NCAA II PLAYOFFS
St. Cloud State (11-1) at MSU Mankato (11-0), noon
St. Cloud State, the No. 6 seed in Division II Super Region 3, opened the playoffs with a 40-35 victory over third-seeded Henderson State in Arkadelphia, Ark., last Saturday. The victory gave the Huskies their first 11-victory season in school history. The host Mavericks, who reached the Division II semifinals last season, had a first-round bye. Despite being ranked No. 1 in the Division II national poll, the Mavericks were seeded No. 2 in the region behind NW Missouri State, which is No. 2 in the national poll. The Huskies and Mavericks did not meet in the regular season. The Mavericks won last year’s regular-season meeting 25-21.
Minnesota Duluth (11-1) at NW Missouri State (11-0), noon
This is the third playoff meeting since 2008 for the two teams. Minnesota Duluth won both — beating the Bearcats in the 2008 championship game and in the 2010 semifinals. The Bulldogs went on to win the 2010 championship. The fourth-seeded Bulldogs, in the Division II playoffs for the sixth consecutive season, opened the playoffs last Saturday with a dominating 55-13 victory at home over fifth-seeded Emporia State. NW Missouri State, which has reached at least the second round of the playoffs the past nine seasons, had a first-round bye. The Bearcats, who won the 2009 championship after losing in the championship game the previous four seasons, closed out the regular season on Nov. 9 with a 48-21 victory over Emporia State.
NCAA III PLAYOFFS
Wartburg (9-2) at Bethel (11-0), noon
The teams will meet for the third time in the past two seasons. The Royals defeated Wartburg 21-0 to open the 2012 season and defeated the Knights 30-17 on Sept. 19. In that game, the Royals built a 30-0 lead. The unranked Knights advanced with a 41-7 victory at No. 13 Illinois Wesleyan in the first round last Saturday. The Knights, who won the IIAC automatic berth by going 6-1 in conference games, intercepted four passes in the victory over Illinois Wesleyan. The Knights’ other loss was to Coe (24-10 on Nov. 2). Bethel defeated St. Scholastica 70-13 in the first-round last Saturday behind a nearly flawless performance by Erik Peterson. Peterson completed 25 of 27 passes for 300 yards and four TDs. This season Peterson has passed for a school single-season record of 2,795 yards.
For links to live video of Saturday's game, click here.