*** NAIA PLAYOFFS ***
TEAM OF DESTINY? – The MORNINGSIDE MUSTANGS have come into their own the past two seasons as the new masters of the Great Plains Athletic Conference after the University of Sioux Falls moved over to NCAA Division 2. The 2011 postseason ended with a disappointing early exit from the playoffs for the Mustangs. 2012, however, has found them increasingly referred to as this year’s “Team of Destiny” after a close call against the MONTANA TECH OREDIGGERS last week and a tough Overtime win yesterday against the SOUTHERN OREGON RAIDERS. The final score in this Instant Classic was 47-44.
BACK IN THE FINAL FOUR – The MARIAN UNIVERSITY KNIGHTS continue to make Balladeer’s Blog look like a gridiron Nostradamus for designating them as THE up-and- coming power in NAIA football a few years back. After another stellar season, much of which they spent in the number 1 spot in the rankings, the Knights have made it to the Final Four for the second year in a row. Yesterday Marian advanced with an authoritative 45-34 win over the SAINT FRANCIS (IN) COUGARS.
THE HEART OF A CHAMPION – Chicago’s SAINT XAVIER UNIVERSITY COUGARS, the defending champions of NAIA football, continue their defense of their title. Yesterday the Cougars joined Morningside and Marian in the 2012 Final Four by defeating the powerhouse UNIVERSITY OF THE CUMBERLANDS PATRIOTS by a final score of 35-21.
THE DEFENSIVE EPIC OF THE POSTSEASON – The MISSOURI VALLEY COLLEGE VIKINGS filled the last slot in this season’s Final Four in the NAIA. The Vikings had their hands full with the BETHEL (TN) WILDCATS, who toppled the top-ranked GEORGETOWN (KY) TIGERS last Saturday. MVC avoided being the second victims of a Bethel upset by winning this 10-7 game for the ages.
*** NCAA DIVISION 2 PLAYOFFS ***
REST OR RUST? – In 2010 and 2011 the 8 D2 teams who had a bye in the First Round wound up struggling, with 5 losing in 2010 and 4 in 2011. This year just 3 of the teams who came off a bye wound up losing. The MISSOURI WESTERN GRIFFONS had the most impressive upset win, hammering the (2) HENDERSON STATE UNIVERSITY REDDIES 45-21. ### The IUP CRIMSON HAWKS had the toughest time toppling their upper seed opponent, bringing down the Continue reading