Category Archives: NCAA Division II

Wayne Cavadi’s top second-half storylines in DII women’s basketball

This past week, I sat down with Turner Sports own Michella Chester to discuss how I see the second half of the DII women’s basketball season playing out.

Some of the big storylines discussed were:

  • Drury’s outlook after a shocking upset.
  • Lubbock Christian’s record-setting home winning streak.
  • Grand Valley State and Glenville State: Do the two have what it takes?
  • Conference battles to watch.
  • Player of the Year candidates.

You can head on over to watch the entire interview at NCAA.com by clicking or tapping below:

Wayne Cavadi’s top second-half storylines for DII women’s basketball

Of course, this comes on the heels of the most recent Power 10 rankings. Each week, I dig through stats, insider insight and the criteria the selection committee looks at when it comes to seeding the DII women’s basketball tournament and come up with a top-10 in the sport.

Drury was No. 1 since the calendar flipped to 2022, but Fort Hays State grabbed the top spot this past week. The new Power 10 comes out every Wednesday, but here is the latest if you want to catch up:

There’s a new No. 1 in the DII women’s basketball Power 10 rankings (NCAA.com)

DII men’s basketball news: Emporia State’s dynamic backcourt duo joins the DII Nation Podcast

Tray Buchanan and Jumah’Ri Turner are leading an impressive turnaround for the Emporia State Hornets. The Hornets — who finished 11-12 last season — are out to a 13-3 start and Buchanan is leading DII men’s basketball in scoring averaging 27.1 points per game.

The dynamic duo joins hosts Wayne Cavadi and Bethany Bowman to discuss the road to DII college basketball, Turner’s Master Chef abilities and square off in the first-ever DII Nation Match Game.

You can listen to the entire interview on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Anchor or Google Podcasts by clicking here or tap on the video below to watch the full show. Don’t forget to subscribe and join our all-new Twitter page.

DII football: West Florida head coach Pete Shinnick visits the DII Nation Podcast

This week on the DII Nation Podcast, West Florida football head coach Pete Shinnick discusses the return to DII football.

Shinnick, a two-time national coach of the year, has led the Argos to two DII football championship games in the past four years. Why is that so remarkable?

Continue reading DII football: West Florida head coach Pete Shinnick visits the DII Nation Podcast

The DII football Preseason Power 10 Rankings: West Florida set to defend its title

MCKINNEY, TX – DECEMBER 21: Austin Reed #14 of West Florida attempts a pass during the Division II Men’s Football Championship held at McKinney ISD Stadium on December 21, 2019 in McKinney, Texas. West Florida defeated Minnesota State 48-40 to win the national championship. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Welcome back DII sports fans. The NCAA DII football season has officially begun with most teams returning to practice on Monday, August 9, 2021. For some teams, it was a long-time coming.

One of those teams is West Florida. The defending national champions did not play a single down in the fall or abbreviated spring DII football season. Despite that, I have them coming in at No. 1 in my DII football preseason Power 10 rankings.

Austin Reed is back under center and in case you forgot, he threw for 523 yards and six touchdowns in the 2019 DII football championship game. His two main targets are gone, but he has plenty of weapons in wide receivers Ka’Ron Ashley and Rodney Coates as well as DI transfer David Durden who could challenge for newcomer of the year. 

– From NCAA.com

Before the season gets started, be sure to check out my entire Power 10 rankings, the first five out and two sleepers that you should have your eyes on in 2021. Read the full article here.

DII baseball: Freshmen to keep an eye on in 2019

The NCAA Division II baseball season is underway. Here is a quick look at freshmen to keep an eye on this season. This is not a ranking, but a simple list of names I have gathered that could make an impact as early as this season.

(BOLD = has already appeared in games in 2019)

Andrew Morris, RHP, Colorado Mesa

Anthony Lanier, RHP, Augustana (SD)

Brett McGee, DH/C, Southern Arkansas

Bryce Lewis, LHP, Mississippi College

Cam Nolet, LHP, USC Aiken

Cameron Hill, OF, Georgia College

Carson King, RHP, Florida Southern

Collin Camarigg, INF/RHP, Florida Southern

Daniel Irusarri, INF, Nova Southeastern

Dante Palacio, OF, Cal Poly Pomona

Duncan Pastore, INF, Nova Southeastern

Haydn McGreargy, 1B, Colorado Mesa

Isaiah Diandreth, INF, Seton Hill

John Michael Faile, C, North Greenville

Joseph Acosta, RHP, Azusa Pacific

Josh Hudgins, RHP, Georgia College

Kris Pirozzi, RHP, Millersville

Lance Logsdon, 1B, Quincy

Lonnie Morris, LHP, UCSD

Lucus Fomar, P, Mercyhurst

Luke Cantwell, OF/C, West Chester

Michael Fuhrman, INF, UCSD

Nathan Wilson, RHP, Colorado Mesa

Peyton Zabel, RHP, Augustana (SD)

