Regionals Preview Part 5: Oregon State Regional

Play-in: April 4, 3:00 PT
Semifinal #1: April 5, 2:00 PT
Semifinal #2: April 5, 7:00 PT
Regional Final: April 6, 7:00 PT

Qualification procedure: The winner of the play-in advances to semifinal #2; the top 2 teams at each semifinal advance to the regional final; the top 2 teams at the regional final advance to nationals; the top all-around gymnast and top gymnast on each event on April 5 (who are not part of a team that ultimately qualifies) advance to nationals as individuals.


Semifinal #1

[5] Denver, [12] Boise State, [18] Washington, [24] Southern Utah

The semifinal of opportunity. Of all the semifinals across all the regionals on Friday, this is the only one that isn’t headlined by a traditional powerhouse, and as such, will be viewed as a major opportunity for all involved.

Still, Denver should advance. Denver has both the talent and the scoring pedigree to record the best total in the session by a comfortable margin, and even though the last couple performances have been more 197.2y than 197.7y, a 197.200 is still a very comfortable score for a semifinal and would cause no problems for the moment.

Boise State, too, will fancy its chances to advance to Saturday after dominating the MRGC Championship a week and a half ago with a 196.950—also exactly the kind of score that will advance from a semifinal. At the same time, we’ve seen lower numbers crop up for Boise State here and there following the injury to Shani Remme, and every second meet lately has been a lower 196, which is a very beatable score for a team like Washington.

For Boise State to be “we got such a high score you can’t even” successful, the team is reliant on bars and beam to deliver huge results. Bars we know about. Bars is always Boise State’s best event, but beam has joined it this season as a massive potential score and a top-10 event nationally. (Gabriela Bouza’s beam routine is the greatest thing you’re not obsessed with yet.) When those deliver to potential, Boise State is close to 197 pace.

For the most part, Washington is in a very similar position, also reliant on bars and beam. When Washington recorded its season high team total at Davis a few weeks ago, the bars score was suddenly at UCLA level, with beam not far behind, and that’s what needs to happen again for Washington to challenge a hit meet from Boise State. Overall, beam hasn’t been the same score it used to be for Washington—taking away Goings, and Burleson, and Schaefer, and now Roberson will do that—but it still should be a relative strength and a score over 49.

The trouble for Washington here is that you’re kind of trying to beat Boise State at its own game, and Boise’s scores have been a bit higher overall on those pieces. That’s why Washington will also need a serious floor number. It’s the one piece where Washington ranks higher and has the more likely 9.9s from gymnasts like Hoffa. But it has to come through. At Pac-12s, Washington got three 9.9s and three sub-9.7s in its floor lineup for 49.000 (the Pac-12 special?), showing both a potential avenue for challenging BSU and the potential terror. You cannot count a score in the 9.6s and still merit advancing to the regional final.

Vault…has not been an asset for the three non-Denver teams here, but Boise State needs it. It really should be a strong event for Boise, where the difficulty outstrips what Washington and Southern Utah bring, even though the scores haven’t consistently followed. Especially if Washington has a good day overall and gets the edge on floor, Boise State needs a vault advantage to counter since vault is the clear weak event for Washington, with this Roberson-less lineup that has been going with five athletes and hoping for 9.800s (but will need to compete a sixth at regionals in case of a tiebreak).

Southern Utah is close to excellence. The team has had to undergo a lineup reinvention the last couple seasons as that class of essential contributors graduated post-2017 (and a couple of those huge-potential juniors have been plagued by injuries this year), but new ones like Shylen Murakami and Karley McClain have tremendous potential to put up 9.9s. At MRGCs, we saw a team that’s not quite there yet, but one that also really should record a score into the 196s for a hit meet. That can cause trouble here if the others are ragged, so keep Southern Utah in mind as well.

