Des Moines to host NCAA 1st/2nd rounds in 2019

The Big Dance is coming back to Des Moines and Wells Fargo Arena — in 2019.

The NCAA announced the host sites for the 2019 NCAA Tournament on Tuesday and Iowa’s capital city made the cut. Drake will be the event’s host school, making Iowa State eligible to potentially play just down the road from Ames.

Des Moines hosted the event for the first time in 2016 with Iowa State as the host school. The city drew rave reviews and got a draw that included blue-blood programs Kentucky, Indiana and Kansas plus high-profile program UConn.

Also, Kansas City was named a regional semifinal/championship site which could make for a Cyclone fans’ dream back-to-back weekends of NCAA tournament basketball. Oh, and the Final Four will be played in Minneapolis.

Obviously, the 2019 tournament is quite a ways down the road, but there’s no doubt this is huge news for Central Iowa.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.