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Las Vegas in running for NIT semifinals, championship

The National Invitation Tournament final four, a fixture in New York almost every year since 1938, could be played in Las Vegas in 2023 and 2024.

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO/president Steve Hill confirmed Thursday the city could host the NIT semifinals and finals, which usually are at New York’s Madison Square Garden. It’s possible Las Vegas would get both years or one of the two.

Will Hopkins, NCAA assistant director of championships and alliances, said in an email that the site bidding ended Feb. 18.

“We will award our sites this spring,” Hopkins wrote.

ESPN reported the NIT could move to a resort destination such as Las Vegas or a more historic venue such as Indianapolis’ Hinkle Fieldhouse, where the championship game in the movie “Hoosiers” was shot.

If Las Vegas is chosen, T-Mobile Arena would seem the likely destination, but there are many venues that could host the NIT.

T-Mobile Arena will host an NCAA Tournament men’s basketball regional next year, and if the schedule mirrors this year’s, that event will be right before the NIT final four.

Las Vegas’ sports landscape is becoming increasingly crowded. The 2024 Super Bowl will be at Allegiant Stadium, and the College Football Playoff National Championship might be played there in 2025. A men’s basketball Final Four seems like a certainty to one day be at Allegiant.

The Division I men’s hockey Frozen Four will be at T-Mobile Arena in 2026.

The NIT final four was played in New York every year until 2020 when the event was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year’s entire tournament was played in Texas.

This year’s final four is back at Madison Square Garden. The semifinals are Tuesday with Xavier playing St. Bonaventure and Washington State facing Texas A&M. The winners play in the championship game on March 31.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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