Newly crowned GSAC Champion Vanguard hosts NAIA top-ranked Cal State San Marcos on Thursday, February 27, at 7:30 pm in the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Game of the Week.
No. 1 Cal State San Marcos (27-1) at No. 10 Vanguard (Calif.) (23-5, 10-3 GSAC)
Thursday, Feb. 27 | 7:30 p.m. PST | The Pit | Costa Mesa, Calif. -- Watch Live Streaming Video and Live Stats
• No. 1-ranked Cal State San Marcos and No. 10 Vanguard (Calif.) both attempt to stay on the right track entering postseason play and will meet up Thursday in Costa Mesa, Calif.
• The Cougars own Division I's longest active win streak at 18-straight victories. They are 27-1 on the year and the sole loss on the year was back on Dec. 7 at Hope International (Calif.). Cal State San Marcos is No. 3 in Division I in scoring margin (20.5) and has won by at least 10 points in each of the last eight contests.
• Vanguard (23-5) is fresh off a 69-61 win on Tuesday over The Master's (Calif.). That triumph secured the Lions first outright Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) regular-season championship since the 1988-89 campaign.
• Cal State San Marcos won the first meeting this year, 80-64, on Nov. 23 in San Marcos, Calif. De'End Parker recorded the team's first double-double of the season with 28 points and 10 boards. The Cougars built a 14-0 lead to start the game and never trailed. Vanguard was held to 33 percent shooting from the floor.
• In just their third season as a varsity program, the Cougars played their first official game against Vanguard on Nov. 6, 2011, which resulted in an 86-81 win.
• Thursday's contest marks the final regular-season game for Cal State San Marcos prior to the Association of Independent Institutions postseason tournament, which starts March 7.
• Vanguard wraps up the regular season at home against San Diego Christian on Saturday. The Lions locked in the No. 1 seed in the GSAC tournament, which begins March 6.
• Ranked No. 1 for five-straight weeks, Cal State San Marcos has been in the Top 25 for the last 23 polls dating back to the start of the 2012-13 season. The Lions have been ranked in each of the last eight polls, reaching as high as No. 9 for three-straight weeks.
• Vanguard stands 14-1 this year when playing home games. The Lions rattled off 13-straight home victories to start the year, before suffering an 82-79 loss against Arizona Christian on Feb. 13.
• Cal State San Marcos is riding a six-game win streak heading into the battle against Vanguard.
• Six players average at least 8.0 points for the Cougars. De'End Parker is the leading scorer at 17.2 points and has hit at least 10 points in 27 of his 28 contests. Malcolm Lemmons puts in 15.9 points and is the team leader in rebounding (5.7). He has recorded four double-doubles on the year.
• Vanguard, who started the year 20-2, sees Preston Wynne notch 19.7 points per game. He has hit double-digits in points in 24 of 26 games played, including 12 contests in-a-row. With 6.3 boards per game, Zach Allmon is the leading rebounder.¬
Additional Notes from Around NAIA Division I Men's Basketball
(Through games played on Feb. 25, 2014)
• The NAIA will announce the 32-team pairings in the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship on March 12 at 8 p.m. CST. The announcement will be made on a live and free video-stream selection show. There will be commentary and analysis during the show. The video will appear on NAIA.org roughly five minutes prior to the start of the show.
• For the first-time in the history of the NAIA, there will be an All-Star Game. The NABC-NAIA Men's Basketball All-Star Game, presented by US Bank will occur on March 22 as the 10 best players from Division II will compete against the 10 best players from Division I. Coach Al Waller, formerly of College of the Ozarks (Mo.), and coach Don Meyer, formerly of Lipscomb (Tenn.), are the head coaches for the event. On that day, there will also be a Dunk and 3-Point Contest. For more information, click here.
• No teams remain unbeaten after Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) suffered its first loss of the season to Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer on Jan. 30. The Lions were 17-0 prior to that setback.
• Cal State San Marcos has the fewest losses with a 27-1 overall record. Four other programs sit with just two losses.
• Five teams have 25-plus wins, led by the 27 of Cal State San Marcos. Columbia (Mo.) and Dalton State (Ga.) are next with 26 victories.
• For the fifth-straight week, Cal State San Marcos boasts the No. 1 ranking in the Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll. For the complete release, click here.
• Other Top 25 matchups this week:
o Tuesday – No. 16 Arizona Christian def. No. 25 Biola (Calif.), 64-60
o Thursday – No. 1 Cal State San Marcos at No. 10 Vanguard (Calif.)
o Thursday – No. 20 St. Gregory's (Okla.) at No. 5 SAGU (Texas)
o Thursday – No. 9 Benedictine (Kan.) at No. 15 Culver-Stockton (Mo.)
o Saturday – No. 23 St. Catharine (Ky.) at No. 2 Pikeville (Ky.)
o Saturday – No. 19 Evangel (Mo.) at No. 9 Benedictine (Kan.)
o Saturday – No. 12 LSU Shreveport (La.) at No. 22 Our Lady of the Lake (Texas)