By SEAN BOCK For the fourth straight year, the NIT Season Tip-Off will take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn during Thanksgiving week. Kansas, Louisville, Marquette, and Tennessee, who won the tournament in their last appearance (2010), make up next year’s field. The event will move back to a Wednesday/Friday format straddling Thanksgiving with no game on Thursday.
- 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.