LAS VEGAS – With March Madness just a few weeks away, basketball fans have an early opportunity to purchase tickets for the 2022 Las Vegas Main Event, a Final Four-caliber tournament to be played in Las Vegas next November. Tickets go on sale to the public starting on Monday, Feb. 28 at 10 a.m. PT for the four-team event which features Baylor, Illinois, UCLA and Virginia, Nov. 18 & 20 at T-Mobile Arena. The four schools own a total of 13 NCAA Championships, including the last two titles won by Baylor and Virginia, as well as 28 Final Four appearances.
Since launching in 2014, the Main Event has blossomed into one of the premier early season tournaments in all of college basketball. Arizona won this season’s Main Event title, beating Michigan en route to a current top-5 national ranking.
Next season’s tournament will be loaded with rising talent with 10 of the nation’s Top-100 players in ESPN’s player rankings for the Class of 2022 having already signed with the four participating schools. UCLA leads the pack with the addition of two Top 15 players in Amari Bailey (ranked No. 2) and Adem Bona (No. 13), in addition to Dylan Andrews (ranked No. 42 in the class). The Bruins will be looking to duplicate last year’s run to the Final Four and currently are ranked at No. 17 in the country.
Scott Drew’s Baylor squad has shown no signs of slowing down since cutting down the nets last March, a title run which began with two wins at T-Mobile Arena in the #VegasBubble as the pandemic altered the season schedule. The Bears, who have been ranked in the Top 10 throughout this season including five weeks at No. 1, will remain among the elite with the addition of Keyonte George, the nation’s No. 3-ranked prospect in the Class of 2022.
“The Main Event in Vegas will again be one of the nation’s best college basketball tournaments, and we are honored to be invited to participate in such a prestigious tournament,” said Drew. “It’s a great opportunity for college basketball fans to see some of college basketball’s premier programs, and we’re excited to see how our team matches up early in the season.”
Expectations remain just as high in Champaign where Coach Brad Underwood has quickly built Illinois back into a national power. The Illini earned a No. 1-seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament and have shot back up the rankings this season and currently sit at No. 20. Underwood’s squads have been big-game hunters over the past three seasons with nine wins over Top-10 opponents, second only to Baylor’s 11 such wins.
“We are excited to play in Las Vegas next season,” said Underwood. “It will be a great opportunity for our team to play at T-Mobile Arena against elite competition early in the season. Las Vegas is the perfect setting for this event, and I know Illini Nation will be out there in full force to have a great time and support our program.”
Virginia coach Tony Bennett is loading up for a run at another national title himself with an incoming freshman class which includes three Top 100 players – No. 46 Isaac Traudt, No. 68 Isaac McKneely and No. 69 Leon Bond. The Cavaliers own two of this season’s most impressive victories with top-10 wins over Providence and on the road at Duke.
“We are excited to bring our team to the Main Event in Las Vegas,” said Bennett. “The highly competitive field will challenge us and provide quality experience during the non-conference season.”
Tickets for the two-day tournament range from $49 to $499 for courtside seats per day (prices are inclusive of tax and facility fee). Tickets can be purchased at www.tmobilearena.com or www.axs.com. First-round games will be played Friday, Nov. 18 with the consolation and championship games tipping Sunday, Nov. 20. Tickets will allow access to both games on the given day. Pairings and game times will be announced soon and the event will be nationally televised on ESPN networks.
Travel packages which include a three-night or five-night hotel stay at partner hotels, single or two-day game tickets, and nightlife access can be found at www.vegasmainevent.com.
“We couldn’t be more excited to provide an all-inclusive ticket, hotel and event experience bundling with the Las Vegas Main Event on our booking solution,” said Fuse Technologies co-founder Daren Libonati.
The tournament 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). The event is managed by veteran Las Vegas promoter bdG Sports.