No. 6 Football Earns No. 1 Seed And First-Round Bye In NCAA Tournament
NCAA Division III Football Tournament Bracket
, Nov. 16, 2003 – Springfield College earned the No. 1 seed in the East and a first-round bye in the NCAA Division III Football Tournament.
The 28-team field was announced on Sunday afternoon. SC, along with seven-time defending national champion Mount Union (Ohio), Lycoming (Pa.) and St. John’s (Minn.), were awarded first-round byes.
The Pride, which enters the postseason with a 10-0 record and a No.6 national ranking, takes on No. 4 RPI (a 34-20 winner over Curry in first-round action) in the second round on Sat., Nov. 29 at 12 p.m. on SC’s Benedum Field. A win would propel SC to the East Region Final, which would be on Sat., Dec. 6 at Benedum Field. The NCAA Division III National Championship, the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, is on Sat., Dec. 20 in Salem, Va.
“We’re excited to be playing in the tournament,” said SC head coach Mike DeLong
, who has led the Pride to four NCAA Tournament bids in six seasons. “This is a very coachable, hard-working group of players. They definitely deserve this seed.”
The Pride is 2-3 in three previous appearances in the NCAA Tournament. SC lost to Buffalo State, 38-35, in 1998 at Benedum Field. In 2000, the Pride became the first Division III New England team to reach a regional final. SC topped Montclair (N.J.) State, 31-29, in the first round at home then defeated top-seed Brockport, 13-6. In the East Region Final, the Pride lost to Widener (Pa.), 62-20, at Benedum Field. Last season, SC fell to Brockport, 16-0, in the first round.
The ’03 Pride, which is the first team in 111 years of SC football to go 10-0, enters the tournament riding a school-record 14-game regular-season winning streak, including a 21-18 win at Union (N.Y.) on Sat., Nov. 15.