As preparations are being made to host the first two rounds of next year's NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships, Intrust bank Arena announced that Wichita has been again selected to host these rounds during the 2021 tournament.
Wichita State University will serve the host for the event, which will take place at Intrust Bank Arena, in partnership local organizations including the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission, Visit Wichita, Sedgwick County and the City of Wichita.
The successful bid to host rounds one and two on the 2018 tournament was completed in November of 2014. The 2018 tournament will bring the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships back to Wichita after 24 years. Today's announcement confirms that after next year's events, the tournament won't be gone for long.
“Landing the 2018 tournament was significant, but our goal all along has been to make Wichita a regular host. Securing a second bid for 2021 is another step in that direction,” said WSU Associate Athletic Director and tournament manager, Brad Pittman. “We’re grateful for the many groups that pulled together to make this happen and look forward to another opportunity to showcase our university and community.”
The 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships rounds one and two will take place on March 15 and 17, 2018. As for 2021, games in Wichita will be held on Friday, March 19, 2021 and Sunday, March 21.
The 2021 Tournament will serve as the 11th Wichita visit in the tournament's history and second at INTRUST Bank Arena (including 2018). Wichita State’s Levitt Arena played host to 22 games spanning eight different tournaments between 1956 and 1981. In 1994, the Kansas Coliseum hosted six NCAA Midwest Sub-Regional contests.
"Being selected by the NCAA to host the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship again in 2021 is an honor and we’re thrilled about the opportunity to host this prestigious event for a second time," added A.J. Boleski, SMG General Manager for INTRUST Bank Arena. "The success of Wichita State University’s men’s basketball program has helped put Wichita on the map as a host site for NCAA events and we look forward Wichita's world-class facilities being showcased on a national stage in both 2018 and 2021.”
“This started as a vision of building Intrust Bank Arena in this location. Many people worked for it, fought for it and then the community voted for it.” Darron Boatright, Athletic Director at WSU said. “And now three is a streak: the 2011 Women’s basketball first and second round, the 2018 Men’s basketball first and second round, and now the 2021 first and second rounds.”