November 15, 2001

Committee follows criteria in selecting the Field of 28

By Pat Coleman
D3sports.com

Somewhere along the line we got off the track this year.

Last season, the committee blew us away by taking Ohio Northern over Illinois Wesleyan. Yes, we knew at the time ONU was a better team, but IWU was better according to the criteria.

Well, they took ONU anyway, leading us to attempt to determine where we'd gone wrong. We decided that the committee had made a stand against the bizarre criteria that make them select teams nationally based on results in-region, and attempted to increase the quality of their playoff field. Perhaps that's why, when questioned directly on the subject in last year's press conference, the committee representatives were vague.

It didn't last. In pairings announced here this afternoon, Ohio Northern out, UW-Eau Claire out, Washington U. out, while every single at-large team, whether Pool B or C, had no more than one Division III loss.

Regarding Whitworth, NCAA associate director of championships Wayne Burrow said, "we felt Whitworth deserved special attention for having lost only one ballgame overall."

Fair enough.

Regarding Ohio Northern, Burrow said, "There were a tremendous number of teams in the C category on the board last night that had lost only to their conference champion. I would have to say the second out of region loss (was a factor)."

Well, the second loss by ONU last year was out of region as well (and out of Division III). I'm not sure Dayton, a non-scholarship I-AA school, was all that much better than UW-Stevens Point is.

Somebody had to fly to reach a third Texas team, and I like the way the committee dealt with this, giving Wittenberg a trip to Abilene, Texas, to see Hardin-Simmons in the first round and either sending the winner to Thomas More, or MacMurray to the winner.

"There was a lot of discussion last night regarding if there was going to be a need to move any teams," said Burrow. "What came up was that there were six traditional Northern teams that were picked, seven from the East, seven from the West and eight from the South."

He went on to explain that a matchup between Hardin-Simmons and Mary Hardin-Baylor was something the committee wanted to avoid, since they just played in Week 10. So Trinity was matched up with UMHB while Hardin-Simmons was shipped out of region.

Now to the big question — how to resolve the three-way tie in the Northwest Conference, when all three teams split against each other? This was the topic of a long discussion, and here's a glimpse:

"We had that triangle (the three-way tie) that we had to do something about, said Burrow, "so once we couldn't solve that we looked at other issues."

Those issues ending up involving removing the three-way tie scenario from the discussion altogether and concentrating on other issues. Those involved Linfield's out-of-Division III loss, a shutout at the hands of NAIA Southern Oregon, a team which Pacific Lutheran beat (and Pacific Lutheran also beat Linfield head-to-head). And as mentioned earlier, Whitworth had only one overall loss.

And Washington U. (8-2) finds that the last-second blocked Jonathan Feig field goal against Rhodes sinks their playoff hopes.

Burrow said "there was a lot of discussion regarding who teams have beat and who teams have lost to. They (Wash U) were very highly discussed. The committee felt that they couldn't make the commitment to Wash U. with the Pool B teams that were on the board."

That in comparison to the East region Pool B teams. It's purely wins and losses this time around.

"We had some strong Pool B schools in the East with some pretty outstanding records with RPI, Brockport, Ithaca to name a few," said Bill Mottola, the Division III football championship committee chair. "Their numbers held up when compared to regional wins, opponents' opponents wins. That was a very competitive pool. We had some regional problems but went through it step by step with the criteria that was established."

To the seedings: Mount Union, Bridgewater, Central and RPI got the first-round byes, while Widener, snubbed for a week off, got 5-3 Christopher Newport instead.

"We're a little disappointed," said Widener coach Bill Zwaan, who directed the Pioneers to the national semifinals in 2000. "I think after the season we put together and the fact that coaches across the country had us rated No. 2, I thought we had played ourselves into a bye, but obviously some people felt otherwise."

Nobody asked this question of the committee, so we don't really have an answer.

They broke the pairings up in every region but the South. In the North, No. 5 seed Wittenberg and No. 4 Augustana are too far away from each other (any trip longer than 400 miles requires the NCAA to pick up the tab for a flight, and they try to avoid that wherever possible) to play in the first round, so they are separated. Whitworth and Pacific Lutheran (Nos. 5 and 6) are matched up in the West.

