The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team will make its 14th straight NCAA Division III National Championships appearance and its 16th in the last 17 years after the defending Division III National Champions earned an at-large bid to the postseason with the announcement of the 32-team field Sunday afternoon. UMHB will open the defense of its national title at home with a First Round game against Chapman University. That game will kick off at 12:00 PM at Crusader Stadium in Belton on Saturday, November 18th.
UMHB is 10-0 overall and went 9-0 in American Southwest Conference play to win the ASC title for the 13th straight season. Chapman is 6-2 overall and won the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 6-0 league mark. The two teams will be meeting for the first time, but the Cru is facing the SCIAC champion in a first round matchup for the second straight season after topping University of Redlands 50-28 in last year’s postseason opener.
“I am always excited when I see the bracket and it is such an exciting part of what we do in getting a chance to get back into the playoffs,” Cru head coach Pete Fredenburg said. “I think we have an incredible opportunity to play all of our games at home if we can take care of our business. It helps that we have played someone from that league before because we have some idea of what to expect from a team we’ve never played before.”
UMHB has a 32-14 all-time record in the NCAA Division III National Championships and joins Mount Union as the only two Division III programs in the country to win at least one playoff game in each of the last 13 seasons. Chapman is in the NCAA postseason for just the second time in school history and the Panthers are 0-1 all-time in playoff action. The winner of the UMHB/Chapman game will advance to play the winner of the Linfield/Hardin-Simmons opening round game. The host team for the Second Round will be announced next Sunday afternoon
The game will be broadcast on K101.7 FM with the pre-game show starting at 11:30 AM on Saturday. UMHB will also provide live video and live statistics for the contest with links to all of the coverage available on the Athletic Department web site at www.cruathletics.com.