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Nevada basketball will play in the Las Vegas Invitational next season

Warren Washington
Warren Washington and Nevada will play in the 2021 Las Vegas Invitational. (Justin Tafoya/Mountain West/NCAA Photos)

The Nevada basketball team will play in the 2021 Las Vegas Invitational.

The Wolf Pack typically plays one non-conference multiple-team event (MTE) each season and will head to southern Nevada for the upcoming year. Nevada Sports Net obtained the contract between the Wolf Pack and Las Vegas Invitational this week via a public records request.

The event will include two games in Las Vegas, those being played Nov. 25 and Nov. 26, as well as one home game on a date between Nov. 16-22. Nevada will pay $90,000 to play in the tournament, which includes getting that home regular-season game as part of the deal. The Wolf Pack also must buy 100 tournament passes at $130 each ($13,00 total).

In addition to playing two games in Las Vegas, the tournament will pick Nevada's home opponent that predates the neutral-site games. The contract does not outline what other teams are in this year's Las Vegas Invitational. Last year's four scheduled teams included New Mexico, DePaul, Grand Canyon and Santa Clara, but the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19.

While the host location for the games is not outlined in the contract, the tournament has been played at the Orleans Arena since 2006. The contract was signed by Nevada on March 10 and by the entity running the tournament March 11.

Las Vegas has been a regular destination for Nevada's regular-season MTE events. Nevada played in the Las Vegas Invitational in 2013, losing games to UCLA, which at the time was coached by current Wolf Pack coach Steve Alford, and Missouri. Nevada also played in the 2018 Las Vegas Holiday Invitational, 2017 Las Vegas Classic and the 2016 Las Vegas South Point Holiday Hoops Classic.

Las Vegas will host at least two neutral-site regular-season MTE events this season, the other being the Roman Main Event, which will include Arizona, Michigan, UNLV and Wichita State with games Nov. 19 and Nov. 21 at T-Mobile Arena.

Nevada was scheduled to play in the Cayman Islands Classic last season in a field that included Oregon State, Kansas State, Miami, Mississippi, Northern Iowa, Western Kentucky and LaSalle in one of the best MTE events Nevada had ever been invited to. However, the pandemic canceled the tournament, and Nevada ended up playing Nebraska and North Dakota State in the three-team Golden Window Classic in Lincoln, Neb., to open its season.

Nevada Sports Net put in a public record request for all of the Wolf Pack basketball team's non-conference games for the 2021-22 season and was only given the contract for the Las Vegas Invitational. The Mountain West is scheduled to play 18 conference games next season, which would allow for 13 non-league contests (three are scheduled as part of the Las Vegas Invitational tournament).

That leaves 10 remaining non-conference games with the Wolf Pack previously being scheduled to host Dayton, UT Martin, Grand Canyon, San Diego, Huntington University and University of St. Katherine with owed road games at Texas Arlington and Santa Clara. It's unknown at this time if all of those games will be played during the 2021-22 season or if some have been voided due to the pandemic.

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