guy has a 51% chance of winning that bout and giving his team 1 team point. The 33 seed therefore has a 49% of chance winning that point. Either then has a likely 98% chance of losing to the #1 seed then likely another loss. The loser of 32-33 likely wrestles the 30 seed. and that winner picks up a half point for his team. The 31 seed of course has to wrestle #2 then 15 or 18, maybe a 90%+ chance the 31 scores 0.

Obviously I hate to take a chance away from 10 guys to go at nationals, and wish the bracket were expanded to 36 or 40. But is there something wrestling could trade to the NCAA for those 10 slots (maybe increasing wrestling scholarships from 9.9 to 10.0

    

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On 4/1/2022 at 12:07 AM, Lunaticfringe said:

Not that poor at all, they had 7 top 5 seeds and 8 seeded to AA. They only had 5 AA and no champs. Basically everyone failed to wrestle to prior performance.

A trend that has endured for more than a decade since for Iowa.

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