NIT Moving Semifinals, Title Game to Las Vegas in 2023, Indianapolis in 2024

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 12, 2022

AP Photo/Richard Drew, File

Amid speculation that changes were coming, it was confirmed Friday that the NIT men's college basketball tournament semifinals and finals will not be held at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 2023 or 2024.

According to ESPN's Jeff Borzello, the 2023 semis and finals will take place at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, while they will move to Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis in 2024.

With the exception of all NIT games occurring in Dallas-Fort Worth in 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the semifinals and finals have been held at MSG every year since the tournament's inception in 1938.

It was initially reported by ESPN's Pete Thamel in March that the NCAA was exploring options outside of New York for the 2023 and 2024 NIT and was accepting bids from various cities and venues.

Sources told Thamel at the time that the decision for the NIT semifinals and finals to be played elsewhere was a mutual decision made by the NCAA and Madison Square Garden.

The NIT was once considered to be close to the same level as the NCAA tournament, but with the success of March Madness, that hasn't been the case in many years.

After no NIT tournament was held in 2020 because of COVID-19, big changes were made in 2021. In addition to the games being held in Dallas-Fort Worth, the field was reduced from 32 teams to 16 with no automatic qualifiers.

The regular format returned last season, as 32 teams were in the field and regular-season conference champions automatically qualified if they weren't already in the NCAA tournament.

Also, the opening rounds were held on campus before the semifinals and the championship game were played at MSG.

Xavier went on to win the NIT for the first time since 1958, beating Texas A&M 73-72 in the final.


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