Semifinal #1 – Score Comparison
Denver
NQS: 197.545 [1]
Season high: 197.775 [1]
Season average: 197.175 [1]

VT NQS: 49.300 [1]
VT average: 49.211 [1]
UB NQS: 49.430 [1]
UB average: 49.391 [1]
BB NQS: 49.445 [1]
BB average: 49.252 [1]
FX NQS: 49.415 [1]
FX average: 49.320 [1]

Boise State
NQS: 196 725 [2]
Season high: 197.175 [2]
Season average: 196.498 [2]

VT NQS: 49.055 [2]
VT average: 49.010 [2]
UB NQS: 49.380 [2]
UB average: 49.188 [2]
BB NQS: 49.345 [2]
BB average: 49.258 [2]
FX NQS: 49.120 [3]
FX average: 49.043 [3]

Washington
NQS: 196.505 [3]
Season high: 196.975 [3]
Season average: 196.238 [3]

VT NQS: 49.005 [4]
VT average: 48.965 [3]
UB NQS: 49.270 [3]
UB average: 49.152 [3]
BB NQS: 49.145 [3]
BB average: 49.033 [3]
FX NQS: 49.155 [2]
FX average: 49.088 [2]

Southern Utah
NQS: 196.045 [4]
Season high: 196.575 [4]
Season average: 195.513 [4]

VT NQS: 49.015 [3]
VT average: 48.919 [4]
UB NQS: 49.070 [4]
UB average: 48.890 [4]
BB NQS: 49.065 [4]
BB average: 48.879 [4]
FX NQS: 49.095 [4]
FX average: 48.833 [4]

I love how I didn’t change the template of this score comparison from RQS to NQS and didn’t notice until this very moment, the final preview. Because I just adore this completely unnecessary change of vocabulary so…much…

Semifinal #1 – Rotation-by-rotation NQS
Rotation 1 – Denver VT, So Utah UB, Boise St BB, Washington FX
1. Boise State – 49.345
2. Denver – 49.300
3. Washington – 49.155
4. Southern Utah – 49.070

Boise State doesn’t need to lead after the first rotation, but if it does have a lead (and after beam), it’s going to be very difficult for Washington or Southern Utah to find a way in, especially because Washington will already have completed an event that needs to be a very competitive number as well.

Rotation 2 – Washington VT, Denver UB, So Utah BB, Boise St FX
1. Denver – 98.730
2. Boise State – 98.465
3. Washington – 98.160
4. Southern Utah – 98.135

Denver starts to make the move in rotation 2. It’s not a complete disaster if Washington is behind Boise State at this point since Washington is heading to what should be a comparative advantage in rotation 3, but the deficit can’t be this large.

Rotation 3 – Boise St VT, Washington UB, Denver BB, So Utah FX
1. Denver – 148.175
2. Boise State – 147.520
3. Washington – 147.430
4. Southern Utah – 147.230

NQS tells us that it should be extremely close between Boise State and Washington after three events (and pretty close with Southern Utah as well), but Boise State would very much take this scenario because of finishing on bars. Washington needs to be in 2nd place after 3 rotations. And Southern Utah can’t be in 4th at this point to still be in it with a shot.

Rotation 3 – So Utah VT, Boise St UB, Washington BB, Denver FX
1. Denver – 197.590
2. Boise State – 196.900
3. Washington – 196.575
4. Southern Utah – 196.245

Boise State extends its event NQS lead to a little more than three tenths after the final rotation, which is why Washington will look for a lead earlier, and why this should be considered a pretty close race. There’s not a fall margin here.


Semifinal #2

[4] Florida, [16] Oregon State, [25] Stanford, [PI] Iowa/Arizona

Like the other #1 seeds at regional sites, Florida has an NQS advantage of more than a point over any other challenger here and would need to count multiple falls in order to miss out on the regional final. For any of the unseeded teams in this semifinal, a 196 is going to be a pretty strong day, and Florida would have to put on 17 shame bonnets if it did poorly enough to score 196.4 here.

Under any circumstances, Oregon State would feel pretty good about its chances to get out of this semifinal, but hosting only increases the comfort Oregon State will feel here. Home scoring isn’t the absolute given for Oregon State that it is for a number of other perennial contenders (we’ll see it, like in that crazy UCLA meet early in the year, but it’s not every time and the Pacific Northwest judges are typically among the least Carol of judges), but regardless of the score-scape, being at home isn’t going to be any kind of burden.

And if it is one of those days when we’ve seen Lowery and Yanish finish the floor rotation 9.950-9.950 and Oregon State is comfortably into the 49.4s there, then it’s hard to see this thing getting interesting—bar a mistake on another event. Or even with it. Oregon State counted a beam fall at Pac-12s and still came through with a final score that should advance out of this semifinal.

