2019 Regional Championships Draw

With much uncertainty surrounding the regional assignment decisions in the new postseason format—who participates in the play-in meets, who is assigned to which semifinal within each site, the seeded-host conflicts—this selection announcement is millions of times more interesting than in past years, when we would just be waiting to see whose name would be mispronounced. And the answer was everyone’s.

First, the draw. Then we’ll dissect it as a family.

Reminder, the top 2 teams advance out of each semifinal to the regional final the next day. From that regional final, the top 2 teams advance to nationals.

Thursday Play-in
[31] NC State vs. [34] New Hampshire

Semifinal #1
[8] Georgia
[9] Kentucky
[19] Missouri
[22] Iowa State

Semifinal #2
[1] Oklahoma
[15] Cal
[28] Maryland
Winner of NC State and New Hampshire

AA Individuals
Danielle Mulligan, New Hampshire
Rachael Underwood, Western Michigan

Event Individuals
Vault – Khazia Hislop, UNC; Drew Grantham, NC State; Mikayla Robinson, UNC; Ariana Castrence, Temple; Alexa Phillips NC State; Nicole O’Leary, UNH
Bars – Lauren Kent, NC State; Jessica Wang, Yale; Mei Li Costa, Brown; Morgan Spence, WMU
Beam – Khazia Hislop, UNC; Monica Servidio, Temple; Brittany West, Pittsburgh
Floor – Khazia Hislop, UNC; Belle Huang, Rutgers; India Anderson, Temple; Alexa Phillips, NC State

Thursday Play-in
[32] Iowa vs. [33] Arizona

Semifinal #1
[5] Denver
[12] Boise State
[18] Washington
[24] Southern Utah

Semifinal #2
[4] Florida
[16] Oregon State
[25] Stanford
Winner of Iowa v. Arizona

AA Individuals
Madison Ward-Sessions, Utah State
Taylor Chan, San Jose State
Kelley Hebert, UC Davis

Event Individuals
Vault – Maddi Leydin, Arizona; Heather Swanson, Arizona
Bars – Christina Berg, Arizona; Anna Salamone, Air Force; Nicole Chow, Iowa; Makayla Bullitt, Utah St; Danielle Spencer, Arizona; Jax Kranitz, Iowa
Beam – Sophia Hyderally, Alaska; Clair Kaji, Iowa; Autumn DeHarde, Utah St; Haylie Hendrickson, Arizona; Alyssa Ito, UC Davis; Yasmine Yektaparast, UC Davis
Floor – Lauren Guerin, Iowa; Christina Berg, Arizona; Clair Kaji, Iowa; Maddi Leydin, Arizona; Autumn DeHarde, Utah St

Thursday Play-in
[35] George Washington vs. [36] Lindenwood

Semifinal #1
[6] Utah
[11] Minnesota
[17] BYU
[20] Arkansas

Semifinal #2
[3] LSU
[13] Auburn
[21] Arizona State
Winner of George Washington v. Lindenwood

AA Individuals
Alex Zois, George Washington
Jovannah East, Bowling Green
Lea Mitchell, Michigan State

Event Individuals
Vault – Julianna Roland, Bridgeport; Stephanie Schweikert, Ball State; Lauren DeMeno, Bowling Green; Marissa Nychyk, Ball State
Bars – Kathryn Doran, Bridgeport; Jessica Ling, Michigan State
Beam – Hannah Cohen, George Washington; Courtney Mitchell, Lindenwood; Erin Alderman, TWU
Floor – Gabriella Douglas, Michigan State; Kaitlyn Menzione, Ball State; Anna Kaziska, SEMO

Thursday Play-in
[29] Illinois vs. [30] Central Michigan

Semifinal #1
[7] Michigan
[10] Alabama
[23] Penn State
[26] Ohio State

Semifinal #2
[2] UCLA
[14] Nebraska
[27] West Virginia
Winner of Illinois v. Central Michigan

AA Individuals
Mary Jane Otto – Illinois
Denelle Pedrick – Central Michigan
Karen Howell – Illinois
Emili Dobronics – Eastern Michigan

Event Individuals
Vault – Kasey Meeks, Illinois; Kayla Baddeley, UIC; Allie Smith, EMU; Riley Mahoney, UIC
Bars – Serena Baker, UIC; Cortney Bezold, EMU; Gianna Paska, CMU; Dara Williams, Kent State
Beam – Mia Lord, NIU; Shaylah Scott, Illinois; Emerson Hurst, Towson; Mary Elle Arduino, Towson
Floor – Anna Martucci, NIU; Abby Fletcher, Kent State; Kylie Noonan, Illinois; Alisa Sheremeta, UIC

