LAS VEGAS – The past two NCAA Champions – Baylor and Virginia – will join UCLA and Illinois in a heavyweight, four-team field for next season’s Roman Main Event in Las Vegas. The four schools own a total of 13 NCAA Championships and 28 Final Four appearances. Tournament organizer, bdG Sports, announced the field during the Michigan-Arizona championship game today at the 2021 event.
The four powerhouse programs will descend upon Las Vegas next season with the first round on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022 at T-Mobile Arena. The championship and consolation games will be played on Sunday, Nov. 20. The annual tournament will be televised by ESPN networks and benefits Coaches vs. Cancer, an initiative spearheaded by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (www.nabc.com) and the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org).
“This event has really matured into one of the most competitive in-season college basketball events in the sport,” said Brooks Downing, President and CEO of bdG Sports, the event owner and operator. “We are so excited to have four championship basketball programs headed to one of the best facilities in the nation in the middle of a world-class destination location.”
Baylor will be back in pursuit of a national title after signing Keyonte George, the nation’s No. 3-ranked prospect in the Class of 2022. Coach Scott Drew’s Bears won their first two games of last year’s pandemic-altered season at T-Mobile Arena in the #VegasBubble to kick-off its 2021 title run.
UCLA, currently ranked No. 2 nationally, is no stranger to Las Vegas. In addition to the Pac-12 Tournament, the Bruins are playing four games in Las Vegas in this year’s regular season (Bellarmine, Gonzaga, North Carolina and a road game at UNLV). Coach Mick Cronin has quickly re-established the program on the national stage and took the Bruins to the school’s 19th Final Four last season.
Virginia won the title in 2019, prior to the 2020 season coming to an early end due to the COVID outbreak, and should contend for another ACC title this season. Coach Tony Bennett has established the Cavaliers as an annual contender for the national title.
Illinois finished the 2020-21 season as one of the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. Coach Brad Underwood continues to lead the Illini’s resurgence, and the squad is ranked 10th in the country and among the favorites to win the always difficult Big Ten Tournament. .
Complete tournament information can be found at www.romanmainevent.com and on social media at @VegasMainEvent.