NAIA Men's Basketball Championships
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Men's Basketball National Championship has been held annually since 1937 (with the exception of 1944). The tournament was established by James Naismith to crown a national champion for smaller colleges and universities. The NAIA Tournament features thirty-two teams, and the entire tournament is contested at one location in one week, rather than multiple locations over a series of weekends. Since 1992, the NAIA has sponsored a Division II championship and will continue to do so until 2020. The Division I tournament is played in Kansas City, Missouri, while the Division II tournament is held at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
|Current season, competition or edition:|
2019 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
2019 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Tournament
|Formerly||National College Basketball Tournament (1937-1981)|
|Motto||Passion. Tradition. History.|
|No. of teams||32|
|Venue(s)||Municipal Auditorium & Sanford Pentagon|
|DI Georgetown (Ky.) |
DII Spring Arbor (Mich.)
|Most titles||Oklahoma City University (6)|
|TV partner(s)||CBS College Sports Network (national)|
ESPN 3 (national)
TWC Sports Channel (Kansas City area)
Victory Sports Network (national)
|NAIA Women's Basketball Championships|
NAIA Division I
NAIA Division II
Men's Basketball Championship History; currently held Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. It has been held in Kansas City every year since the tournament began except from 1994-2001 when it was played in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kansas City will continue to host until at least 2024. In 2018, the NAIA announced a new format for the 2021 tournament after the merger of DI and DII.
The tournament MVP has been presented with the Chuck Taylor Most Valuable Player award since 1939. In 1948 the NAIA became the first national organization to open their intercollegiate postseason to black student-athletes, due primarily to the influence of Indiana State coach John Wooden. In 1947, Coach Wooden refused the invitation to the NAIA National Tournament because of the ban on African-American players. The following year, Coach Wooden brought the first African-American student athlete (Clarence Walker) to play at the national tournament. Walker, a vital role player helped the Sycamores finish as the NAIA National Finalist. In 1957, Tennessee State would become the first historically black college to win a national championship, and the first team to win three consecutive tournaments. As of 2017, Kentucky State is the only other school to do so (1970, 1971, 1972). Oklahoma City University holds the record for the most tournament championships with 6. OKCU also holds the record for most national championship titles in NAIA Women's Basketball.
# – Lowest scoring game. † – Highest scoring game. * – Denotes each overtime. ** – Denotes new tournament format.
NAIA Division II Men's Basketball National Championship was most recently held at Keeter Gymnasium on the campus of College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri near Branson, but moved in 2018 response to the College of the Ozarks's stance on the 2016 national anthem protests at athletic events. Starting in 2018, the championship will be held at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The NAIA announced in April 2018 that it would discontinue its Division II basketball championships for both men and women after the 2019–20 season. The DII men's basketball schools will merge into the DI under a new basketball championship tournament format in 2021.
# – Lowest scoring game. † – Highest scoring game. * – Denotes each overtime.
- NAIA Men's DI History
- "Vanguard Wins First National Championship, 70–65". NAIA. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
- "Dalton State Wins First-Ever National Championship". MAIA. March 24, 2015. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
- NAIA Men's DII History
- "NAIA to Combine Basketball Divisions" (Press release). NAIA. April 16, 2018. Retrieved April 20, 2018.