For the first time since 1990, Missouri State is in the NCAA FCS football playoffs.
After winning a share of the Missouri Valley Football Conference regular-season title, Missouri State was one of six at-large selections announced Sunday morning to compete in the 16-team NCAA national playoff.
The Bears will play a first-round game Saturday, April 24 at North Dakota at 3 p.m. (Central). The game at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks will air on ESPN3. The winner will play either James Madison or VMI in the quarterfinal round the following week.
The playoffs culminate with the FCS national championship game in Frisco, Texas on May 16.
Missouri State finished 5-1 in the MVFC this spring, including wins in its last four consecutive games to end the regular season. The Bears tied South Dakota State for the MVFC title, earning a share of a conference championship, also for the first time since 1990.
The Bears are making their third NCAA playoff appearance after previous trips in 1989 and 1990. The 1989 squad defeated Maine before losing to Stephen F. Austin in the national quarterfinals. In 1990, the Bears dropped a first-round home game to Idaho, a staff on which Bobby Petrino was the quarterbacks coach.
A very limited number of single-game tickets will be made available to the general public on Thursday at 10 a.m. at FightingHawks.com/tickets. All tickets are priced at $25 and are reserved.. NCAA championship venues are being restricted to 25 percent capacity for the playoffs.
A total of five MVFC teams earned berths in the field with No. 1 overall seed South Dakota State, North Dakota State and Southern Illinois joining the Bears and league newcomer North Dakota.