Why are the NIT semifinals and final in Las Vegas and not Madison Square Garden?
The National Invitation Tournament semifinals and championship will be held in Las Vegas this year instead of Madison Square Garden.
UNLV is hosting the tournament at Orleans Arena for the first time in its history, while the famous New York venue had hosted the NIT semifinals and championship games from 1938 through 2019 and 2022. The 2021 event was held in North Texas.
The committee opened up bidding for cities to host the semifinals and championship in 2023 and 2024, according to a statement from the NCAA. Butler will serve as host for games at Hinkle Fieldhouse in 2024.
The NIT features a 32-team field, with the first three rounds played at campus sites. For the second year, the 2023 NIT seeded only the top 16 teams (top four teams in each pod) and placed the remaining 16 teams geographically where possible.
Vanderbilt basketball is hosting UAB in the quarterfinals at 6 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN2), and the winner will advance to the semifinals in Las Vegas.
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The NIT's final four and championship game will be hosted in the same building where the West Coast and Western Athletic conference tournaments were held. The semifinals are set for Tuesday, March 28, followed by the championship on Thursday, March 30.
The committee hasn't ruled out the possibility of returning to Madison Square Garden, and there's a chance other venues could host the tournament in the future.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Why is NIT basketball tournament Final Four in Las Vegas?