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How Scoring Works at the NCAA Wrestling Tournament

A breakdown of how the NCAA wrestling tournament works.

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The NCAA Tournament is just days away. Naturally I have some bias in this discussion, but I truly feel this is one of the most exciting postseason events in all of college sports. Wrestling moves from the dual format we see all season and puts together 10 33-man brackets to decide tournament winners at each weight along with a team title.

A few years ago OSU released this video with the scoring basics of wrestling.  If you don’t know how the scoring of an individual match works this gives a good breakdown. There are many more like this all over YouTube if this one doesn’t give you enough info.

The team scoring John Smith describes in the video is the point scoring for duals. (i.e. decision is 3, major decision is 4, tech fall is 5, and fall is 6). In a tournament it’s a different format. Here is how it will go at the NCAA tournament.

Bonus Points

Each fall, forfeit, default, disqualification: 2 points
Each tech fall: 1.5 points
Each major decision: 1 point

Wrestlers also receive advancement points for moving forward in the bracket.

Advancement Points

Each advancement in championship bracket: 1 point
Each advancement in consolation bracket: 0.5 point
Bye followed by win in championship bracket: 1 point
Bye followed by win in consolation bracket: 0.5 point

The final way they score is with placement points. Every All-American receives placement points and the higher they finish the more points they score.

Placement Points

1st place: 16 points
2nd place: 12 points
3rd place: 10 points
4th place: 9 points
5th place: 7 points
6th place: 6 points
7th place: 4 points
8th place: 3 points

If you’re an Oklahoma State fan you’ll naturally pull for OSU and will have a vested interest in other team contenders falling, which would result in them scoring fewer points. Last year Penn State won with 141.5 team points.

Each round will have at least one mat on an ESPN network and every single mat will be on ESPN3/WatchESPN

ROUND DAY DATE TIME NETWORK
Session 1 – R1 Thursday March 21 Noon ESPNU
Session 2 – Cons. Thursday March 21 7 p.m. ESPN
Session 3 – QF/Cons. Friday March 22 11 a.m. ESPNU
Session 4 – Semis Friday March 22 8 p.m. ESPN
Session 5 – Medals Saturday March 23 11 a.m. ESPNU
Session 6 – Finals Saturday March 23 7 p.m. ESPN

*All times eastern. All broadcast times and networks are subject to change.

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