WICHITA — The NCAA announced today future hosts for championship and regional competitions for the 2023 through 2026 seasons.
Wichita has been selected as the host city for 2024 NCAA Division II Wrestling National Championships and 2025 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship first and second rounds.
“We’re thrilled to have an opportunity to host NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship first and second rounds for the third time in eight years,” said Brad Pittman, senior associate athletic director at WSU. “We’re grateful for the entities that pulled together to make this happen and look forward to another opportunity to showcase our university and community.”
Wichita State University will serve as the host for 2025 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship first and second rounds, which will take place at Intrust Bank Arena, in partnership with Visit Wichita, Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita.
“Being selected by the NCAA to host another first and second rounds of Division I men’s basketball is an honor,” said AJ Boleski, ASM Global General Manager for Intrust Bank Arena. “We’re thrilled for yet another opportunity to showcase Sedgwick County and Wichita’s world-class facilities on a national stage.”
Newman University will serve as the host for 2024 NCAA Division II Wrestling National Championships, which will take place at Hartman Arena, in partnership with Visit Wichita.
“We are very excited to bring Division II championships to the Wichita community, not only for Newman University, but for the MIAA conference, one of the premier conferences in the country,” Newman athletic director Joanna Pryor said. “This opportunity will showcase our D-II student-athletes in a city that is known for its love of sports and athletic excellence. We’re proud to be a host for these great events.”
Wichita was selected from a highly competitive group of qualified cities. Collaboration between the partners who submitted the bid and programs at Wichita State and Newman University helped to position Wichita well, showing Wichita had the necessary facilities and a supportive community to successfully host the events.
In addition to the 2023-26 NCAA events announced today, Wichita will also host the first and second rounds of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Regional rounds.
“This reaffirms Wichita is a sports city, and also that it’s a great place to compete, visit and explore,” said Susie Santo, president and CEO of Visit Wichita. “Just as we did in 2018, and as we plan to do in 2021 and 2022, Wichita will put our best foot forward and provide a fantastic welcome to sports fans from across the country.”
Vegas gets regional nod
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Las Vegas will host an NCAA Tournament men’s regional for the first time after the NCAA changed a policy that prevented states with sports wagering from hosting championships.
The NCAA announced Wednesday that a 2023 NCAA Tournament men’s regional will be held in Las Vegas, the first time Nevada will host an NCAA championship since a women’s basketball regional was held at the Thomas & Mack Center in 1991.
The men’s regional in Las Vegas was among 450 host sites announced through 2026 for a variety of sports. Nevada will host 11 events, including the 2026 men’s Frozen Four, after the NCAA changed its stance on cities with sports betting last year.
Women’s Final Four chosen
TAMPA (AP) — The NCAA women’s Final Four is finally headed west again.
Phoenix will host the 2026 championship, the NCAA announced Wednesday. It will be the first time since 2012, when Denver was the host, that the women’s Final Four will be in the Mountain or Western time zone.
“Historically we have hosted every major sporting event. We’ve had the Super Bowl, the men’s Final Four, the national championship football game. We have a history of successfully hosting events,” Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne said.
Tampa was awarded the 2025 Final Four, marking the fourth time that the Florida city will be the host. Tampa last hosted in 2019.
“Tampa Bay and Phoenix will be great future hosts for what has become America’s marquee women’s sporting event,” said Nina King, chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee. “The committee appreciates all of the cities that were involved in the bid process and know that when we crown a national champion in those cities that our student-athletes, coaches and fans will have enjoyed an amazing championship experience.”
Portland, Ore., and Columbus, Ohio, were the other two finalists.
The next four Final Fours will be played in San Antonio, Minneapolis, Dallas and Cleveland. Dallas will also host the Division II and III titles in 2023.
The NCAA also announced the eight cities that will host regionals from 2023-26. The NCAA decided to move to a two-city regional format with eight teams at each site starting in 2023.
Greenville, S.C., and Seattle will host regional play in 2023. Albany, N.Y., and Portland, Ore., will host in 2024; Birmingham, Ala., and Spokane, Wash., in 2025; and Fort Worth, Texas, and Sacramento, Calif., in 2026.
“This bid cycle was significant for Division I women’s basketball as we were able to identify two outstanding future host cities for the Women’s Final Four in 2025 and 2026 and named the eight regional host sites that will be part of our new two-site regional format that is in play beginning in 2023,” said Lynn Holzman, vice president of women’s basketball at the NCAA. “I am pleased that over the next six years we will play in several new markets, while providing enhanced hosting opportunities.”
This year’s Final Four was supposed to be in New Orleans but was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dayton will host First Four through at least 2026
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Dayton will continue to host the NCAA Tournament First Four through at least 2026.
The NCAA on Wednesday announced the extension of the contract giving the University of Dayton Arena the rights to the tournament play-in games.
UD Arena has hosted the event since the First Four began in 2011. Before that, it hosted a single play-in game for the tournament from 2001-10. The arena seats around 12,000 and regularly sells out for the four games played over two days.
The 2020 First Four was canceled days before it was scheduled to begin because of the coronavirus pandemic, which wiped out the entire NCAA Tournament.
The previous NCAA contract with Dayton ran through 2022.
UD Arena has hosted 125 NCAA Tournament games, the most of any venue in the country.