And in the East, they broke up No. 4 Montclair State and No. 5 Brockport State because those teams have already played this year. So Montclair gets No. 6 Ithaca while No. 3 Rowan gets Brockport. This is really a minor change — Brockport and Ithaca proved they were pretty much even with their close head-to-head matchup this year.

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Oct. 18: All times Eastern
Final
MIT 52, at Nichols 20
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Final
at Colby 47, Hamilton 14
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Final - OT
Western Connecticut 20, at Fitchburg State 14
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Final
at Maine Maritime 13, Coast Guard 7
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Final
at Salve Regina 49, Curry 6
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Final
Westfield State 32, at Massachusetts Maritime 16
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Final
at Juniata 38, Ursinus 10
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Final
Trinity (Conn.) 17, at Bowdoin 10
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at Husson 12, Gallaudet 6
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at Middlebury 35, Bates 6
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Final
at Mount Ida 26, Castleton State 21
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Kean 30, at William Paterson 24
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at Cortland State 35, Southern Virginia 0
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Final
at Franklin and Marshall 31, McDaniel 7
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Ohio Wesleyan 23, at DePauw 16
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Susquehanna 24, at Moravian 21
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Washington and Jefferson 34, at Bethany 3
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Final
Shenandoah 24, at Catholic 14
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Final
Concordia (Wis.) 49, at Trine 46
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Final
at Hampden-Sydney 49, Emory and Henry 27
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at Washington and Lee 28, Randolph-Macon 25
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Final
at Carnegie Mellon 21, Grove City 10
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Final
at Guilford 35, Bridgewater (Va.) 28
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Final
at Widener 59, Wilkes 12
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Methodist 73, at LaGrange 28
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Maryville (Tenn.) 39, at Greensboro 14
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Final
Brockport State 45, at Alfred 42
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Final
Huntingdon 35, at Ferrum 16
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Final - 2OT
at Frostburg State 38, Ithaca 37
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Waynesburg 26, at Westminster (Pa.) 21
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at Muhlenberg 47, Gettysburg 6
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Wabash 52, at Kenyon 10
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at Salisbury 59, Hartwick 49
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at Bridgewater State 24, Plymouth State 0
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St. John Fisher 42, at Utica 7
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King's 45, at FDU-Florham 17
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at Rochester 34, RPI 20
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at Berry 46, Hendrix 24
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Maranatha Baptist at Washington U.
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 35, Greenville 28
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Amherst 33, at Wesleyan 30
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at Tufts 27, Williams 20
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at Case Western Reserve 33, Geneva 19
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Franklin 38, at Mount St. Joseph 28
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at Thomas More 49, St. Vincent 7
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Baldwin Wallace 56, at Wilmington 17
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at Mount Union 58, Heidelberg 17
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Rose-Hulman 28, at Defiance 12
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at John Carroll 80, Marietta 0
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at Anderson 37, Hanover 35
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Bluffton 24, at Earlham 22
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Otterbein 32, at Muskingum 20
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at Springfield 48, Merchant Marine 21
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Ohio Northern 38, at Capital 31
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at Hope 42, Olivet 35
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at Kalamazoo 45, Alma 24
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at Rowan 31, Morrisville State 0
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Oberlin 37, at Allegheny 9
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Lakeland 34, at Rockford 7
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at Bethel 52, Chicago 21
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Wisconsin Lutheran 59, at Concordia-Chicago 15
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Centre 31, at Sewanee 3
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St. John's 29, at Gustavus Adolphus 19
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St. Olaf 17, at Carleton 13
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Concordia-Moorhead 41, at Augsburg 21
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Monmouth 31, at Lake Forest 7
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Birmingham-Southern 16, at Millsaps 14
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Coe 35, at Simpson 21
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at Buena Vista 48, Luther 41
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Macalester 28, at Beloit 21
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at St. Norbert 13, Ripon 10
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Louisiana College 24
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Final
Augustana 7, at Illinois Wesleyan 2
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at Central 41, Loras 14
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MacMurray 58, at Eureka 27
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at UW-La Crosse 21, UW-Stout 7
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Final
Illinois College 35, at Grinnell 10
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at Iowa Wesleyan 37, Westminster (Mo.) 21
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Final
Benedictine 26, at Aurora 0
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Final
St. Thomas 62, at Hamline 24
