The Big Sky Conference - MSU, EWU Earn Playoff Seeds
2010 Playoff Bracket
Big Sky Conference teams Montana State and Eastern Washington both earned seeds in the 2010 Division I playoffs.
The 20-team field was announced on Sunday morning. Montana State (9-2) earned the No. 4 seed. Eastern Washington (9-2) is the No. 5 seed. Both squads won't play until the second round on Saturday, Dec. 4.
Montana State, which earned the Big Sky's automatic bid, will play the winner of the first-round game between Robert Morris (8-2) and North Dakota State (7-4). Robert Morris earned the automatic bid from the Northeast Conference. North Dakota State earned an at-large bid out of the Missouri Valley.
Eastern Washington, which earned an at-large bid, will play Southeast Missouri State (9-2) of the Ohio Valley Conference on Dec. 4. Southeast Missouri State earned an automatic bid.
Appalachian State (9-2) earned the No. 1 overall seed. William & Mary (8-3) is the No. 2 seed. Delaware (9-3) is the No. 3 seed.
Montana was not selected for the playoff field, ending the Grizzlies' record streak of 17 straight playoff appearances. The Grizzlies fell 21-16 to Montana State on Saturday, ending a 23-game home winning streak. Montana finished 7-4, but had just six Division I wins on its resume.
Montana State is in the playoff field for the first time since 2006, and the fifth time overall. The Bobcats won the 1984 National Championship. The Bobcats' last playoff win came in 2006 when they beat Furman in Bozeman in a first-round game.
Rob Ash's Bobcats closed the the regular season with four straight victories. MSU's losses this season came by one point to Washington State and to Northern Arizona.
Montana State is ranked sixth in the final regular season Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25.
Beau Baldwin's Eastern Washington Eagles are making their second straight playoff appearance. EWU lost at Stephen F. Austin in a first-round game in 2009. In 2004, Eastern Washington upset No. 1 seed Southern Illinois on the road. In 2007, the Eagles upset McNeese State in a first-round game.
Eastern Washington finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the Sports Network/Fathead.com top 25. The Eagles, who beat Idaho State 34-7 on Saturday, enter the playoffs having won seven straight games. The Eagles went 5-0 on their new red turf during the regular season.
Eastern Washington will be making its eighth playoff appearance, and seventh as a member of the Big Sky Conference. Since 2004, EWU has qualified for the playoffs five times.
If Eastern Washington and Montana State both win on Dec. 4, the teams would meet in the quarterfinals in Bozeman on Dec. 11.
The national championship game is Friday, Jan. 6, in Frisco, Texas.
FIRST ROUND GAMES
November 27 at Conway, S.C.
Western Illinois (7-4) at Coastal Carolina (6-5)
November 27 at Fargo, N.D.
Robert Morris (8-2) at North Dakota State (7-4)
November 27 at Cedar Falls, Iowa
Lehigh (9-2) at Northern Iowa (7-4)
November 27 at Statesboro, Georgia
South Carolina State (9-2) at Georgia Southern (7-4)
SECOND ROUND GAMES
December 4 at Boone, North Carolina, Noon (ET)
Western Illinois/Coastal Carolina winner at #1 Appalachian State (9-2)
December 4 at Nacogdoches, Texas, 3:30 p.m. (ET)
Villanova (7-4) at Stephen F. Austin (9-2)
December 4 at Cheney, Washington
Southeast Missouri State (9-2) at #5 Eastern Washington (9-2)
December 4 at Bozeman, Montana, 2 p.m. (ET)
Robert Morris/North Dakota State winner at #4 Montana State (9-2)
December 4 at Newark, Delaware
Lehigh/Northern Iowa winner at #3 Delaware (9-2)
December 4 at Daytona Beach, Florida
New Hampshire (7-4) at Bethune-Cookman (10-1)
December 4 at Jacksonville, Alabama, Noon (ET)
Wofford (9-2) at Jacksonville State (9-2)
December 4 at Williamsburg, Virginia
South Carolina St./Georgia Southern winner at #2 William and Mary (8-3)