College Mens Basketball

NCAA Tournament returning to Des Moines in 2019

Wells Fargo Arena to have opening-round games hosted by Drake University on March 21 and 23, 2019

Northern Iowa Panthers guard Wes Washpun (11) shoots over Iowa State Cyclones forward Jameel McKay (1) and forward Abdel Nader (2) during the second half of their NCAA basketball game during the Big Four Classic at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. Northern Iowa defeated Iowa State 81-79. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Northern Iowa Panthers guard Wes Washpun (11) shoots over Iowa State Cyclones forward Jameel McKay (1) and forward Abdel Nader (2) during the second half of their NCAA basketball game during the Big Four Classic at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015. Northern Iowa defeated Iowa State 81-79. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — The NCAA Tournament is making a return to Des Moines.

The NCAA announced Tuesday host sites for preliminary rounds of its men’s basketball tournaments from 2019-2022, and Wells Fargo Arena will get another shot at hosting the first two rounds of the Big Dance on March 21 and 23, 2019.

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The opening-round games will hosted by Drake University officials, opening up the possibility of Iowa, Iowa State or Northern Iowa to play tournament games at Wells Fargo Arena if their seeding and selection dictates. The NCAA Tournament first came to Des Moines in 2016 and was hosted by Iowa State. Host schools’ teams cannot play at those sites, which is why the Cyclones played their opening-round games in Denver that season.

Teams such as Kentucky, Kansas and Indiana played first and second-round games in Des Moines in 2016.

l Comments: (319) 368-8884; jeremiah.davis@thegazette.com

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