NIT moves to Las Vegas for 2023, Indianapolis in 2024… leaving traditional home of Madison Square Garden for the second and third times since 1938
- The decision was a mutual agreement between the NCAA and MSG
- In the 2021 COVID-restricted season, games were played in the Dallas area
- Campus sites will still host the first and second rounds of the tournament
The Europa League of college basketball is leaving the city it’s been played in for almost its entire life.
NCAA officials announced the new sites for the finals and semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament – or NIT – for the next two seasons.
Orleans Arena in Las Vegas will host the tournament in 2023 and historic Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis will be the home of the games in 2024.
All first-round, second-round, and quarterfinal games will still be held at campus sites.
These will be the second and third times in the history of the tournament that it wasn’t held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Reports say this was a mutual decision reached by both MSG and NCAA leaders.
The National Invitation Tournament is moving away from its traditional home in New York
Madison Square Garden has been the home of the NIT since its creation
Previously, games for the 2021 edition of the tournament were moved to Denton and Frisco, Texas due to COVID restrictions.
The NIT has been played each year since 1938, with the exception of 2020 when the pandemic stopped all sports in the world.
For the first roughly four decades of its existence, the NIT held national prestige as the premier post-season college basketball tournament.
After a series of expansions to the NCAA Tournament – better known as ‘March Madness’ – and rule changes making it harder for teams to choose which tournament to play in, the NIT dwindled in popularity.
An image from the first ever NIT in 1938, when Temple defeated Colorado
One of the more famous images from the NIT, after UConn defeated Ohio State in 1988
When the NCAA allowed multiple teams from the same conference to compete in the tournament, the decline furthered until the NIT fully realized its current status as a secondary tournament for lesser teams.
These days, the NIT still takes the ‘best of the rest’, with regular season conference champions who failed to make the tournament getting higher seeds.
Past schools that have won the tournament include powerhouses like Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina, UConn, and Ohio State.
Other NIT winners include smaller schools like Long Island University, La Salle, City College of New York, Duquesne, Bradley, Southern Illinois, St. Bonaventure, and George Washington University.
The Xavier University Musketeers won the most recent edition of the tournament, defeating Texas A&M 73-72.
Xavier won the 2021 edition of the NIT, beating teams like St. Bonaventure along the way