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 is in his fifth year covering Iowa State football and basketball for Cyclone Fanatic. He's the site's lead reporter for ISU recruiting. He worked as the site's intern for three years while studying Journalism in Iowa State's Greenlee School of Journalism. He started as the full-time staff writer in May 2016. Jared has spent five falls covering Iowa high school football as a reporter for KMA Radio, 1460 KXNO and 1430 KASI. He's the sideline reporter for KASI's Ames High football broadcasts and has appeared frequently on the station's baseball broadcasts during the summer.

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