Northwest Missouri headlines 28-team NCAA Division II Football Championship

On Sunday, the NCAA Division II Football Championship bracket was unveiled with 28 teams set to compete for a berth in the final at Sporting Park on Dec. 19. Tickets for the national championship game are on sale via Ticketmaster.com and fans can also purchase passes for access to the Boulevard Members Club or Ameritas Shield Club.

2015 NCAA Division II Football Championship
Nov. 21: First Round
Nov. 28: Second Round
Dec. 5: Quarterfinals
Dec. 12: Semifinals
Dec. 19: Championship at Sporting Park

The top overall seed in each of the four regions receives a bye in the opening round, which features 12 games on Saturday, Nov. 21. The single-elimination competition continues on campuses across the country leading up to the national championship in Kansas City, Kansas at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 19.

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First held in 1973, the NCAA Division II Football Championship annually features the sport's top teams -- and many of the top players -- in pursuit of gridiron glory. Colorado State University-Pueblo won the school's first national title in 2014 with a 13-0 victory over Minnesota State University, Mankato at Sporting Park.

The ThunderWolves, ranked No. 4 in the AFCA Coaches Poll, will aim to defend their crown against a field that includes four unbeaten teams: Northwest Missouri State (11-0, No. 1), Ferris State (10-0, No. 2), Ashland (10-0, No. 3) and Shepherd (10-0, No. 5). The Bearcats, MIAA champions for a 27th season this year, have reached the national championship eight times since 1998 and lifted the national championship trophy on four occasions (1998, 1999, 2009, 2013).

Emporia State finished second in the MIAA behind Northwest Missouri State and will seek a national championship appearance in their home state of Kansas. The Emporia State Hornets, ranked No. 19 in the nation, play just over 100 miles from Sporting Park and are led by senior quarterback Brent Wilson, whose 3,420 passing yards (7th) and 34 passing touchdowns (4th) rank among the top 10 in NCAA Division II this season.

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The 2015 NCAA Division II Football Championship at Sporting Park will be co-hosted by the Kansas City Sports Commission and the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The MIAA will welcome all fans to a pep rally for the championship teams, featuring spirit squads and pep bands, at 7 p.m. CT on Friday, Dec. 18 on the KC Live! stage in Kansas City's Power and Light District.

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