The NIT Season Tip-Off will return to Barclays Center for a third-straight season Thanksgiving Week 2017, with games on Thursday, Nov. 23 and Friday, Nov. 24, featuring four NCAA Tournament teams.
On Thursday, Virginia of the Atlantic Coast Conference meets Vanderbilt of the Southeastern Conference at 4 p.m. ET on ESPNU, followed by a matchup between Big East Conference squad Seton Hall and 2017 Atlantic 10 Conference Champion Rhode Island, also on ESPNU. Friday game times and television coverage will be announced at a later date.
Tickets for the NIT Season Tip-Off at Barclays Center will go on sale Tuesday, August 1 at 10 a.m. ET and can be purchased via Ticketmaster by visiting www.barclayscenter.com, or www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center beginning Wednesday, August 2 at noon. Tickets are available for groups by calling 855-GROUP-BK.
· Virginia reached the NCAA Tournament’s second round and finished the 2016-17 season with a 23-11 record and a No. 25 ranking in the AP Poll. The Cavaliers return to Brooklyn, where two Thanksgivings ago Tony Bennett’s team won the 2014 Barclays Center Classic.
· Vanderbilt, which won 19 games in each of the last two seasons, closed out the 2016-17 season with seven victories in its last 10 contests (19-16 overall). Second-year head coach Bryce Drew leads the Commodores in a return to Barclays Center for the first time since 2014.
· Seton Hall earned a No. 9 seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament and finished the season at 21-12, tied for third in the BIG EAST. Led by Brooklyn products Khadeen Carrington (Bishop Loughlin) and King’s County high school standout Desi Rodriguez (Lincoln), Kevin Willard’s Pirates bring their local flavor back to Barclays Center this Thanksgiving Week.
· 2017 Atlantic 10 Champion Rhode Island, which posted a 25-10 record and finished the season receiving votes in the national polls, has won 65 games over the last three campaigns under head coach Dan Hurley. Last season, the Rams advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s second round after downing Creighton before being narrowly eliminated by eventual Final Four squad and No. 3 seed, Oregon.
Non-bracketed NIT Season Tip-Off games at campus sites feature Austin Peay, Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth, Oakland City and UNC Asheville.
November’s event marks the third-straight year at Barclays Center for the NIT Season Tip-Off, which has been played in New York City every November since 1985. Eventual NCAA National Champion Villanova won the event in 2015. Last November saw eventual NCAA No. 3 seed Florida State and fourth-seeded West Virginia featured in the 2016 NIT Season Tip-Off at Barclays Center.Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter And Like ZAGS on Facebook