Saturday, October 1, 2022

Las Vegas and Indianapolis to host NIT semifinals and championship in 2023, 2024 as event moves from New York

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For the first time since 1938, the final rounds of college basketball’s National Invitation Tournament are moving permanently from New York City’s Madison Square Garden. The NCAA announced Friday that the 2023 semifinals and championship for the tournament will be held in Las Vegas, followed by a stop in Indianapolis for the 2024 event.

Las Vegas and Indianapolis were determined as the next two host sites following a bidding process in the spring. Orleans Arena will be the host venue in Las Vegas, while Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis will host in 2024.

The entire NIT moved to Texas in 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the semifinals and championship game returned to Madison Square Garden this past season for what turned out to be a farewell stop at the event’s long-time home as Xavier knocked off Texas A&M in the title game. New York hosted the entire NIT until 1977, when campuses began hosting early-round games and Madison Square Garden became the host only for the semifinals and finals.

In its heyday, the NIT served as college basketball’s top postseason tournament before the NCAA Tournament grew in prestige and began expanding its field. Still, the NIT and the chance for teams that missed the Big Dance to finish their season with a trip to Madison Square Garden remained a nice consolation prize for many programs in recent years. While the 32-team event will retain its format, the conclusion in a new setting will undeniably give the NIT a new feel in the years to come.

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