By Ben • Ben Schorzman • 

Wildcats earn a top seed in D3 playoffs

The Linfield Wildcats are going back to the NCAA Division III playoffs.

What has seemed inevitable for a month was finally realized Sunday afternoon when Linfield (9-0) was awarded a No. 1 seed in its part of the bracket, and it will play at noon Saturday vs. Northwest Conference opponent Pacific Lutheran. Linfield defeated the Lutes 31-24 Sept 24.

The Wildcats defeated Pacific to finish the regular season undefeated and win their fourth consecutive NWC championship.

While it wasn’t confirmed Sunday, it appears as if the Wildcats are also the tournament’s No. 1-seeded team. According to D3Football.com, traditionally the semifinalist hosts are the first and last teams listed on the brackets. At the top of the 2012 bracket is Linfield and at the bottom is No. 1-ranked Mount Union.

If the Wildcats beat Pacific Lutheran (7-2), they would play the winner of the Cal Lutheran-North Central game. The Kingsmen (8-1) earned a home game in the playoffs for the first time in school history. For the past three seasons Cal Lu has been eliminated from the playoffs by Linfield.

The Wildcats defeated Cal Lu 33-30 Sept. 15 on the road.

Linfield also has No. 4-ranked St. Thomas and No. 5-ranked Wisconsin-Oshkosh on its side of the bracket.

The Wildcats made it to the second round of the NCAA playoffs last season. They lost at Wesley.

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