University of New Haven’s football team beat Bentley University earlier this month, but can they do it again in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA Division II Tournament?
The two Northeast-10 Conference (NE10) teams will square off for the second time in three weeks on Saturday, November 20 with the winner advancing to the second round to compete against Kutztown University.
All three teams appeared in the most recent Super Region One rankings, which were released last Monday, November 8.
Bentley and UNH will enter their first-round postseason contest with an identical 9-1 overall record. The Falcons concluded the regular season with a 48-23 victory over Assumption College while the Chargers beat Franklin Pierce University by a score of 34-20.
The Falcons, who previously captured the NE10 crown in 2019, have not competed in the NCAA Division II Tournament since 2004 when they lost to Edinboro University by a score of 47-43. One year earlier, Bentley made its first trip to the national postseason but saw their bid toward a national championship dashed in the opening round by Grand Valley State.
New Haven competed in the national tournament three years ago when they advanced to the second round after beating West Chester by a score of 35-28 (the Chargers’ postseason run concluded against Slippery Rock one week later).
The 2021 NCAA Division II Tournament features 28 teams with 12 first-round matchups. Four teams, including Kutztown, earned an opening-round bye.
Saturday’s kickoff between Bentley and New Haven is scheduled for 1 p.m.