Creslyn Brose Kentucky on floor

2024 Fayetteville Regional Preview

It’s almost time for the NCAA gymnastics postseason! We know where each of the top 36 teams in the country will travel to compete for a chance at advancing to nationals, and in the days leading up to the championships, we’ll preview and analyze each of the four regionals, discussing which teams have a chance of moving on each day and which individuals could qualify as well.

First up is the Fayetteville regional. Wednesday will feature No. 29 Boise State and No. 32 BYU in round one. Thursday we jump into round two action with No. 7 Kentucky, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 24 Arizona, and No. 27 Nebraska competing in the afternoon session and No. 2 LSU, No. 15 Minnesota, No. 18 Oregon State, and the winner of round one in the evening session. Two teams from each of these Thursday competitions will advance to the regional final on Saturday where the top two from that meet make it to nationals.

There’s also a handful of individuals that will compete on Thursday in both of the round two meets. Simply put, the top all-arounder and event specialists qualify to nationals. To determine those gymnasts, combine Thursday’s individual event and all-around results, wait until Saturday’s meet concludes, take out all the gymnasts from the two qualifying teams, and take the top individual on each event and in the all-around.

Easy enough, right?

For a more in-depth explanation, including how the tie-breaking procedure works (it’s complicated), how the whole format is structured, and even how judges are selected, check out our NCAA postseason resource guide.

Round One

Date: Wednesday, April 3rd at 3 p.m. ET

How to Watch: ESPN+

Teams: No. 29 Boise State vs. No. 32 BYU 

TeamNQSAverageHigh ScoreStarting Event
No. 29 Boise State196.715196.334197.025Vault
No. 32 BYU196.665196.356197.050Bars


Due to either geography or its religious exemption to not compete on Sundays, BYU was moved from a more favorable matchup versus Southern Utah to this tougher dual with Boise State. While the Broncos are the favorites, the margin is slim. Based on recent performances, BYU actually has an edge. Its season high came at Big 12s, and it really built momentum late in the season.

So You’re Saying There’s a Chance

If both teams have big hits, this will come down to the wire. It’s going to be a matter of stuck landings, hit handstands, and clean leaps. If there’s one can’t-miss play-in, it might just be this one.

Round Two

Session One

Date: Thursday, April 4th at 2 p.m. ET

How to Watch: ESPN+

Teams: No. 7 Kentucky, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 24 Arizona, and No. 27 Nebraska

TeamNQSAverageHigh ScoreStarting Event
No. 7 Kentucky197.810197.592198.100Vault
No. 10 Arkansas197.445197.150198.100Floor
No. 24 Arizona196.885196.619197.000Beam
No. 27 Nebraska196.780196.408197.375Bars


Kentucky is hot off its best finish at SECs in program history, and momentum is real. The program is no stranger to qualifying for nationals, even if that feat is quite new. Kentucky continues to climb and impress. The Wildcats are hot and that star is rising rapidly. And, just like last year, Kentucky hasn’t counted a miss this season. Arkansas, close on the heels of the Wildcats, hasn’t had the steadiest of seasons, with bars a thorn in the Razorbacks’ grip bags. Nebraska can outscore Arizona by almost four tenths but need to cobble beam routines together to make it happen. It’s gone from 48.100 to 49.400 and back to 48.475 in the space of four weeks. 

So You’re Saying There’s a Chance

The GymCats and Huskers can make a solid push toward finishing in the top two, but Kentucky would likely have to count a miss for it to happen. Both Arizona and Nebraska will be starting off on the stronger of their respective events, which also happen to be the weaker of the other. Neither teams may have had defining wins during the season, but both keep it close. It takes a lot to rattle either. Small errors can provide just the right amount of room for them to sneak a toe into that open door. 

All AroundVaultBarsBeamFloor
Kendall Whitman, GW (with Nebraska)Kiera O’Shea, NIU (with Arkansas)Alyssa Al-Ashari, NIU (with Arkansas)Maya Peters, GW (with Arizona)
Sarah Zois, GW (with Arizona)

*Note: Individuals from both round one teams are included in the individual draw to account for one team being eliminated after Wednesday’s competition. The spots from the individuals on the advancing team will not be filled.