Reece Davis, RHP, Bellarmine

Sam Kimel, OF, Mississippi College

Seth Miller, RHP, Augustana

NCAA DII baseball: Here are the teams to watch in 2019

(This piece originally ran on NCAA.com. You can read the full piece HERE.)

The DII baseball season is finally here. With the first pitch of the 2019 season on Feb. 1, the road to Cary, North Carolina will officially begin.

Continue reading NCAA DII baseball: Here are the teams to watch in 2019

Here’s everything you need to know about the DII football championship semifinals

Twenty-eight teams entered the 2018 DII football championship with national title aspirations. After 15 weeks of football, just four teams remain.

The DII football championship is broken into four Super Regions with each portion of the bracket beginning with the seven teams. Three rounds of play determine each Super Region champion which moves on to the national semifinals. Three of the four teams that advanced — Valdosta State, Minnesota State and Notre Dame (OH) — were No. 1 seeds in their respective regions. The fourth — Ferris State — was the No. 2. All four teams enter Saturday undefeated.

Continue reading Here’s everything you need to know about the DII football championship semifinals

What we learned in the first round of the DII Football Championship

(This was run on NCAA.com, please see the full article HERE)

Welcome to the 2018 DII Football Championship. Or should we call it Upset City?

The first round of the tournament went just as expected. That is to say, it was completely unpredictable.

No. 7 Wingate started the day by taking down No. 2-seeded West Georgia, the No. 10 team in DII football. No 6 New Haven followed suit, taking down No. 3 West Chester in a Super Region One that saw all three games end in upset fashion. Two former national champions entered the day ranked as sixth seeds. Both — Northwest Missouri State and Texas A&M-Commerce — advanced in convincing fashion. All said, there were seven lower-seeded teams that punched their ticket to the second round.

MORE: Interactive bracket | Printable bracket | Buy 2018 championship tickets

That didn’t mean some of the top teams didn’t perform, however. Here’s what we learned in the first round of the DII Football Championship.

Northwest Missouri State is back in postseason form

Last year was an odd one for the Bearcats. They battled injury, actually had a losing streak (albeit two whole games) and were eliminated in the first round in a heartbreaking 21-18 loss to Ashland. The 2018 Northwest Missouri State team put together a complete effort in the first round and look like that scary team that ran to back-to-back undefeated seasons.

Northwest Football@NWBearcatFB

TOUCHDOWN BEARCATS! Northwest’s Isaiah Strayhorn scores his second rushing touchdown of the day – this one from three yards out – and gives the Bearcats a 35-17 lead at Grand Valley State. 4:06 left in the 4th qtr. Northwest has rushed for 313 yards against the Lakers

Freshman quarterback Braden Wright has garnered most of the talk this season with an MIAA Freshman of the Year campaign, but it was his running game that picked it up today. Isaiah Strayhorn averaged 15.5 yards per carry in amassing 171 yards and two touchdowns while Josh Caldwell added 147 yards and two touchdowns as well. That notorious Rich Wright defense did its thing, limiting a strong Grand Valley State offense to just 239 yards and 17 points. Austen Eskew powered the pass rush with three sacks while Jake Richards added nine tackles and two interceptions. The Bearcats played a well-balanced game and next week’s showdown with No. 2 Ferris State may just be the game to watch.

MORE: We picked our bracket and sleepers for the DII Football Championship

Super Chargers fueled by great quarterback play

There are two Chargers — New Haven and Hillsdale — in the DII Football Championship. Both were underdogs, both are in the second round. Both were fueled by the tremendous play of their quarterbacks.

Heading into the week, NCAA.com called Hillsdale the Super Region One sleeper, mainly because, “the Chance Stewart to Trey Brock connection is as fun as any to watch in DII, giving them a dynamic duo that may surprise a few people.” The two delivered in the first round, as Stewart threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns, with 170 of those yards and two of those touchdowns going to Brock. Hillsdale now has a date with No. 1-seeded Notre Dame (OH) in the second round, and its pass attack should be a fun counter to the Jaleel McLaughlin-led rush-heavy Falcons offense.

