For the very first time in their league, the Cal Lu Kingsmen are officially the outright champions of the Southern California Intercollegiate Conference (SCIAC). The Kingsmen motto: "All In" continues to motivate them to the next step – NCAA Division III playoffs.
Cal Lutheran will take a trip up north to take on the Linfield College Wildcats Saturday at noon at Maxwell Field (McMinnville, Oregon). The Wildcats, ranked as high as No. 5, qualified for the NCAA Division III playoffs for the first time since 2005; however, California Lutheran, ranked 22nd, is making its first-ever NCAA playoff appearance.
Linfield (9-0) sewed up its 33rd Northwest Conference championship last weekend with a 62-44 win over Pacific Lutheran. The Wildcats face the once-beaten Kingsmen (8-1) in the first round of the 32-team playoffs. Cal Lutheran, riding an eight-game win streak, went 6-0 in the SCIAC.
Linfield and Cal Lutheran have three common opponents: Willamette, Occidental and Pacific Lutheran.
Linfield and Cal Lutheran have met twice previously, both times in the postseason as members of the NAIA. The Kingsmen won a 1977 playoff game in Thousand Oaks before the Wildcats prevailed 20-16 in a 1982 first-round game at McMinnville on their way to the college’s first national championship in football.
The 32-team tournament kicks off with 16 games Saturday and culminates with the Dec. 19 Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, the Division III championship game, in Salem, Va.
Saturday's Linfield-Cal Lutheran winner will advance to face the winner of the Mary Hardin-Baylor vs. Central game. The other West Region pairings include Coe at St. John’s and St. Thomas at Monmouth.
For tickets to Saturday's Linfield-Cal Lutheran battle, call 503-883-2229. A limited number of unsold covered reserved tickets will go on sale to for the general public. There are 500 uncovered reserved seats for Cal Lutheran fans at $12 per ticket. The Maxwell Field Stadium will open at 10 a.m.
Fans unable to travel and see the game can stay up to date via the Wildcats broadcast on the internet. Visit the Linfield athletics Website and click on "Listen Live" to catch all the action. The game will also be broadcast live on McMinnville radio station KLYC (1260 AM). There will be no live video streaming.