KANSAS CITY, Mo. - America’s longest-running college basketball championship begins Wednesday morning in downtown Kansas City.
Municipal Auditorium will host the 77th annual NAIA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championship. The single elimination tournament features 32 teams from across the country.
The NAIA is making the atmosphere feel more like the NBA with an all-star game on Saturday along with a 3-point challenge and slam dunk contest. Plus, music and fan contests will take place throughout the tournament.
"The energy is going to be controlled via the music as well as complemented by on-court promotions or up in the stands promotions," said Eric Olson, NAIA Director of Championships. "Similar to what one could experience if you went to Kaufmann Stadium to watch the Royals and how they entertain the fans at half, half-inning, in terms of the interaction they could potentially be a part of or witness up on the big screen."
The NAIA focuses on building character through sports. It promotes this tournament as a great deal for families.
"An amazing value to come out and have your family be entertained as well as the hospitality and amenities that are here off the court - our kid zone, which kids can do pop-a-shot, play Xbox, play Wii," Olson said.
The tournament concludes with the championship game Tuesday night.