New Haven Football@NewHavenNation

TOUCHDOWN Ju’an Williams to tie the game!! 🏈⚡️

New Haven: 28
West Chester: 28

New Haven rolled through its DII slate perfect until dropping a thrilling 17-13 loss in the season finale to LIU Post. The win cost them the Northeast-10 championship, but perhaps the end result lit a fire that makes them a dangerous threat this postseason. LIU Post was upset by Slippery Rock while the unranked Chargers, with an obvious chip on their shoulder, went blow-for-blow with No. 8 West Chester, winning 35-28 and moving on to a showdown against The Rock.

Both quarterbacks played well in the game, but it was New Haven’s Ajee Patterson who had the edge. The Chargers scored five touchdowns and Patterson had all of them. He threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns and though he only netted four yards on the ground, he added two one-yard rushing touchdowns. His West Chester counterpart A.J. Long had a fine day as well but fell one touchdown short.

MORE: A region-by-region look at the DII Football Championship

Slippery Rock’s Wes Hills can run

The Rock was one of two No. 7 seeds to advance. They went into Brookville, NY facing an LIU Post rush defense that was No. 10 in DII football. That didn’t seem to bother Slippery Rock running back Wes Hills one bit.

Rock Athletics

@Rock_Athletics

FB: Let’s talk about this guy for a second. Today, Jake Chapla set the SRU single-season record for made field goals (15) and took over sole possession of the all-time career record for made field goals (37). Oh yea… he’s only a junior.

Hills found a second gear five weeks ago and has been borderline unstoppable since minus a “rough” outing against West Chester in the PSAC Championship when he still ran for 92 yards. Hills posted three 200-yard games in a row to close out the regular season and he came close to another one Saturday. The senior running back ripped off 167 yards and a touchdown against a Pioneers defense that allowed just 93.7 yards per game this season. Next up is another NE10 foe in a New Haven team that allowed 169.5 yards per game and 13 touchdowns on the ground this season.

MORE: Watch the DII plays of the week for Week 11

Tarleton State is for real

In the most complete game of the first round, the Texans utterly dominated Azusa Pacific 58-0. Everyone came to play and put up some serious numbers in the process.

Running back Xavier Turner has exploded in the second half of the season, now posting seven-straight 100-yard games. Five of those games were better than 164 yards rushing, and Saturday was more of the same as Turner posted his third 200-yard performance of the season while scoring three touchdowns. Despite the ground control, quarterback Ben Holmes was in charge as well, responsible for three touchdowns of his own.

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Tarleton Athletics@TarletonSports

TARLETON PLAYOFF RECORD!

Xavier Turner is the first Texan in school history to rush for 200 yards in an NCAA playoff game! 206 yds, 3 TDs Texans lead 51-0 heading into 4Q

And how about that defense? The Texans posted their second straight 58-0 shutout and have now outscored their opponents 175-3 over the last three weeks. Up next is the defending national champion Texas A&M-Commerce, who the Texans beat on October 13, 47-21. But don’t think this will be an easy matchup.

Last season, the Lions entered the tournament the No. 5 seed and opened the postseason with three consecutive upsets, including taking down Super Region Four No. 1-seed Central Washington and the No. 1-ranked Minnesota State Mavericks. Head coach Colby Carthel whipped up some of that postseason magic in the first round, lighting up DII football’s third-ranked scoring defense with 33 points. That Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs defense came to play, scoring two touchdowns, but so did the Lions, holding the Bulldogs to just 188 total yards and scoring a couple of touchdowns itself.

Throw away the records and stats. This Lions vs. Texans matchup is a Lone Star Conference rivalry on DII football’s biggest stage. Be ready for a war.

Three surprises that shouldn’t be all that surprising

Bowie State defeated West Alabama in a shootout. Amir Hall still flies under-the-radar but shouldn’t any longer. The stud quarterback threw for 360 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 51 yards and two more touchdowns. Next up is No. 1 Valdosta State. If there is a quarterback in DII football that can hang with the high-octane Blazers’ offense, it’s Hall.

Colorado State-Pueblo’s defense held Colorado School of Mines to 37 yards rushing and 17 points. Both were the Orediggers lowest outputs of the season. Brandon Payer, Darius Williams, Kyle Rosenbrock, and company are the real deal, holding Isaac Harker under 300 yards passing for the first time since Oct. 6 and just the third time all season (twice were against the ThunderWolves). They stuffed Cameron Mayberry, the No. 5 rusher in DII football, to 1.55 yards per carry. It was sweet revenge as Mayberry scorched the ThunderWolves for 203 yards and three touchdowns earlier this season. They face No. 1-seeded Minnesota State next.