Individuals to Keep an Eye on

Going up against Jade Carey in the all-around will prove to be a spinning-gold-out-of-straw situation for Kendall Whitman of George Washington. Maya Peters can go 9.925 on beam, so to stand a chance, the freshman needs to be absolutely lights out. Either way, it won’t be the last time we see Peters at regionals.   

Session Two

Date: Thursday, April 4th at 8 p.m. ET

How to Watch: ESPN+

Teams: No. 2 LSU, No. 15 Minnesota, No. 18 Oregon State, and the winner of round one.

TeamNQSAverageHigh ScoreStarting Event
No. 2 LSU198.215197.908198.475Vault
No. 15 Minnesota197.310197.027197.725Floor
No. 18 Oregon State197.085196.838197.575Beam
No. 29 Boise State OR No. 32 BYU196.715 OR 196.665196.334 OR 196.356197.025 OR 197.050Bars


LSU’s season started hot and never cooled off; with enough depth to rest some stars, as well as one of the top freshmen in the country in Konnor McClain, the SEC champion Tigers have been close to unstoppable. The Gophers, on the other hand, started slow and gained momentum throughout the year, culminating in a second-place finish by only one tenth in the Big Ten conference meet. Oregon State has had some ups and downs, including a mid-196 fifth-place showing at Pac-12s. With Jade Carey back on all four after easing into the season while she prepares for the Paris Olympics, the Beavers are still dangerous, with a strong season high in the bank.

So You’re Saying There’s a Chance

LSU is all but a lock to advance out of this session, assuming it has a normal meet. The real battle will be between Minnesota and Oregon State to join the Tigers in the Sweet 16 for a shot at a nationals berth. Coming off its upset for second at Big Tens, Minnesota has the momentum.

All AroundVaultBarsBeamFloor
Luciana Alvarado-Reid, CMU (with BSU/BYU)Sydney Benson, BYU (with Oregon State)Anyssa Alvarado, BYU OR Courtney Blackson, Boise State (with Minnesota)Brynlee Andersen, BYU OR Emma Loyim, Boise State (with Oregon State)Hallie Hornbacher, CMU (with Minnesota)
Elizabeth Cesarone, CMU (with TBD)Anna Bramblett, BYU OR Emily Lopez, Boise State (with Oregon State)Elease Rollins, BYU OR Adriana Popp, Boise State (with Minnesota)Emma Loyim, Boise State (with Oregon State)
Courtney Blackson, Boise State** (with LSU)

*Note: Individuals from both round one teams are included in the individual draw to account for one team being eliminated after Wednesday’s competition. The spots from the individuals on the advancing team will not be filled.

**It is believed that Blackson pulled out of floor due to injury.

Individuals to Keep an Eye on

Assuming Oregon State doesn’t send a team to nationals, Jade Carey is the likely all-around qualifier. Emily Lopez has a strong chance to advance on bars, with a 9.950 high on the year; she has been injured recently and has not hit near her usual ceiling the past few weeks. There’s also the Arkansas/Kentucky/LSU situation to factor in. Each team has strong individuals, and whichever one of the three that doesn’t make nationals as aa team is sure to have a strong core of contenders for event specialist spots.

Round Three

Date: Saturday, April 6th at 6 p.m. ET

How to Watch: ESPN+

Teams: Top two teams from each Friday session

VaultTeam with the third-highest NQS
BarsTeam with the second-highest NQS
BeamTeam with the highest NQS
FloorTeam with the fourth-highest NQS

The Bottom Line

If all things go how they should, because history does tend to repeat itself, we’ll see LSU and Kentucky at the top of the final and making travel plans for Texas. On the other hand, not to reference basketball, but March Madness has been exactly that this year: madness. Every single team is able go 197 or better. Minnesota has proven it can’t be counted out when things feel unlikely. Good luck and a ticket to nationals is when preparation meets opportunity meets a contagion of sticks.  

READ THIS NEXT: The NCAA Postseason Format, Explained

Article by Allison Freeman and Emily Minehart


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