1955 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
|1955NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament|
|Finals Site||Municipal Auditorium
Kansas City, Missouri
|Champions||East Texas State
(1st title, 1st title game,
2nd Final Four)
|Runner-Up||Southeastern Oklahoma State
(2nd title game,
2nd Final Four)
(2nd Final Four)
(2nd Final Four)
|Coach of the Year||Leroy Morley
|Chuck Taylor MVP||Jim Miller
(East Texas State)
The 1955 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament was held in March at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. The 18th annual NAIA basketball tournament featured 32 teams playing in a single-elimination format. The 1955 tournament was one for the record books. It featured four of the all-time leading scorers, two single-game best tournament performances, and most free throws made in tournament history.
The championship game featured East Texas State University (now Texas A&M-Commerce) and Southeastern Oklahoma State University. East Texas State defeated SEOSU by a score of 71 to 54. The other teams in the NAIA Semifinals were Western Illinois University and Arkansas Tech. The Leathernecks defeated the Wonder Boys for the 3rd place title by a score of 77 to 74.
Awards and honors
Many of the records set by the 1955 tournament have been broken, and many of the awards were established much later:
- Leading scorer est. 1963
- Leading rebounder est. 1963
- Charles Stevenson Hustle Award est. 1958
- Player of the Year est. 1994
- Most free throws made; single game: 24 free throws made by Joe Miller of Alderson-Broaddus (W.Va.) in a game verses Quincy (Ill.).
- Most free throws made; career: 120 free throws made by Jim Spivey of Southeastern Oklahoma State (1954,55,56,57).
- Most tournament appearances: Georgetown (Ky.), 2nd of 28, appearances to the NAIA Tournament
- All-time single game performances: 5th Joe Miller of Alderson-Broaddus (W.Va.) vs. Quincy (Ill.). Miller scored 12 field goals and 24 free throws, totaling 48 points.
- All-time single game performances: 12th Paul Brownlee of Steubenville (Ohio) vs. Southeastern Oklahoma. Brownlee scored 16 field goals and 14 free throws, totaling 46 points.
- All-time scoring leader; first appearance: Bennie Swain 6th, Texas Southern (1955,56,57,58), 15 games, 119 field goals, 64 free throws, totaling 302 points, 20.1 average per game.
- All-time scoring leader; second appearance: James Spivey, 4th Southeastern Oklahoma State (1954,55,56,57), 13 games, 133 field goals, 120 free throws, totaling 386 points, 29.7 average per game.
- All-time scoring leaders; final appearance: E.C. O’Neal, 9th, Arkansas Tech (1952,53,54,55), 13 games, 122 field goals, 43 free throws, totaling 287 points, 22.1 average per game; James Miller, 18th, East Texas State (1953,54,55), 13 games, 103 field goals, 40 free throws, totaling 246 points, 18.9 average per game.
1955 NAIA bracket
|Second Round||Elite Eight||NAIA National Semifinals||NAIA National Championship|
|-||Western Illinois State||76|
|-||Western Illinois State||86|
|-||Northeast Missouri State||85|
|-||Northeast Missouri State||82|
|-||Western Illinois State||50|
|-||Gustavus Adolphus (Minn.)||78|
|-||Western Illinois State||61|
|-||Southeastern Oklahoma State||68|
|-||Southeastern Oklahoma State||96|
|-||Southeastern Oklahoma State||120|
|-||Middle Tennessee State||67|
|-||Southeastern Oklahoma State||106|
|-||Southeastern Oklahoma State||54|
|-||East Texas State||71|
|-||East Texas State||94|
|-||East Texas State||68|
|-||Portland State (Ore.)||55|
|-||East Texas State||66|
|-||East Texas State||81|
|-||St. Francis (N.Y.)||82|
|-||Minot State (N.D.)||72|
|-||New Haven State (Conn.)||71|
|-||Atlantic Christian (N.C.)||95|
- * denotes overtime.
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|
|-||Western Illinois State||77|