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Kolas Projections Were Wrong Due To Crazy Tiebreaker

Kolas Projections Were Wrong Due To Crazy Tiebreaker
Today the NCAA announced the 62-team field for the 2017 Division I NCAA Cross Country Championships, which you can watch LIVE on FloTrack

However, the NCAA's official field was different from our Kolas projections. The discrepancy came down to the final two women's teams. Our projections had Missouri and Virginia Tech; the NCAA selected Indiana and Eastern Michigan.

So what happened?

It turns out our projections miscalculated an elaborate tiebreaker between Missouri and Indiana.

Both Missouri and Indiana had two wins over qualified teams: Missouri beat Oklahoma State and Texas, while Indiana beat Columbia and Dartmouth.

The first tiebreaker is head-to-head, which doesn't come into play since Indiana and Missouri never raced each other this season. The second tiebreaker is common opponents, which our projections thought was equal (turns out they weren't). And the third tiebreaker is highest finish at regionals, which gives an advantage to Missouri since they were fourth in the Midwest and Indiana was fifth.

This was why we selected Missouri incorrectly.

Here is why our "common opponents" tiebreaker was wrong and the NCAA's was right: It turns out Indiana and Missouri had 25 common opponents!

Here's how they fared against those opponents:

TEAM W/L COMMON OPPONENT MEET
INDIANA W Boston College BATTLE IN BEANTOWN
INDIANA W Bowling Green GREAT LAKES
INDIANA W Bradley SAM BELL
INDIANA W Brown BATTLE IN BEANTOWN
INDIANA W Butler GREAT LAKES
INDIANA W Central Michigan GREAT LAKES
INDIANA W Dayton GREAT LAKES
INDIANA W Illinois BATTLE IN BEANTOWN
INDIANA W Illinois BIG TEN
INDIANA W Iowa BIG TEN
INDIANA W IUPUI GREAT LAKES
INDIANA W Kentucky NUTTYCOMBE
INDIANA W Miami (Ohio) GREAT LAKES
INDIANA W Miami (Ohio) SAM BELL
INDIANA W Nebraska BIG TEN
INDIANA W Nebraska SAM BELL
INDIANA W Northwestern BIG TEN
INDIANA W Ohio State GREAT LAKES
INDIANA W Toledo GREAT LAKES
INDIANA W Tulsa NUTTYCOMBE
INDIANA W UMass Lowell BATTLE IN BEANTOWN
INDIANA W Vanderbilt NUTTYCOMBE
INDIANA W Xavier (Ohio) GREAT LAKES
INDIANA L Eastern Michigan GREAT LAKES
INDIANA L Eastern Michigan NUTTYCOMBE
INDIANA L Iowa State NUTTYCOMBE
INDIANA L Michigan BIG TEN
INDIANA L Michigan GREAT LAKES
INDIANA L Michigan SAM BELL
INDIANA L Minnesota BIG TEN
INDIANA L Minnesota NUTTYCOMBE
INDIANA L Ohio State BIG TEN
INDIANA L Penn State BIG TEN
MISSOURI W Boston College PRE-NATS
MISSOURI W Bowling Green PRE-NATS
MISSOURI W Bradley MIDWEST
MISSOURI W Brown PRE-NATS
MISSOURI W Butler COMMODORE
MISSOURI W Central Michigan PRE-NATS
MISSOURI W Eastern Michigan COMMODORE
MISSOURI W Illinois MIDWEST
MISSOURI W Iowa MIDWEST
MISSOURI W IUPUI COMMODORE
MISSOURI W Kentucky SEC
MISSOURI W Miami (Ohio) COMMODORE
MISSOURI W Miami (Ohio) PRE-NATS
MISSOURI W Nebraska MIDWEST
MISSOURI W Northwestern COWBOY JAMBOREE
MISSOURI W Northwestern MIDWEST
MISSOURI W Tulsa COWBOY JAMBOREE
MISSOURI W Tulsa MIDWEST
MISSOURI W UMass Lowell PRE-NATS
MISSOURI W Vanderbilt SEC
MISSOURI W Xavier (Ohio) COMMODORE
MISSOURI L Dayton PRE-NATS
MISSOURI L Iowa State MIDWEST
MISSOURI L Michigan PRE-NATS
MISSOURI L Minnesota MIDWEST
MISSOURI L Northwestern PRE-NATS
MISSOURI L Ohio State COMMODORE
MISSOURI L Ohio State PRE-NATS
MISSOURI L Penn State COWBOY JAMBOREE
MISSOURI L Toledo PRE-NATS
MISSOURI L Vanderbilt COMMODORE

Indiana's record was 23-10 (.697). Missouri's record was 21-10 (.677).

As a result, Indiana won the tiebreaker for common opponents, and should have been selected over Missouri -- which then resulted in Eastern Michigan being selected for the final at-large spot.

For the full NCAA selection criteria click here
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