Old Rivals Meet Again
JOPLIN, Mo. -- Few people know that tomorrow's Maranatha-Grace game at NCCAA Nationals will be the game that "never happened" in 2020. And even fewer people know that these two programs have a long history of postseason rivalry.
OLD RIVALS MEET AGAIN
Last year, the two teams were slated for the 2020 NCCAA National Semifinals, but the tournament was canceled before the game took place. This year, Maranatha captured the North Region title while Grace conquered the Mideast Region.
It's a story of old rivals, as the two schools used to compete for the same regional title in the old Midwest Region. In fact, they had met 11 times in the postseason from 2001-16, and eight of those meetings had the regional title on the line.
The last time they met in the postseason was in 2016, when Grace won the NCCAA Midwest Region Championship. So none of the athletes on this year's teams will hold any personal grudges, but the history of both programs lends significance to this year's matchup - it's the first time in five years that the old rivals have met in the postseason.
Below is a statistical comparison of the two teams:
|Series Wins - Postseason*||9||2|
|Last five games||W-W-L-W-W||W-W-W-L-L|
The winner of this opening-round matchup returns to the national semifinals; the loser will be placed in the consolation bracket and a best-possible finish of 5th place.
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