KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship is ready to crown its 77th annual national champion as No. 6 seed Vanguard (Calif.) (31-6) takes on No. 8 Emmanuel (Ga.) (33-3) at 7:02 p.m. CDT Tuesday at Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City, Mo.
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.com. Click here on information to access ESPN3.
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• Both Emmanuel and Vanguard are making their first-ever appearance in the national championship final.
• The 77th annual winner will mark the 53rd different national champion since the tournament began in 1937.
• The state of California has won three previous national champions: Concordia in 2003 and 2012; San Diego State in 1941.
• The state of Georgia has won four previous titles: Life in 1997, 1999 and 2000; West Georgia in 1974.
• With two championship game newcomers facing off, this marks the first time since 2009 when two rookies were in the title game and unseeded Rocky Mountain (Mont.) defeated unseeded Columbia (Mo.), 77-61.
• With Vanguard representing the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) in the championship final, it marks the seventh time since 2003 and third time in the last five years that a GSAC program will be playing in the title contest. The conference is 2-4 in the title game during that stretch with Concordia (Calif.) winning it all in 2003 and 2012.
• Emmanuel becomes the first team from the Southern States Athletic Conference to play in the title game since Faulkner (Ala.) won it in 2001.
• No. 8 seed Emmanuel becomes the first eighth-seed to reach the final since 1999. That year, No. 8 Mobile (Ala.) fell 63-60 to unseeded Life (Ga.).
• Vanguard becomes the second straight No. 6 seed to reach the championship final. SAGU (Texas) lost in the title game as the sixth seed in 2013, while Concordia (Calif.) was the last No. 6 seed to win the championship with an 88-84 overtime victory against Mountain State (W.Va.) in 2003.
• The 42 points by Preston Wynne of Vanguard (Calif.) in the Semifinal win is one shy of ranking as one of the Top 20 best scoring marks. There are seven players tied in championship history for No. 17 at 43 points. The most recent 43-point total was done by Life’s (Ga.) PJ Meyers in 2012.
• The state of California stands 3-8 all-time playing in the title bout. The last team to win it from the Golden State is Concordia in 2012.