The NIT is heading to Las Vegas

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Brigham Young Cougars guard Kyle Collinsworth (5) and Valparaiso Crusaders guard Keith Carter (0) wrestle for the ball as BYU and Valparaiso play in NIT semifinal action at Madison Square Garden in New York City. BYU loses 70-72 Tuesday, March 29, 2016.

Brigham Young Cougars guard Kyle Collinsworth (5) and Valparaiso Crusaders guard Keith Carter (0) wrestle for the ball as BYU and Valparaiso play in NIT semifinal action at Madison Square Garden in New York City. BYU loses 70-72 Tuesday, March 29, 2016.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The National Invitation Tournament might play second fiddle to the NCAA Tournament each spring, but almost continuously since 1938, its final rounds have been played on the grandest of stages, Madison Square Garden in New York City.

That will no longer be the case.

According to a story by ESPN’s Jeff Borzello on Friday, the NIT’s semifinals and championship game will move to another glitzy city — Las Vegas — for the 2023 event, and in 2024, it will be played at the famed Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

The 2023 tournament will be played at the Orleans Arena, Borzello reported.

Sites beyond 2024 have yet to be determined.

The NIT’s final two rounds have been played away from Madison Square Garden just once since 1938, and that was in 2021 when the entire tournament was played in the Dallas-Forth Worth area because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was canceled altogether in the early days of the pandemic in 2020.

Borzello reported that tournament games will continue to be played at campus sites through the quarterfinals, as they have since 1977 with the exception of the 2021 event (the entire tournament was played at MSG until that point).

Both Utah and BYU have had recent runs to New York City in the NIT. In 2018, Utah made it to the championship game before falling to Penn State. BYU has made it twice in the last 10 years, falling to eventual runner-up Valparaiso in the semifinals in 2016 and eventual champion Baylor in the semifinals in 2013.

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Author: Ryan McDonald

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