Who will manage to come up with the best challenging score? Unclear. If Stanford gets through both bars and beam (!) (in the same meet!), then it’s Stanford, but getting through both bars and beam in the same meet is only a maybe. Stanford was on solid 196.5 pace until the very end at Pac-12s when a counting fall on beam took the total under 196, a mark that we’ve seen Iowa reach three times this season (including at Big Tens), and that Arizona is capable of reaching as long as this one isn’t another fall-burger.

Semifinal #2 – Score Comparison
Florida
NQS: 197.760 [1]
Season high: 198.025 [1]
Season average: 197.605 [1]

VT NQS: 49.285 [1]
VT average: 49.198 [1]
UB NQS: 49.500 [1]
UB average: 49.458 [1]
BB NQS: 49.490 [1]
BB average: 49.410 [1]
FX NQS: 49.560 [1]
FX average: 49.540 [1]

Oregon State
NQS: 196.625 [2]
Season high:  197.450 [2]
Season average:196.320 [2]

VT NQS: 49.140 [2]
VT average:  49.055 [2]
UB NQS: 49.145 [2]
UB average: 49.000 [2]
BB NQS: 49.160 [2]
BB average: 48.950 [2]
FX NQS: 49.370 [2]
FX average: 49.316 [2]

Stanford
NQS: 195.995 [3]
Season high:  196.525 [3]
Season average: 195.630 [3]

VT NQS: 48.930 [3]
VT average: 48.852 [3]
UB NQS: 49.045 [4]
UB average: 48.825 [3/4]
BB NQS: 48.985 [3]
BB average: 48.759 [3]
FX NQS: 49.255 [3]
FX average: 49.193 [3]

Iowa/Arizona
NQS: 195.705/195.700 [4]
Season high:  196.450/196.450 [4]
Season average: 195.031/195.319 [4]

VT NQS: 48.890/48.825 [4]
VT average:  48.598/48.790 [4]
UB NQS: 49.095/49.055 [3]
UB average:  48.769/48.875 [4/3]
BB NQS: 48.860/48.915 [4]
BB average: 48.675/48.650 [4]
FX NQS: 49.215/49.180 [4]
FX average: 48.988/49.004 [4]

Semifinal #2 – Rotation-by-rotation NQS
Rotation 1 – Florida VT, Iowa/AZ UB, Oregon St BB, Stanford FX
1. Florida – 49.285
2. Stanford – 49.255
3. Oregon State – 49.160
4. Iowa/Arizona – 49.095/49.055

You guys, what if Stanford is winning after one event? With Florida and Oregon State both on their lowest scores to start…

But really, Stanford needs to be ahead of Oregon State at this point to have any real chance.

Rotation 2 – Stanford VT, Florida UB, Iowa/AZ BB, Oregon St FX
1. Florida – 98.785
2. Oregon State – 98.530
3. Stanford – 98.185
4. Iowa/Arizona – 97.955/97.970

Why Stanford needs that lead after the first rotation: because Oregon State will look to gain so much in the second rotation. Oregon State should be closer to Florida than to Stanford at this point, and Stanford and company can’t have that.

Rotation 3 – Oregon St VT, Stanford UB, Florida BB, Iowa/AZ FX
1. Florida – 148.275
2. Oregon State – 147.670
3. Stanford – 147.230
4. Iowa/Arizona – 147.170/147.150

Anyone’s game for that best-challenger spot after 3 events with Stanford, Iowa, and Arizona all within a tenth of each other.

Rotation 4 – Iowa/AZ VT, Oregon St UB, Stanford BB, Florida FX
1. Florida – 197.835
2. Oregon State – 196.815
3. Stanford – 196.215
4. Iowa/Arizona – 196.060/195.975

Oregon State is supposed to have more than a fall over Stanford in the end, which will help OSU feel pretty good about things heading in.


Regional Final

Despite being the #4 seed, Florida got the best regionals draw of any of the top four teams. Have I mentioned lately how I find the distribution of seeds in the NCAA postseason to be cuckoo bonkers? You couldn’t have fixed that whole disaster when you came up with a new system?

Anyway, Florida still has an advantage of more than a point in NQS over the best-ranked team it needs to defeat here (Boise State), so the luxury of being able to count a fall will still apply in the regional final. Mostly, the regional final is going to be the Denver Test. Denver has been exceptional all year and has scored weekly 197s and occasionally mid-197s at home, so everything points to Denver advancing to nationals here along with Florida. But it’s still uncharted territory. Denver has never in its history finished in the top 8 and will absolutely have to hit in this regional final to make that happen.

