LAS VEGAS – In Las Vegas, it doesn’t usually take 25 years for a “Main Event” trilogy to come about. College basketball fans, however, will see just that when Michigan comes west to battle UNLV in the first round of the Roman Main Event on Friday, Nov. 19 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The highly anticipated matchup will be the second semifinal, following the Arizona-Wichita State opener earlier that evening. The championship and consolation will then be played on Sunday, Nov. 21.
The Wolverines, who at mid-summer were ranked No. 5 in the nation by Sports Illustrated, have twice played UNLV in holiday tournaments in Las Vegas, and have fallen both times to the Runnin’ Rebels, first in 1976 and most recently in 1995. But for the 2021-22 season, Michigan is predicted to be the best team in the Big Ten Conference, thanks to a recruiting class rated No. 1 by 247Sports. UNLV is retooling with behind new Coach Kevin Kruger and a roster featuring six transfers, including four from the Big 12 Conference.
The Michigan-UNLV game will tip at 9:30 p.m. PT and follows the 7 p.m. opener which features new Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd and his Wildcats taking on Wichita State, which is led by Coach Isaac Brown who took over the Shockers’ program in midseason last year. Sunday’s championship game is set for 6:30 p.m. PT followed by the consolation game at 9 p.m. PT.
“Without question, this field is one of the best in-season tournaments in college basketball next season,” said Brooks Downing, bdG Sports founder and CEO. “We have four great basketball brands, and while Michigan may be at the top of the rankings during the preseason, the other three teams bring in top young coaches and superb talent, and as we all know, when they meet at a world-class neutral site, any one of the four could be crowned champion on Sunday.”
The full schedule for the tournament, including television broadcast networks, is as follows:
Friday, Nov. 19
- 7 p.m. – Arizona vs. Wichita State (ESPNU)
- 9:30 p.m. – UNLV vs. Michigan (ESPN2)
Sunday, Nov. 21
- 6:30 p.m. – Championship Game (ESPN)
- 9 p.m. – Consolation Game (ESPN2)
Veteran Las Vegas promoter bdG Sports is managing the event, as well as the sold-out Duke vs. Gonzaga showdown in the Continental Tire Challenge presented by Ameritas on Nov. 26 at T-Mobile Arena.
Since launching in 2014, the Roman Main Event has blossomed into one of the premier early season tournaments in college basketball. The event 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).
Tickets for the two-day tournament start at $29 per day and two-day packages are available starting at $49 (prices are inclusive of tax and facility fee). Tickets can be purchased at www.tmobilearena.com or www.axs.com. Tickets will allow access to both games on the given day.
Complete tournament information can be found at www.romanmainevent.com and on social media at @VegasMainEvent. Tournament hotel rates are available now via the website. Rates are available for ARIA, Park MGM, MGM Grand and New York-New York. All resorts are a short walking distance to T-Mobile Arena.