Canisius to serve as NCAA Tournament host in 2026

The NCAA announced Wednesday that Canisius will serve as a co-host for the 2026 men’s basketball tournament with Niagara and the MAAC in 2026 with first and second round games set to be played at KeyBank Center.

This is now the second future tournament that will be played downtown as it was previously announced that the arena will host first and second round games in 2022. 2026 will be the eighth time since 2000 that the tournament will come to Buffalo, previously hosting in 2000, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2014 and most recently 2017.

“It is great to see that Buffalo was awarded the 2026 NCAA men’s basketball first and second rounds, to be hosted at KeyBank Center. The ladies and gentlemen from Canisius, Niagara, KeyBank Center, Pegula Sports and Entertainment and the Buffalo Sports Commission are always a great bunch to work with, and are accustomed to hosting first-class events.

NCAA basketball is already set to return to Western New York for the 2022 NCAA Tournament, but it is great to say that it won’t stop there. We look forward to bringing these events back to Buffalo,” MAAC commissioner Rich Ensor said in a statement.

Canisius athletic director Bill Maher said in a statement, “I believe Buffalo and the Western New York region has proven to be one of the premier host sites for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament, and this announcement today speaks to that point. To be awarded the opportunity to host the 2026 tournament, which will be our 10th NCAA Championship event hosted at KeyBank Center, is a real point of pride for the area. Hosting the NCAA men’s basketball tournament is a community-wide effort and we are proud to partner with the MAAC, Niagara University, Pegula Sports and Entertainment and the Buffalo Sports Commission to bring one of the nation’s favorite sporting events back to Buffalo.”

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