Teams like Boise State and Oregon State (or Washington should it get through) won’t be favored to make the regional final here but will feel that they’re in with a better chance than they might have at a couple other sites. Still, they don’t have the four-event scores to match Denver routine-for-routine in a hit meet. They’re going to have to rely on a miss to be in. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a total implosion, but it will need to be some manner of miss. Otherwise, Denver is going too far into the 197s to be caught by the others because even Denver’s weakest event score, vault, is still much better than the non-Florida vault rotations at this meet. And also better than the Florida vault rotation if those landings don’t arrive in the mail sometime soon.

Regional Final – Presumptive Score Comparison
Florida

NQS: 197.760 [1]
Season high: 198.025 [1]
Season average: 197.605 [1]

VT NQS: 49.285 [2]
VT average: 49.198 [2]
UB NQS: 49.500 [1]
UB average: 49.458 [1]
BB NQS: 49.490 [1]
BB average: 49.410 [1]
FX NQS: 49.560 [1]
FX average: 49.540 [1]

Denver
NQS: 197.545 [2]
Season high: 197.775 [2]
Season average: 197.175 [2]

VT NQS: 49.300 [1]
VT average: 49.211 [1]
UB NQS: 49.430 [2]
UB average: 49.391 [2]
BB NQS: 49.445 [2]
BB average: 49.252 [3]
FX NQS: 49.415 [2]
FX average: 49.320 [2]

Boise State
NQS: 196 725 [3]
Season high: 197.175 [4]
Season average: 196.498 [3]

VT NQS: 49.055 [4]
VT average: 49.010 [4]
UB NQS: 49.380 [3]
UB average: 49.188 [3]
BB NQS: 49.345 [3]
BB average: 49.258 [2]
FX NQS: 49.120 [4]
FX average: 49.043 [4]

Oregon State
NQS: 196.625 [4]
Season high:  197.450 [3]
Season average:196.320 [4]

VT NQS: 49.140 [3]
VT average:  49.055 [3]
UB NQS: 49.145 [4]
UB average: 49.000 [4]
BB NQS: 49.160 [4]
BB average: 48.950 [4]
FX NQS: 49.370 [3]
FX average: 49.316 [3]


Individuals

If everything goes to plan and Florida and Denver do advance as teams, then we’re looking at this regional site as the least loaded in terms of all-around contenders and the one where we could see someone pretty random come from behind and get a spot. In terms of favorites, I’d look at Kyla Bryant of Stanford as a front runner, with Courtney McGregor and Sarah Means of Boise State right there as the other most likely individual qualifiers.

Sarah Means will also have a solid shot on vault, though if we see someone go through with a full (which we very well might here), then Kaitlyn Yanish is your person. Yanish and Isis Lowery are probably the best bets for floor—at least one of them is going to get a big 9.9—but I’d take Bryant as an option there as well. At most of these regionals, beam is the hardest to pin down because we’ll have a couple Oregon Staters getting solid scores like Madi Dagen and Maela Lazaro, we’ll have a couple Boise State contenders in Means and Alex Esmerian, if Mallory Rose for Washington got a huge beam score here that would be amazing, the list goes on…

Bars could get interesting too if the expected teams qualify because we have four other individuals in this regional who have scored 9.975s this season in McGregor and Emily Muhlenhaupt from Boise State, as well as Christina Berg from Arizona and Madison Copiak from Washington. You wouldn’t be surprised by any of them, but there’s only one spot.

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2 thoughts on “Regionals Preview Part 5: Oregon State Regional”

  1. I have commented about it before but I disagree with the notion that Florida has the best draw of the top 4! Oklahoma has the same full-point buffer over Kentucky, and also an eight tenth buffer over Georgia. They can mess up and it would take perfect meets from both UK and UGA to eliminate them. If Florida messes up, only one of BSU or OSU need to be perfect, as Denver can stay ahead of Florida with some misses as long as their misses are smaller. UCLA and LSU also have full-point buffers over their #3 seeds and bigger buffers over their #2 seeds than Florida.

    I guess BSU doesn’t have the same name as Alabama, UK or even Minnesota, but numbers-wise, Florida doesn’t have the easiest draw at all.

    Like

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