Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wesleyan to face Wesley College in first round of NCAA playoffs

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - The NCAA released its 2009 Division III Football Championship bracket on Sunday afternoon, and North Carolina Wesleyan has learned it will travel to Delaware to take on the South Region's top-seed, Wesley College, next Saturday at 12:00 noon. The 3rd-ranked Wolverines were awarded a No. 1 seed after completing an undefeated regular season at 10-0, while the Blue & Gold were tabbed the No. 8 seed after posting seven straight wins and an 8-2 overall record.

NCWC is making its second playoff appearance in program history after posting an undefeated 7-0 record in the USA South to secure the league's automatic bid. The feat marks the second time in the past three seasons that the Bishops ran the table against conference opponents. NCWC's two regular season losses came at the hands of non-conference foes Emory & Henry and Hampden-Sydney, which also turned in a 10-0 record en route to the region's No. 3 seed.

Wesley is making its fifth consecutive trip to the NCAAs, winning the South in both 2005 and 2006 and advancing to the quarterfinals in 2007. The Wolverines and Battling Bishops have just one series meeting between them: the 2007 opener for both squads, which was won by Wesley 34-31.

On paper, the two teams looked to be evenly matched offensively. The Battling Bishops averaged 36.5 points and over 450 total yards of offense per game during the regular season, while the Wolverines turned in 35.6 points and 410 yards per contest. The outcome, therefore, may be determined on the defensive side of the ball.

Other top seeds in the tournament include Mount Union in the East, UW-Whitewater in the North and St. John's (MN) in the West. In the South, the winner of the Wesley/North Carolina Wesleyan game will face the winner of the Mississippi College/Huntingdon contest

Note: I will post a link to live coverage of this game Saturday right here later this week!

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