DANCING AT THE D-II LEVEL

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NEW HAVEN (BASN)– For the Rams of Winston-Salem State University and the Golden Tigers of Tuskegee University, the second season begins this Saturday afternoon on the road.

Both schools are headed to the NCAA Division II playoffs following the release of Sunday’s pairings.  Both teams are seventh seeds with Winston-Salem (9-2) in Super Region 1 and Tuskegee (8-2) in Super Region 2.

Kienus Boulware’s Rams will travel to Brookville, NY on Saturday to battle LIU-Post University at noon.  The second-seed LIU-P Pionners are hosting their first playoff game at Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium since 2005, a 24-20 win over West Chester University.  wssu-rams-new-helmet

For WSSU — fresh off their 44-33 victory over Bowie State in the CIAA Championship game — it’s their first trip back to the playoffs since 2013. That season, the Rams defeated Slippery Rock in the first round before falling to the Shepherd University Rams by the score of 7-0 in the second round.

Ironically, the winner of Winston-Salem and LIU-Post will meet the winner of Saturday’s game between third-seeded Shepherd University (10-0) and sixth-seeded Assumption College (9-2) on November 26th.  On the road again.

The Pioneers defeated Assumption 43-23 in last week’s Northeast-10 Championship game.  Saturday’s WSSU-LIU Post can be seen live on LIU-Post Pioneers All-Access.

As for Tuskegee, the Golden Tigers were wringing their hands over the weekend following their loss to Virginia State in the regular season finale.  However, the defeat didn’t stop Willie Slater’s crew from making the postseason for the fourth straight year.

The Golden Tigers have been the lower seed in the opening round for two of their three invites to the D-II dance, falling to North Alabama 30-27 in their 2013 match-up and defeating Catawaba College 26-16 last season in the opening as the sixth seed.

tuskegee_golden_tigers_logoLast season, Tuskegee also defeated North Alabama on the road to get to the Super Region 2 championship game (NCAA Division II quarterfinals) before falling to West Georgia.

The Golden Tigers will represent the SIAC and travel to Newberry, SC to meet Newberry College (10-1) at 1:00 pm ET on Saturday.  Champions of the South Atlantic Conference, the second-seeded Wolves have won a school-record 10 straight games.

Setzler Field will play host to a Division II playoff contest for the second time in its history on Saturday.  The Wolves earned the No. 3 seed in the 2006 playoffs and defeated Albany State 34-28 before 5,000 fans in Newberry.

Saturday will mark the first-ever meeting between Tuskegee and Newberry.  The game will be carried by the Tuskegee Digital Network, with pregame beginning at 12:45 pm ET.

Anthony McClean can be reached via email at anthonymcclean1962@gmail.com.

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