Audrey Davis competes on the balance beam for Oklahoma at the 2023 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships

Data Deep Dive: Simulating the 2024 Postseason

The postseason is upon us! Another regular season is in the books, which means it’s time to run our postseason simulator again to see who the title favorites are and where to look for the most likely upsets along the way.


We collected all of the scores from the 2024 season and wrote a script that randomly selects scores from the remaining pool to simulate a meet, with gymnasts who competed more often during the season being more likely to make the lineup in the simulated meet. We also accounted for the fact that there are more judges in the postseason by adding or subtracting 0.0125 from some of the scores, determined randomly in each simulation; because of postseason judging being slightly stricter than regular season, the model was more likely to subtract .0125 than add it. Finally, we expanded the script to simulate the entire bracket, starting with the play-in rounds and finishing with the national final. We ran this script 10,000 times.

In a change for this year, we added logic to prioritize home scores for regional hosts and away scores for the remaining teams. When simulating the final two rounds of competition in Texas, away scores were prioritized for all teams. This doesn’t mean that other scores were never used, they were just less likely to be selected by the model. We did this in order to give priority to performances that occurred in similar environments to what will occur in the postseason, and also to limit the effect that home judging had on the model.

Additionally, to allow the information we have on injuries to factor into our simulation, we excluded gymnasts known to have suffered season-ending injuries. Gymnasts with injuries who have yet to return to competition, but who are not definitively out for the rest of the year, are included, but given significantly lower chances of making lineups.


The following table shows how often each team qualified to each round of the postseason across the 10,000 model runs in this simulation.

Region Rank Team 2nd Round 3rd Round Nationals Finalist Top 3 Top 2 Champion
Ann Arbor1Oklahoma100.00%100.00%99.94%99.48%99.16%96.77%84.24%
Ann Arbor16N.C. State100.00%21.72%0.10%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Ann Arbor17Ohio State100.00%67.45%2.29%0.03%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Ann Arbor31Illinois51.29%4.60%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Ann Arbor34Ball State48.71%6.23%0.01%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Ann Arbor8Alabama100.00%99.40%73.14%22.46%9.41%2.15%0.04%
Ann Arbor11Michigan100.00%91.42%24.49%2.54%0.45%0.07%0.00%
Ann Arbor23Kent State100.00%4.04%0.02%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Ann Arbor25Penn State100.00%5.14%0.01%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Fayetteville18Oregon State100.00%26.32%1.89%0.08%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Fayetteville29Boise State52.07%1.34%0.02%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Berkeley33Southern Utah51.89%1.06%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Berkeley35San Jose State48.11%0.55%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Berkeley22Arizona State100.00%21.62%1.07%0.02%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Gainesville36Iowa State25.70%0.14%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%0.00%
Gainesville10Michigan State100.00%95.20%35.68%5.70%1.37%0.17%0.00%

The first round looks to be exciting this year, with the model only showing one match-up with a clear favorite in Clemson over Iowa State. Beyond that, the most likely play-in teams to pull a second-round upset are Clemson and the winner of Ball State vs. Illinois, though none are given more than a 10% chance of doing so.

In the second round, the most exciting battle to watch appears to be N.C. State vs. Ohio State for the second advancement spot in the Ann Arbor regional. Ohio State was ranked in the top 16 for the entire season until the very last week and has a higher average score than N.C. State. Because of this, it’s easy to see why the model favors the Buckeyes, but the Wolfpack has a greater season high by over two tenths of a point. Elsewhere in the bracket, the highest second-round upset chances are given to Stanford, Oregon State, and Arizona State.

The model does not show any upset favorites to advance to nationals out of the regional finals, but it does show that the most interesting regional to watch will be Gainesville, as many have predicted. With both of the top seeds given around a 75% chance to advance to nationals, Michigan State at 36%, and Missouri at 14%, there were a high number of simulation runs where at least one upset occurred. Elsewhere around the country, Kentucky could find itself on upset alert against the hometown Razorbacks in the Fayetteville regional, and UCLA could make things interesting against Denver in Berkeley.

Looking at nationals, the top three seeds are heavy favorites to reach the team final, with Florida and Utah given about equal chances to join them. Part of the reason for these lower percentages for Florida and Utah is because they were given lower chances to reach nationals in the first place; if they both advance out of the Gainesville regional, their chances to reach the final will increase accordingly. With the victors of the Ann Arbor and Gainesville regional being paired together in one national semifinal, it makes sense that Alabama is given a relatively high chance of advancing to the final, since Gainesville is most likely to produce a surprise semifinalist.

It should surprise no one that Oklahoma is the obvious favorite to win the national title, but some may be surprised that the chances aren’t above 90%. Oklahoma has been the most consistently excellent team throughout the season, and this is the highest chance our model has ever given a team by almost 20%, but LSU and Cal have put up some truly stellar numbers that an unbiased model cannot ignore. Outside of these three teams, it may be a shock to see Florida and Utah given less than half a percent chance to win, but these numbers will likely increase should they make it out of their regional. We will run the model again before nationals once we know the eight semifinalists.

Want to try this simulation yourself?

You're in luck! Click the simulate button below, and tables will appear showing the results of both semifinals and Four on the Floor! We've also added in individual event winners this year using the scores from the eight teams that make nationals in each run. Click the button again to run a new simulation. Counts of wins will show up under the "Win Count" header. Be sure to share your results on social media!


Win Counts

READ THIS NEXT: 2024 Regionals Draw, Individual Qualifiers Announced

Simulation script and article by Jenna King; on-page simulation by Izzi Baskin


  1. I think there is something wrong with your simulator. It shows the results of all 4 teams and then lists the wrong winning team. I just ran it 10 times and about 6 of those times a non-Oklahoma team got the highest score but then the winner was listed as Oklahoma with that other team’s score….

          1. There was an article posted with the nationals odds/field this past Friday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.