According to a source, Northwestern will play in the 2013 Las Vegas Invitational for its annual preseason tournament. The Las Vegas Invitational has been played each year since 2003 and is currently held in Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Last year’s participants were Arizona State, Arkansas, Creighton and Wisconsin, and past years’ tournaments have included high-profile teams such as North Carolina, Kansas, Arizona, USC, UNLV, Illinois and Oklahoma State.
This year’s field has not been announced yet — expect an official announcement next week — but according to the Columbia Tribune, Missouri will also be one of the four teams in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Invitational will clearly be a step up for the NU program, which has been to the South Padre Invitational and the Charleston Classic the last two years. It will be a step up in competition and a step up in exposure — last year’s Las Vegas Invitational was broadcast on ESPN 2, while the South Padre Invitational was broadcast on the little-watched CBS Sports Network. As NU men’s basketball tweeted, look for a full non-conference schedule announcement next week.