LAS VEGAS – Ask any Michigan fan the final refrain to the school’s iconic fight song and the response will most certainly include “Hail! Hail! To Michigan, the champions of the West!” Those words may very well ring true when Coach Juwan Howard leads his No. 4-ranked Wolverines west next season to Las Vegas for the first time in more than 25 years for the Roman Main Event. The four-team tournament, played on November 19 – 21 at T-Mobile Arena, features hometown team UNLV, Arizona and Wichita State in addition to Michigan.
“We are always looking to challenge ourselves during the non-conference to prepare us for the Big Ten,” said Howard. “The Roman Main Event is not only going to be a fun and exciting environment; it is going to give all four teams the opportunity to really test themselves early on in November.”
Since launching in 2014, the Roman Main Event has blossomed into one of the premier early season tournaments in college basketball. And for 2021, the event welcomes a new title sponsor in Roman, the digital health clinic for men that brings the care of leading providers to the privacy of one’s home
“We are thrilled to welcome Roman on board as our new title sponsor,” said Brooks Downing, President and CEO of bdG Sports, the event owner and operator. “As this tournament has matured into one of the best early season events in all of college basketball, our partners at Roman recognized the value in the high-quality teams we’ve been able to attract to our destination location in Las Vegas.”
“We’re proud to come back to the MGM as a title sponsor and support an important program, Coaches vs Cancer,” said Rob Schutz, Cofounder and Chief Growth Officer of Ro, which powers Roman. “Roman’s mission is to make high-quality healthcare accessible and convenient for people across America, and often that starts with awareness and education. Supporting the efforts of the American Cancer Society and the NABC to raise awareness for cancer will help millions of people take action to reduce their cancer risk and manage their health better.”
Michigan is expected to once again be a Top 5 program next season with two Top 10 incoming freshmen (No. 7 Caleb Houston and No. 8 Moussa Diabate). Michigan currently sits at 19-3 and earned the regular season Big Ten Championship.
UNLV will look to win its second Main Event championship belt after taking the tournament title in 2017.
UNLV men’s basketball head coach T.J. Otzelberger said, “We are looking forward to competing in next season’s Main Event. The field is tremendous, and we feel fortunate that it is right here in our own backyard at T-Mobile Arena.”
Wichita State has been one of the surprise programs of the college basketball season this year. After a tumultuous off-season, the Shockers currently sit at 15-4 and won the regular season American Athletic Conference title. Interim coach Isaac Brown earned the permanent promotion to head coach three weeks ago and has a program that critics expect will make a deep run this postseason.
Arizona, 17-9 this season, rounds out the field. The Wildcats’ fan base, one of the best in college basketball, is no stranger to Vegas as ‘Zona fans regularly pack T-Mobile Arena for the Pac-12 Basketball Tournament. Coach Sean Miller’s squad boasted 11 freshmen and sophomores this year and is expected to contend for a Pac-12 title next season.
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. First-round games will be played Friday, Nov. 19 with the consolation and championship games tipping Sunday, Nov. 21. 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.
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). Veteran Las Vegas promoter bdG Sports is managing the event, as well as Duke vs. Gonzaga on November 26 at T-Mobile Arena. Other bdG properties in Las Vegas include the Korn Ferry Tour’s MGM Resorts Championship at Paiute in April.
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.