I am at least pleased to see that they adhered to the rankings to some degree with the play-ins, and a team in the top 28 wasn’t forced into a play-in while a team in the 29-36 zone missed out. Because then it would have been hell. That said…

Who got royally neck-punched:
Illinois and Central Michigan: The two best teams in the Thursday play-ins have been drawn to compete against each other. Both would have been favored to advance out of pretty much any other pairing.
Arkansas: The #20 team in the country, and the fourth-best team in the entirety of the geographical placement group, is the #4 seed in its semifinal because it also got placed with #17 BYU and the two seeded teams. Meanwhile teams like #27 West Virginia and #28 Maryland are the #3 seeds in their semifinals.
The other group of death members: Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri and Iowa State is a semifinal. Utah, Minnesota, BYU, and Arkansas is a semifinal. Not a fun draw for anyone in those.
The #2 and #3 seeds in each regional: If you look at the rankings of the teams placed into each regional semifinal group, the #2, #3, #5, and #6 ranked teams all are in the same semifinal. While the #1, #4, #7, and #8-9 get the other semifinal. Meaning that most of the #2 and #3 seeds at each site got worse draws than the #4 seeds and have tough paths just to get out of Friday, let alone get to nationals.
Everyone in the LSU regional: The weakest seeded team there is #21 Arizona State. Yikes.

Who got a unicorn cupcake rainbow bridge:
George Washington and Lindenwood: The two lowest-ranked teams at regionals get the opportunity to play each other in the Thursday play-in, with one of them advancing to Friday.
The #4 seeds: What could have been a tough placement is instead pretty nice for #4 seeds like Cal and Nebraska, who should comfortably advance to Saturday out of their semifinal sessions. Then it gets reeeeee-ough, but it was always going to. The Friday draw couldn’t really have been any better for those two.

Most exciting:
Michigan regional final (potentially): UCLA, Michigan, Alabama, Nebraska. Two advance. Yessssssss.


27 thoughts on “2019 Regional Championships Draw”

  1. The Play-in pairings should have been:

    29 vs 36
    30 vs 35
    31 vs 34
    32 vs 33

    It gives favourite status to the higher ranked teams and makes it more exciting if one of the lower ranked teams pulls off the upset.

    1. It’s a fun format but they are all toast at regionals. As a fan I am not too worried about those match ups. Now if my daughter was on one of those teams I might be more interested!

  2. The Michigan regional just got a lot more interesting following Big 10 Championships. If Illinois advances from the play in and then pulls a Big 10 performance to upset Nebraska again things could get absolutely WILD!

  3. I love how three of the five neck-punch thought points are just “this LSU regional guys”

  4. 1. I wish they would place teams in “order” by four team pairings. For example, teams 17-20, should all be placed in different regionals. Then teams 21-24 all in different regionals, and so forth.

    2. They should cap the number of teams per conference per regional at 4. I don’t like that AA has 5 Big Ten teams. They could have easily sent Penn St or Ohio State to Athens and put Iowa St in AA.

    3. The regionals are pretty even. They average team rankings are Athens (18.56), AA (18.67), Baton Rouge (18), and Corvallis (18.67). The average NQS by regional are Athens (196.535), AA (196.49), Baton Rouge (196.55), and Corvallis (196.51).

    1. I agree with #2, especially since the Big Ten now requires that all Big Ten teams compete against one another in the regular season. I feel like we compete against the same teams all. the. time. I miss the variety of teams we competed against prior to this requirement, including the higher number of higher-ranked opponents Michigan competed against.

    2. Just FYI, Iowa State is not a Big 10 team. It’s in the Big 12. You’re thinking of University of Iowa.

      1. Ummm, no. My point was that Ohio St or Penn St from the Big Ten should have gone to Athens and Iowa St of the Big 12 should have gone to AA. The point of the entire statement was to limit the number of teams from one conference to four in each regional. Thus, Iowa St would help minimize the Big Ten representation in AA. Iowa would serve no purpose because you would be swapping one Big Ten team for another.

        I’m a huge college sports fan and have several family members who are Hawkeyes. I intentionally wrote Iowa St.

