NCAA Conference Championships Preview & Schedule

Boise State Gymnastics vs Sacramento State, Allison Corona photo

In just a few hours, get ready to watch a million meets at once as nearly every team in the country will face off at their respective conference championships held throughout the country.

Conference championships basically signify the end of the regular season, and while the titles and rankings within each conference don’t qualify teams outright to any postseason meets, the scores this weekend DO count toward the RQS, or regional qualifying score. Most teams are locked into regionals spots based on the previous 11 weeks of competition, but with a handful of teams right on the bubble, some of these teams will have a big reason to fight this weekend.

Teams inside the top 36 right now who aren’t safe are New Hampshire, Central Michigan, and Iowa, and there are three teams just outside the top 36 that will be hoping to get the scores they need this weekend to break in — Arizona, Utah State, and North Carolina. With Arizona hosting the Pac 12 Championships, the odds are in their favor if they hit their routines, so I could definitely see them taking a spot away at the last minute.

For those teams currently ranked in the top 33 already locked into regionals spots, conference championships are basically about bragging rights. In the past, teams that have gotten to call themselves conference champions went to regionals two weeks later and didn’t qualify to nationals, so don’t get too cocky. Regionals is the true test, though conference champions are a fun way to see every team in the same division compared side-by-side for the first time all year.

We’re likely to see several upsets from lower-ranked teams over the “regular season champions,” aka the teams that finished the first eleven weeks of competition ranked at the top of their conferences. Some teams come out on fire from day one and have more to work with in the week-to-week rankings, whereas other teams don’t start to reach their peak until closer to the end, making them more than prepared to get the upset today.

As always, the SEC will see a tight race to the title, with LSU the clear frontrunner, but both Florida and Alabama are capable of scoring at the same level so nothing’s decided just yet. On the west coast, UCLA and Utah will battle it out, but I’m excited to see if any of the up-and-comers like Washington, California, or Oregon State could end up taking them down, and I’m really excited for the title race at the MRGC meet, where literally all four teams have a shot at getting the win.

A full schedule of all of today’s meets is below with links to stats and streams. Enjoy!

SATURDAY MARCH 24
12:00 pm ECAC D1 Championships (Yale 195.325, William & Mary 194.575, Brown 194.025, Pennsylvania 193.200, Cornell 193.150, Temple 192.675) Results
1:00 pm ECAC D2 Championships (Bridgeport 195.100, West Chester 192.625, Southern Conn. 191.900) Results
2:00 pm EAGL Championships (NC State 196.625, New Hampshire 196.300, George Washington 195.875, Towson 195.675, Pittsburgh 195.475, North Carolina 194.775) Results
2:00 pm MAC Championships (Central Michigan 197.025, Northern Illinois 195.875, Bowling Green 195.850, Eastern Michigan 195.275, Western Michigan 194.775, Kent State 194.375, Ball State 194.225) Results
3:00 pm Big Ten Championships Session I (Nebraska 196.950, Penn State 195.500, Rutgers 194.400, Michigan State 194.275) Results
3:00 pm SEC Championships Session I (Arkansas 196.425, Georgia 196.350, Missouri 196.100, Auburn 195.650) Results
4:00 pm NCGA Championships (Event Finals) Results
4:00 pm Pac 12 Championships Session I (Oregon State 196.575, Arizona State 196.425, Stanford 196.350, Arizona 195.825) Results
5:00 pm Big 12 Championships (Oklahoma 197.775, Denver 197.075, Iowa State 195.650, West Virginia 195.625) Results
7:00 pm SEC Championships Session II (LSU 197.400, Alabama 196.975, Florida 196.825, Kentucky 196.550) Results
8:00 pm Big Ten Championships Session II (Michigan 197.200, Illinois 196.625, Iowa 196.400, Ohio State 196.375, Minnesota 196.225, Maryland 195.250) Results
8:00 pm MPSF Championships (San Jose State 195.975, UC Davis 195.200, Air Force 194.975, Sacramento State 194.775, Seattle Pacific 194.300, Alaska 192.200) Results
8:00 pm MRGC Championships (Boise State 196.875, BYU 196.000, Utah State 195.825, Southern Utah 195.575) Results
10:00 pm Pac 12 Championships Session II (UCLA 197.500, Utah 197.350, California 196.950, Washington 196.750) Results
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