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NCAA.com | November 21, 2018

FCS championship bracket announced for 2018 tournament; North Dakota State is No. 1 seed

INDIANAPOLIS — The field of 24 teams competing for the 2018 NCAA Division I Football Championship was announced Sunday by the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee. The top eight national seeds will host winners from the first-round match-ups.

Defending national champion North Dakota State (11-0) tops the bracket as the No. 1 seed after winning the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The Bison are making their ninth straight and 14th overall appearance in the championship. 

MORE: Buy tickets | Championship Info | View the 2018 interactive bracket

Weber State (9-2) is the No. 2 seed after capturing the automatic qualifying berth from the Big Sky Conference. The Wildcats are making their third straight and seventh overall appearance in the championship. 

Eastern Washington (9-2) is the No. 3 seed after capturing a share of the Big Sky Conference. The Eagles, 2010 national champions, are making their 13th overall appearance in the championship.

Kennesaw State (10-1) is the No. 4 seed after taking the automatic qualifying berth from the Big South Conference. The Owls are making their second appearance in the championship. 

RELATED: 2018 FCS Playoffs: Bracket, schedule, scores, how to watch

South Dakota State (8-2) will be the fifth seed. The Jackrabbits are making their seventh straight and eighth overall appearance in the championship. 

University of California, Davis (9-2) is making its first appearance in the championship. The Aggies earned a share of the Big Sky Conference title, its first football conference title in school history.  

Maine (8-3) earned the automatic qualifier as the champion of the Colonial Athletic Association. The Black Bears are making their eighth appearance, first since 2013, in the championship and will be the seventh seed. 

RANKINGS: 2018 FCS Coaches Poll | Road to Frisco

The eighth and final seeded team will be Colgate (9-1). The Raiders, national runners-up in 2003, will be making their 11th overall appearance after capturing the Patriot League automatic berth.

The 2018 championship field consists of 10 automatic qualifiers and 14 at-large qualifiers.

Automatic qualifiers (10):

Conference school  
Big Sky Conference Weber State (9-2)  
Big South Conference Kennesaw St. (10-1)  
Colonial Athletic Association Maine (8-3)  
Missouri Valley Football Conference North Dakota St. (11-0)  
Northeast Conference Duquesne (8-3)  
Ohio Valley Conference Jacksonville St. (8-3)  
Patriot League Colgate (9-1)   
Pioneer Football League San Diego (9-2)    
Southern Conference Wofford (8-3)  
Southland Conference Nicholls St. (8-3)  

At-large (14):

CONFERENCE SCHOOL
Big Sky Conference Eastern Wash. (9-2)
Big Sky Conference Montana State (7-4)
Big Sky Conference UC Davis (9-2)
Colonial Athletic Association Delaware (7-4)
Colonial Athletic Association Elon (6-4)
Colonial Athletic Association James Madison (8-3)
Colonial Athletic Association Stony Brook (7-4)
Colonial Athletic Association Towson (7-4)
Missouri Valley Football Conference South Dakota St. (8-2)
Missouri Valley Football Conference UNI (6-5)
Ohio Valley Conference Southeast Missouri St. (8-3)
Southern Conference ETSU (8-3)
Southland Conference

Incarnate Word (6-4)

Southland Conference  Lamar University (7-4)

Longest consecutive tournament appearances in championship history (including 2018):

North Dakota State – 9
South Dakota State – 7
Jacksonville State – 6
James Madison – 5
San Diego - 3
Wofford – 3

Consecutive tournament appearances in the championship ending in 2018:

New Hampshire – 14
Sam Houston State – 7

Most tournament appearances in the championship:

UNI – 20
Delaware – 16
James Madison – 15
Eastern Washington – 13
Colgate – 11

Schools making the championship for the first time:

Incarnate Word
Lamar
UC Davis 

Longest stretch between championship appearances:

ETSU  – 1996
Delaware – 2010
Southeast Mo. State - 2010
Maine – 2013
Towson - 2013
Montana State - 2014 

Conference with the most schools in the tournament

Colonial Athletic Association  – 6 (2018)
Missouri Valley Football Conference – 5 (2015, 2016, 2017)

FIRST-ROUND GAMES

Nov. 24 at Bozeman, Montana, 3 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Incarnate Word (6-4) at Montana St. (7-4)

Nov. 24 at Harrisonburg, Virginia,  3 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Delaware (7-4) at James Madison (8-3)

Nov. 24 at Towson, Maryland, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Duquesne (8-3) at Towson (7-4)

Nov. 24 at Spartanburg, South Carolina,  2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Elon (6-4) at Wofford (8-3)

Nov. 24 at Thibodaux, Louisiana, 4 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
San Diego (9-2) at Nicholls St. (8-3)

Nov. 24 at Cedar Falls, Iowa, 5 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Lamar (7-4) at UNI (6-5)

Nov. 24 at Jacksonville, Alabama, 7:30 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
ETSU (8-3) at Jacksonville St. (8-3)

Nov. 24 at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Stony Brook (7-4) at Southeast Mo. St. (8-3)

SECOND-ROUND GAMES

Dec. 1 at Fargo, North Dakota, 3 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Incarnate Word/Montana St. winner at #1 North Dakota St. (11-0)

Dec. 1 at Hamilton, New York, 1 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Delaware/James Madison winner at #8 Colgate (9-1)

Dec. 1 at Brookings, South Dakota, 3 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Duquesne/Towson at #5 South Dakota St. (8-2)

Dec. 1 at Kennesaw, Georgia, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Elon/Wofford winner at #4 Kennesaw St. (10-1)

Dec. 1 at Cheney, Washington, 5 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
San Diego/Nicholls St. winner at #3 Eastern Wash. (9-2)

Dec. 1 at Davis, California, 7 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Lamar/UNI winner at #6 UC Davis (9-2)

Dec. 1 at Orono, Maine, Noon (ET) (ESPN3)
ETSU/Jacksonville St. at #7 Maine (8-3)

Dec. 1 at Ogden, Utah, 48 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Stony Brook/Southeast Mo. St. winner at #2 Weber St. (9-2)

Television schedules and game times for all rounds of the 2018 championship will be updated at www.NCAA.com/fcs.

RELATED: Schools with the most all-time FCS football championships