1937 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
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1937 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
1937 (1937) NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
Teams 8
Finals Site Municipal Auditorium
Kansas City, Missouri
Champions Central Missouri State
(1st title, 1st title game,
1st Final Four)
Runner-Up Morningside (Iowa)
(1st title game,
1st Final Four)
Semifinalists Southwestern (Kan.)
(1st Final Four)
Arkansas State Teachers
(1st Final Four)

The 1937 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament was held in March at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. The first annual National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) basketball tournament featured eight teams playing in a single-elimination format.[1] In 1938, it would expand to its current size of 32 teams.

This tournament is unique because it was started two years prior to the NCAA men's tournament and one year before the National Invitation Tournament, and all the teams play over a series of six days instead of several weekends. The compactness of the tournament has given it the nickname "college basketball's toughest tournament".

It began when Dr. James Naismith, Emil S. Liston, Frank Cramer, and local leaders formed the National College Basketball Tournament, which was staged at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. The goal of the tournament was to establish a forum for small colleges and universities to determine a national basketball champion. [2]

The first championship game featured Central Missouri State University defeating Morningside College (Iowa) 35-24. It is also the lowest scoring championship game in tournament history.

Awards and honors

Many of the records set by the 1937 tournament have been broken, and many of the awards were established much later:

  • Leading scorer est. 1963
  • Leading rebounder est. 1963
  • Chuck Taylor Most Valuable Player est. 1939
  • Charles Stevenson Hustle Award est. 1958
  • Coach of the Year est. 1954
  • Player of the Year est. 1994[3]

1937 NAIA bracket

First Round Semifinals NAIA National Championship
- Southwestern (Kan.) 54
- Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) 26
- Southwestern 24
- Central Missouri State 38
- Luther (Iowa) 38
- Central Missouri State 56
- Central Missouri State 35
- Morningside (Iowa) 24
- Arkansas State Teachers 34
- St. Benedict (Kan.) 33
- Arkansas State Teachers 33
- Moringside 40
- Baker (Kan.) 21
- Morningside (Iowa) 29

3rd place game

The third place game featured the losing teams from the national semifinalist to determine 3rd and 4th places in the tournament. This game was played until 1988.

NAIA Third Place Game
- Southwestern (Kan.) 46
- Arkansas State Teachers 38


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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