  5. How many individuals for AA and for each event go to nationals from each regional site?

  6. i don’t really mind the play-in teams being picked by region instead of ranking as long as the top 28 was safe because there isn’t that much difference between those teams – 0.405 NQS between illinois and lindenwood. if that was a play-in it would be hard but very possible for lindenwood still. not that much more difficult than the ones we got.

    they royally fucked up the intra-regional seeding though. it over-rewarded the #1 seeds. it should have been #1/#4/#5/play-in in one session, #2/#3/#6/#7 in the other.

    this would result in:

    GEORGIA: oklahoma/cal/missouri/play-in; georgia/kentucky/iowa st/maryland
    OREGON STATE: florida/oregon st/washington/play-in; denver/boise st/so utah/stanford
    LSU: lsu/auburn/byu/play-in; utah/minnesota/arkansas/arizona st
    MICHIGAN: ucla/nebraska/penn st/play-in; michigan/alabama/ohio st/w virginia

    this would be much better for the first three regions. doesn’t change much for the michigan one since it got weaker unseeded teams so even as is, alabama isn’t worse off than nebraska. (how is it that michigan and alabama are always together btw? third time in four years)

    1. This is a great way to do session pairings. The matchups look a lot more fair and even.

  7. Will the individual competitors compete on the second day? I noticed that Central Michigan is in the play in but has individual qualifiers (probably more than just them, I just follow them so I noticed it with them), so I would imagine those individuals will compete the second day regardless of if the team wins the play in?

    1. Yup, the idea (I believe!) is that those individuals are in regardless of whether their teams advance from the play-in meets. Then the scores/placements from Regionals determine who gets to Nationals as an individual (although we won’t know who that will be until post-Super Regionals).

  8. Oklahoma posted the rotation order. And for the final four meet at each regional, the session two runner up gets to start on vault, the session one runner up starts on bars, session two winner starts on beam, and session one winner starts on floor. This seems wrong. The session winners should start on vault or bars. If teams hold rank, Cal would start on vault, Kentucky on bars, Oklahoma on beam, and Georgia on floor. The runners up shouldn’t get a more favorable draw in the final session.

    1. It may be counter-intuitive, but starting on vault may not actually be an advantage since scores often begin to fly (get higher) as the competition goes on. While this shouldn’t technically be the case (scores creeping higher) the judges often have boxed themselves in by giving less superior vaults earlier in the competition say a 9.8, so that means they “have” to give a regular 9.8 vault a 9.9 since it was better than a less well performed vault they gave a 9.8 earlier in the competition. So long story short, sometimes ending on vault is a good thing.

      1. I still think ending on vault would be not optimal because vault tends to have a higher percentage of its deductions be “objective” deductions than the other events. Even if a Yfull without much height or distance that had a clear hop on the landing went 9.90 in an earlier rotation, the judges likely still aren’t going over 9.90 for a Yfull with a very clear hop on the landing, even if the dynamics are better. On bars judges tend to take more generous views on borderline handstands as the meet goes on, on floor they have a more forgiving definition of “controlled lunge” for the later rotations, etc., but it’s very hard for a judge to completely ignore an obvious step or hop on the landing, which is where the lion’s share of vault deductions for top teams come from. Given the necessity of taking deductions for obviously non-stuck landings and the fact that some athletes do vaults that start out of 9.95, vault has a lower ceiling for late meet crack than the other three events.

      2. @weskohl — scores tend to go higher on all four events as the meet progresses. It’s not just vault. So while the team in Olympic order may get lower vault scores, they’ll get higher floor scores.

        Vault and then bars tend to be preferred events to start on because it’s what the gymnasts are used to all season long. Almost no one would pick beam as the event to start or end on voluntarily. Yet, the two “first” placed teams from the sessions are going to find themselves there. It doesn’t award the top qualifying teams.

  9. Does anyone know how the regionals meets will be streamed and whether they will be available for on-demand watching afterward?

    1. The Georgia and LSU regionals are available on WatchESPN (ESPN 3 app). All of their coverage is archived, so those should be live and available to watch after the events. The events are already listed on their calendar.

      I would think the OSU regional may be streamed via PAC 12 network as school produced content. And Michigan would likely have some tie in with Big Ten Network — but they usually have a free stream for regionals or have in past years at Big Ten schools.

    1. The ESPN app has the times for Athens and Baton Rouge. The finals on Saturday are 4:00 for Athens and 5:00 for BR (both of those are pacific times).

      I suspect there will be significant overlap of coverage. NCAA really needs to plan the timing of each regional better to maximize viewership.

    2. Georgia has an article with the times for all meets in their regional. Just look at school’s websites or twitter for info. Or you can wait until closer and all the gym blogs will list the times.

      1. Some of us are already trying to schedule around certain sessions. You’d think NCAA or someone would have a succinct full schedule up 10 days in advance.

      2. Have you guys tried googling before? Every single host school has posted an article with the times of every session. In fact, those times were available shortly after the teams were announced.

        Pro-tip: Before complaining about a lack of information, check to see if that information was actually made available.

  10. I’m excited about more individuals qualifying to nationals-in particular I really hope Khazia Hislop and Danielle Mulligan qualify!

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