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CSU-Pueblo Football@CSUPFootball

TOUCHDOWN!!! Another BIG RUN by Marché Dennard, as he goes 40 yards on 3rd-and-2 to the end zone!! PAT blocked, Pack lead 30-10 with 12:04 left in the 4th.

Lenoir-Rhyne scored 43 points and rolled to 22-point victory. The Bears are also a bit under-the-radar, but this offense finds a way to score points in bunches without having any players atop the leaderboards. Lenoir-Rhyne has not scored less than 30 points all season. Next up is the surprise Wingate Bulldogs who convincingly upset No. 10 West Georgia. These two have faced once before this season, with the Bears coming out on top 31-24. Expect another close one in Round 2.

MORE: Programs with the most DII football titles | DII football news

DII Football Championship: Everything you need to know about Sunday’s selection show

(From NCAA.com, please see the full article HERE)

The DII Football Championship selection show is set for 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 11. The heavyweights of DII football anxiously await their postseason fates, hopeful to fill out one of the 28 spots in the tournament.

The 2017 DII Football Championship was a memorable one, as it pitted two first-timers against each other. Harlon Hill Award-winner Luis Perez led Texas A&M-Commerce to its first DII title over West Florida. The Argos’ remarkable run was unmatched by any other in history, as they made it all the way to the finals in just their second year as a football program.

Continue reading DII Football Championship: Everything you need to know about Sunday’s selection show

3 things to know about Ferris State’s historic start in the DII Women’s Soccer Championship

Ferris State defeated Ohio Valley 1-0 Saturday to advance to the third round of the DII Women’s Soccer Championship. The Bulldogs’ magical season continues as it picked up the program’s second NCAA tournament win in its history.

This is the Bulldogs’ first trip to the NCAA tournament, and they are certainly making the most of it. They won 2-0 on Thursday against McKendree and now advance to play the winner of No. 1 seed Grand Valley State and No. 4 Walsh. So, who are these history-making Bulldogs?

MORE: 2018 interactive bracket | Print the bracket | Selection show

Ferris State continues to pile up historic wins

The Bulldogs now sit at 17-3-3, rebounding from a 4-0 loss in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship game to Grand Valley State to win their last two in a row. The 17 wins is most in program history, and they hope they aren’t done adding to that number just yet.

Ferris State Soccer@FSUWSO

The previous record was set in 2015, when Ferris State went 14-5-1, missing out on the NCAA tournament with a GLIAC semifinals one-goal loss to Ashland, 4-3. The Bulldogs set the program record with a 4-1 victory on Oct. 30 against Davenport in the GLIAC quarterfinals.

Wins No. 16 and 17 will also go down in the record books. Win No. 16 was the first NCAA tournament victory for the Bulldogs. Win No. 17 ensures that Ferris State remains perfect in postseason play, an impressive start to what it hopes is the start of a long November run.

Single-season goal records continue to fall

This Bulldogs offense has been the most dominant in school history. When Pia Nagel scored the first goal in the Bulldogs’ NCAA tournament history, it was the team’s 47th of the season. That’s one more than the record set by the 2006 and 2007 Ferris State teams. The Bulldogs now sit at 49 goals after Saturday’s second-round victory.

MORE: 6 teams to watch in the tournament

Nagel’s tally was also her seventh game-winning goal of the season. That adds to her single-season record, which she set with her fifth game-winner back on Oct. 10 against Tiffin. The freshman has had a sensational debut, scoring a team-best 10 goals on the season.

Postseason heroes

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Ferris State Soccer@FSUWSO
It’s been the Pia and Tia show on offense thus far for Ferris State this postseason. Nagel scored the first goal against McKendree, while defender Tia VanSuilichem iced it with her first goal of the postseason. Two days later, VanSuilichem played hero, scoring the lone goal in Ferris State’s 1-0 victory.

And how about the red-hot play of junior keeper Alison Chesterfield? She entered the postseason with just three shutouts on the season. Chesterfield has now posted consecutive shutouts and worked hard to get them making 14 combined saves. Her nine saves against Ohio Valley matched her season-high set in a Sept. 2 win over Bellarmine.

MORE: Complete DII women’s soccer championship history