NCAA quarterfinals await for Mavericks, Tommies

DIVISION II playoffs QUARTERFINALS, Saturday

Texas A&M-Commerce (11-1) at MSU Mankato (13-0), noon: Texas A&M-Commerce has pulled off two upsets on the road to the quarterfinals. The Lions opened with a 20-6 victory at Winona State in the first round before rallying from a 28-7 halftime deficit for a 34-31 victory in two overtimes at unbeaten Central Washington on Saturday. The Lions, in the Division II playoffs for the third consecutive season, have won seven consecutive games since a 47-42 loss to Midwestern State on Oct. 7. The Mavericks are coming off a 63-21 victory over Midwestern State in the second round on Saturday. In the first round, the Mavericks defeated Colorado State-Pueblo 16-13 in overtime.

DIVISION III playoffs QUARTERFINALS, Saturday

St. Thomas (11-1) at Mary Hardin-Baylor (12-0), noon: After two home playoff victories, the Tommies travel to Belton, Texas, to meet the defending national champion. The Tommies are coming off a 29-13 victory over previously unbeaten Berry. The Crusaders, who have a 27-game winning streak (the longest current streak in college football), defeated Chapman 50-6 in the first round and Linfield 24-0 in the second round to advance. It is the first meeting between the two programs — the Crusaders have never faced an MIAC team.

mineral water bowl Saturday

Minnesota Duluth (9-2) vs. Central Missouri (8-3), noon: The top two teams from the NSIC and MIAA that did not make the Division II playoff field meet in the Mineral Water Bowl — the only sanctioned bowl game for NCAA Division II teams — in Excelsior Springs, Mo. Minnesota Duluth, in the postseason for the 10th consecutive season, brings an eight-game winning streak into the game. The Bulldogs ranked fifth in Division II in defense in the regular season, allowing just 259.8 yards per game. Central Missouri was third in total offense (527.1 yards per game). It is the second meeting between the two. The first was in the 2001 Mineral Water Bowl, a 48-17 Mules victory.

Joel rippel