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Final
Norwich 37, at Becker 20
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Final
at Worcester State 50, Mass-Dartmouth 43
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Final
at Hardin-Simmons 19, Sul Ross State 12
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Final
at Wartburg 42, Dubuque 9
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Final
at UW-Oshkosh 37, UW-River Falls 7
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Final
Delaware Valley 35, at Stevenson 13
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Final
SUNY-Maritime 40, at Anna Maria 12
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Wittenberg 42, at Wooster 7
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Wesley 70, at Menlo 2
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Final
St. Scholastica 49, at Martin Luther 14
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Final
Austin 27, at Southwestern Assemblies 20
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Final
UW-Whitewater 52, at UW-Eau Claire 3
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Final
at North Central (Ill.) 53, Carthage 23
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Final
at UW-Platteville 31, UW-Stevens Point 13
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Final
at Elmhurst 28, North Park 0
Final
at Cornell 49, Knox 29
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Final
at Montclair State 28, TCNJ 7
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Final
Western New England 36, at Union 14
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at Carroll 76, Lawrence 7
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Final
at Pacific 31, Pacific Lutheran 28
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Final
at Cal Lutheran 41, Pomona-Pitzer 17
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Final
at Willamette 45, Lewis and Clark 7
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Final
Puget Sound 33, at George Fox 14
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at Linfield 65, Whitworth 13
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at Adrian 47, Albion 26
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Final
Christopher Newport 38, at Averett 7
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Final
at Alfred State 10, Erie CC 3
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at Crown 30, Minnesota-Morris 27
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Final
at Trinity (Texas) 22, Southwestern 19
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Howard Payne 54, at East Texas Baptist 53
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Wheaton (Ill.) 28, at Millikin 3
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at Whittier 36, La Verne 17
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at Redlands 31, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 7
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at Chapman 59, Occidental 21
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Oct. 24: All times Eastern
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Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Oct. 25: All times Eastern
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North Central (Ill.) at Wheaton (Ill.)
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Case Western Reserve at Washington and Jefferson
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Grove City at Thomas More
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1:30 PM
Wilmington at Mount Union
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Capital at John Carroll
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Wesley at Virginia-Lynchburg
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Hampden-Sydney at Shenandoah
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Oberlin at Wabash
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St. John Fisher at Alfred State
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Misericordia at Delaware Valley
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3:00 PM
UW-Platteville at UW-Stout
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2:10 PM
St. Thomas at Bethel
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Hobart at RPI
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UW-Oshkosh at UW-Whitewater
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2:00 PM
Luther at Wartburg
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2:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Texas Lutheran
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2:00 PM
Hamline at Concordia-Moorhead
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2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at UW-Stevens Point
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2:00 PM
Carleton at St. John's
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4:00 PM
Linfield at Lewis and Clark
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4:00 PM
Willamette at Pacific Lutheran
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Oct. 24: All times Eastern
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Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Oct. 18: All times Eastern
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Wheaton (Ill.) 28, at Millikin 3
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Wesley 70, at Menlo 2
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Wittenberg 42, at Wooster 7
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Delaware Valley 35, at Stevenson 13
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Final
at Mount Union 58, Heidelberg 17
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at Thomas More 49, St. Vincent 7
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at John Carroll 80, Marietta 0
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Final
at Hampden-Sydney 49, Emory and Henry 27
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Final
Wabash 52, at Kenyon 10
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Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Utica 7
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Final
Washington and Jefferson 34, at Bethany 3
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Final
at North Central (Ill.) 53, Carthage 23
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Final
UW-Whitewater 52, at UW-Eau Claire 3
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Final
at UW-Platteville 31, UW-Stevens Point 13
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Final
at Wartburg 42, Dubuque 9
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Final
St. Thomas 62, at Hamline 24
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Final
at Bethel 52, Chicago 21
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 45, Louisiana College 24
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Final
Concordia-Moorhead 41, at Augsburg 21
Box Score
Final
St. John's 29, at Gustavus Adolphus 19
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Final
at Linfield 65, Whitworth 13
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Final
at Pacific 31, Pacific Lutheran 28
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