INDIANAPOLIS, IN - For the first time in school history, the Newberry College football team earned a bid to the NCAA Division II Playoffs as announced by officials at the NCAA on Sunday afternoon. The Indians will be the third seed in the Southeast Region and will face Albany State University, who earned the sixth and final seed in the bracket on Saturday, November 18 at Setzler Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 noon.
Newberry (10-1, 6-1 SAC) will be the only South Atlantic Conference school represented in the playoffs this year. The Indians won the SAC Championship and set a new single-season school record in victories with 10.
Albany State comes into the playoffs with an overall record of 7-3 and a 6-1 record in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Since the Golden Rams won their conference and was a top 10 school in the Southeast Region, they gained earned access into the playoffs.
Eight first-round games will be conducted on the campus of one of the competing institutions. In addition, two teams per region have earned first-round byes. The first-round winners will all advance to face a bye team in their region in the second round on the campus of one of the competing institutions. Second-round winners will meet in the quarterfinals at various campus sites. Quarterfinal winners will advance to play in the semifinals on the campus of one of the competing institutions. Six teams selected per region make up the field of 24 teams.
The first-round dates, sites and pairings are:
November 18 at Midland, Michigan
University of South Dakota (8-3) vs. *Northwood University (8-2)
November 18 at Grand Forks, North Dakota
Winona State University (9-2) vs. *University of North Dakota (9-1)
November 18 at Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Delta State University (9-2) vs. *Elizabeth City State University (9-2)
November 18 at Newberry, South Carolina
Albany State University (Georgia) (7-3) vs. *Newberry College (10-1)
November 18 at North Andover, Massachusetts
Southern Connecticut State University (7-3) vs. *Merrimack College (7-3)
November 18 at Smithfield, Rhode Island
West Chester University of Pennsylvania (8-3) vs. *Bryant University (8-2)
November 18 at Wichita Falls, Texas
Missouri Western State University (9-2) vs. *Midwestern State University (9-2)
November 18 at Canyon, Texas
Abilene Christian University (8-2) vs. *West Texas A&M University (10-1)
*Denotes Host Institution
The following institutions earned first-round byes in each region and also will host a second-round game on November 25, 2006.
1. Grand Valley State University (11-0)
2. University of Nebraska at Omaha (8-2)
1. North Carolina Central University (11-0)
2. University of North Alabama (10-0)
1. Shepherd University (10-0)
2. Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (10-1)
1. Northwest Missouri State University (11-0)
2. Chadron State College (11-0)
All contests shall start at noon local time. Other times may be established if approved by the committee.
The championship game will be played December 16, at Noon Eastern time at Braly Municipal Stadium in Florence, Alabama and will be broadcast live on ESPN. The 2006 championship will mark 21 consecutive years that the Division II championship game has been played in Florence. In addition, both semifinal games will be played on Sunday, December 10. Kick-off will be at either 5:30 p.m. Eastern time or 7 p.m. Eastern time and will air on either ESPN2 or ESPNU.