BROOKLYN – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving Day? How about a great tournament field for next year’s annual preseason NIT tourney to be held in November of 2018?
The NIT Season Tip-Off will return to Barclays Center for a fourth-straight season during Thanksgiving Week of 2018, featuring an elite group of nationally-ranked teams from college basketball’s top conferences. The field is scheduled to include: the Kansas Jayhawks of the Big 12 Conference, the Louisville Cardinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), the BIG EAST Conference’s Marquette Golden Eagles and the Tennessee Volunteers of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). A round-up of the competition, includes:
- The second-winningest program in NCAA history, current No. 3/2 Kansas advanced to the Elite 8 in the 2017 NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed after earning at least a share of the Big 12 regular season title for the 13th consecutive season. Under Hall of Fame coach Bill Self, Kansas has advanced to the Elite Eight in each of the last two years (2016, 2017).
- No. 19/18 Louisville advanced to the Second Round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament as a No. 2 seed, marking its 10th NCAA Tournament appearance in the past 11 seasons. The Cardinals have made appearances in 42 NCAA Tournaments, 10 Final Fours and have won three NCAA Championships (1980, 1986, 2013).
- One of seven BIG EAST programs selected for the 2017 NCAA Tournament, Marquette earned a No. 10 seed following a campaign where the Golden Eagles tied for third in the conference. Head coach Steve Wojciechowski, currently in his fourth season, added his first NCAA appearance as a head coach in 2017 following his first 20-win campaign in 2015-16.
- Tennessee – which won the NIT Season Tip-Off in its last appearance (2010) – returns to the event under the direction of veteran head coach Rick Barnes, who ranks eighth among active Division I coaches in career wins. The Vols have made five Sweet Sixteen appearances since 2000, most recently in 2014.
Next year will mark the fourth-straight year at Barclays Center for the NIT Season Tip-Off, which has been played in New York City every November since 1985.
The current field for play this week features Seton Hall, Virginia, Vanderbilt and Rhode Island.