Despite losing its first game of the season, 25-17 at Tusculum on Saturday, the Wingate football team has been selected to the NCAA Division II playoffs.
The Bulldogs (9-1) are the No. 3 seed in the seven-team Southeastern Region of the bracket and will begin postseason play this Saturday at 1 p.m. with a home game against No. 6 seed West Florida. They are the only state team to make the tournament.
Should Wingate beat the 7-3 Argonauts, it would advance to play either No. 2 Virginia State or No. 7 West Georgia in the region semifinals.
Top-seeded and defending national runnerup North Alabama has a first-round bye. The other two teams in the region are No. 4 Bowie State and No. 5 Delta State. The other four top seeds are Indiana (Pa.), Fort Hays State and Central Washington.
Northwest Missouri State defeated North Alabama 29-3 in the 2016 national championship game. This year’s final will be played on Dec. 16, at 6 p.m. at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan., and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 HD and ESPN3.com.