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Why is the NIT being held in Las Vegas and not Madison Square Garden this year?

We take a look at why the NIT has moved locations from MSG to the Midwest.

The NIT Tournament logo on the floor at the Barclays Center during the NIT Season Tip-Off on Nov. 21, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images

While a lot of the focus of March Madness is on the NCAA Tournament, there is another tournament that can be just as exciting. The National Invitational Tournament (NIT) features a field of 32 teams, all looking to hoist a trophy, despite not being selected for the Big Dance. Historically, the NIT has been held at Madison Square Garden, but starting in 2023, it will have a new home.

NIT 2023: Why is tournament not at Madison Square Garden?

Madison Square Garden hosted the NIT semifinals and championship since 1938. The reason the NIT, which has been wholly owned by the NCAA for years after they pushed their competition out of business, decided to move the tournament came down to money, according to the Washington Post. The committee opened up the bidding from other venues, and landed on Las Vegas and Indianapolis for the short term.

The con is that the tournament loses its historical home and esteemed venue. The pro is that some smaller venues get the chance to host the national tournament. The committee hasn’t ruled out a return to MSG in the future, but for now the final four teams will play in the desert at the same building that hosted the WCC and WAC men’s and women’s conference tournaments last week.

The 2023 NIT will be held at UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada. While the early rounds are regional, this year’s NIT semifinals will occur on March 28, followed by the Championship on March 30 at the Orleans Arena. Next year’s NIT will be hosted by Butler in Indianapolis, Indiana.