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And then there were four: Vanguard, St. Gregory's, Emmanuel and MidAmerica Nazarene.
Men's Basketball - Mon, Mar. 24, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The 77th annual Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship is down to four teams as the Fab Four is scheduled for tonight at Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City, Mo. Both games will have live video-streaming via NeuLion and live audio via 810 WHB. The winners tonight will meet up in the National Championship final at 7:02 p.m. CDT Tuesday, to be broadcast live on ESPN3.

Monday, March 24 | Municipal Auditorium | Kansas City, Mo.

 

• No. 6 Vanguard (Calif.) (30-6) vs. St. Gregory's (Okla.) (24-9), 6 p.m. CDT | Live Stats | Live Video | Live Audio
• No. 8 Emmanuel (Ga.) (32-3) vs. MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) (26-10), 8 p.m. CDT | Live Stats | Live Video | Live Audio

 

For more national championship information, click here.

Fab Four Notes
• MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) is the only team in the Fab Four who has previously played in the Division I National Championship semifinals -- the Pioneers lost 60-56 during the 2009 semifinals against Columbia (Mo.).
• Three teams are making their first-ever trip to the Semifinals on Monday: No. 8 Emmanuel (Ga.), St. Gregory's (Okla.) and No. 6 Vanguard (Calif.).
• The No. 6 seed, Vanguard (Calif.), is the lowest high seed in the Fab Four since 2009 when three unseeded teams and Robert Morris (Ill.) was No. 8.
• Current win streaks of the Fab Four teams:
o MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) - 10
o Vanguard (Calif.) - 7
o Emmanuel (Ga.) - 3
o St. Gregory's (Okla.) - 3

• Points leaders of the Fab Four teams in 2014 national championship (through 3 tournament games):
o Emmanuel (Ga.) - Michael Stanley: 22.7 ppg (tied - 15th best in tournament)
o MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) - Luke Thomas: 22.0 ppg (tied - 17th best in tournament)
o St. Gregory's (Okla.) - Marty Wilkerson: 25.0 ppg (tied - 7th best in tournament)
o Vanguard (Calif.) - Preston Wynne: 23.7 ppg (13th best in tournament)

• Rebounding leaders of the Fab Four teams in 2014 national championship (through 3 tournament games):
o Emmanuel (Ga.) - Michael Stanley: 10.7 rpg (10th best in tournament)
o MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) - Luke Thomas: 14.7 rpg (2nd best in tournament)
o St. Gregory's (Okla.) - Josiah Campbell: 8.7 rpg (tied - 21st best in tournament)
o Vanguard (Calif.) - Keith Mason: 9.0 rpg (tied - 16th best in tournament)

• Assists leaders of the Fab Four teams in 2014 national championship (through 3 tournament games):
o Emmanuel (Ga.) - 3 players tied with 2.3 apg: Adrian Justice, Michael Stanley, Patrick McCrary (tied - 47th best in tournament)
o MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) - Nick Syrie: 8.3 apg (3rd best in tournament)
o St. Gregory's (Okla.) - Marty Wilkerson: 2.7 apg (36th best in tournament)
o Vanguard (Calif.) - Chris Gorman: 4.0 apg (tied - 10th best in tournament)

No. 8 Emmanuel (Ga.) College Lions (32-3)
• Emmanuel is 3-3 all-time in the national championship in two appearances (0-3 prior to this year):
o 2014: W, 74-62 vs. St. Thomas (Texas) in First Round | W, 73-51 vs. Cumberlands (Ky.) in Second Round | W, 94-89 vs. No. 1 Cal State San Marcos in Quarterfinals
o 2013: L, 80-62 vs. Hope International (Calif.) in First Round
o 2011: L, 73-58 vs. Tougaloo (Miss.) in First Round
o 2008: L, 83-59 vs. Georgetown (Ky.) in First Round
• Saturday's opening quarterfinal game saw eighth-seeded Emmanuel (Ga.) knock off top-seeded Cal State San Marcos 94-89 in overtime, making it the first extra-period game of the tournament.
• Emmanuel (Ga.) becomes the first No. 8 seed to reach the Fab Four since Robert Morris (Ill.) in 2009. The last eighth seed to advance to the championship game was Mobile (Ala.) in 1999, while St. Mary's (Texas) was the last No. 8 seed to win the tournament title with a 61-58 victory over East Central (Okla.) in 1989.
• Emmanuel (Ga.) reaches the Fab Four for the first time in school history. The Lions, who were 0-3 in three previous trips to the championship, give the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) a team in the semifinals for the third time in the last five years. The last SSAC team to win the national title was Faulkner (Ala.) in 2001.

MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) University Pioneers (26-10)
• MidAmerica Nazarene is 8-3 all-time in the Division I national championship in four appearances (23-12 in 13 trips in NAIA Division II National Championship)
o 2014: W, 96-71 vs. No. 13 LSU Shreveport (La.) in 1st Round | W, 80-75 vs. No. 4 Columbia (Mo.) in 2nd Round | W, 86-73 vs. St. Catharine (Ky.) in Quarterfinals
o 2013: W, 109-98 vs. Cal State San Marcos in 1st Round | W, 68-66 vs. Oklahoma Baptist in 2nd Round | L, 83-74 vs. Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) in Quarterfinals
o 2012: L, 98-79 vs. Mountain State (W.Va.) in 1st Round
o 2009: W, 78-72 vs. Azusa Pacific (Calif.) in 1st Round | W, 64-63 vs. Oklahoma Baptist in 2nd Round | W, 59-55 vs. McKendree (Ill.) in Quarterfinals | L, 60-56 vs. Columbia (Mo.) in Semifinals
• Winners over St. Catharine (Ky.), 86-73, in the fourth Quarterfinal game on Saturday, unseeded MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) heads to its second Fab Four in the last six years (2009). The Pioneers are making their sixth overall semifinal appearance in both the NAIA Division I and Division II National Championships as they played in four Division II Fab Four's (2001, 2006, 2007, 2008) prior to joining NAIA Division I in 2009.
• The Pioneers are looking to reach their first-ever NAIA Division I National Championship title game as they fell, 60-57, to Columbia (Mo.) in the their only other Semifinal trip in 2009.
• MidAmerica Nazarene started the season at 9-7 and was seeded No. 3 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference tournament. The Pioneers qualified for the National Championship for winning the HAAC tournament title with a 77-67 defeat of Evangel (Mo.). Since the 9-7 start, the Pioneers have gone 17-3 and are currently on a 10-game win streak.
• Senior forward Luke Thomas leads the NAIA in double-doubles with 29 on the season. He has posted double-doubles in all three national championship games and averaged 22.0 points and 14.7 rebounds, including a high of 26 points in the win over St. Catharine in the quarterfinals and 18 rebounds in the triumph over Columbia (Mo.) on Friday in the Second Round.

Saint Gregory's (Okla.) University Cavaliers (24-9)
• Saint Gregory's is 3-1 all-time in the national championship in two appearances (0-1 prior to this year)
o 2014: W, 84-69 vs. No. 15 Wiley (Texas) in First Round | W, 88-83 vs. No. 2 Pikeville (Ky.) in Second Round | W, 84-82 vs. No. 10 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) in Quarterfinals
o 2000: L, 77-66 vs. Lipscomb (Tenn.) in First Round
• With its 84-82 upset of No. 10-seed Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) in Saturday's second quarterfinal contest, unseeded St. Gregory's (Okla.) advances to the Fab Four for the first time in school history. The Cavaliers had lost in the first round in their only other national championship appearance in 2000.
• St. Gregory's (Okla.) victory marks the ninth time in the last 10 years that at least one unseeded team has reached the Fab Four (2012 was the exception). The last unseeded team to win the championship was Pikeville (Ky.) in 2011.
• St. Gregory's (Okla.), which fell in the quarterfinals of the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC) Tournament as the third seed, gives the SAC a team in the Fab Four for the third-straight year and the fourth time in the last five years overall. Oklahoma Baptist was the league's last national champion, winning the tournament crown in 2010.

No. 6 Vanguard (Calif.) University Lions (30-6)
• Vanguard is 3-1 all-time in the national championship in two appearances (0-1 prior to this year)
o 2014: W, 103-94 vs. Life (Ga.) in First Round | W, 81-70 vs. No. 11 Benedictine (Kan.) in Second Round | W, 93-85 vs. No. 14 Georgetown (Ky.) (defending national champion) in Quarterfinal
o 2006: L, 83-80 (OT) vs. Georgetown (Ky.) in First Round
• Sixth-seeded Vanguard (Calif.) edged No. 14 Georgetown (Ky.), 93-85, in the third quarterfinal contest on Saturday to earn its inaugural berth in the Fab Four. The Lions avenged an 83-80 first-round loss in overtime to Georgetown in their only other appearance in the tournament in 2006.
• Vanguard (Calif.) becomes the second straight No. 6 seed to reach the Fab Four. 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.
• Winners of the Golden State Athletic Conference GSAC regular-season and post-season tournament titles, Vanguard (Calif.) gives the GSAC its second team in the Fab Four in the last three years and third in the last five overall. Concordia (Calif.) won the tourney crown in 2012.

By Chad Waller, NAIA Staff