BROOKLYN, NY – The NIT Season Tip-Off will return to Barclays Center for a fourth-straight season this Thanksgiving Week, with games on Wednesday, Nov. 21 and Friday, Nov. 23, featuring four 2017 postseason-qualifying teams – Kansas, Louisville, Marquette and Tennessee.
On Wednesday, the Louisville Cardinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference meet the Tennessee Volunteers of the Southeastern Conference at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2, followed by a matchup between perennial Big 12 power Kansas and BIG EAST Conference squad Marquette, also on ESPN2.
The Friday third-place game will air at 7 p.m. and the championship follows at 9 p.m., both on ESPN2.
Tickets for the NIT Season Tip-Off at Barclays Center are on sale now 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. Group Tickets are available by calling 855-GROUP-BK.
The second-winningest program in NCAA history, Kansas reached its 15th Final Four in 2018 as a No. 1 seed. The Jayhawks won their NCAA-record 14th Big 12 regular-season championship, a streak, which began in 2004-05. Under Hall of Fame coach Bill Self, Kansas has advanced to one Final Four and three Elite Eights in each of the last three seasons.
Louisville advanced to the quarterfinal of the 2018 National Invitation Tournament and won more than 20 games for the 16th straight season in 2017-18, one of four schools in the nation to accomplish that feat. Head coach Chris Mack will be in his first year guiding the Cardinals after leading Xavier to eight NCAA Tournament appearances over the last nine years, including a top seed in 2018.
Marquette returns four starters and nine letterwinners in 2018-19 under fifth-year head coach Steve Wojciechowski. The Golden Eagles have made back-to-back postseason appearances (2017 NCAA, 2018 NIT) and last season featured one of the nation’s most potent offensive attacks. BIG EAST Player of the Year and All-America candidate Markus Howard (Jr., G, 20.4 ppg.) highlights the group of returnees and MU adds the services of collegiate veterans Ed Morrow (Nebraska) and Joseph Chartouny (Fordham).
Tennessee – which won the NIT Season Tip-Off in its last appearance in 2010 – returns to the event under the direction of veteran head coach Rick Barnes, who ranks seventh among active NCAA Division I coaches in career wins. The Vols have made five Sweet 16 appearances since 2000, most recently in 2014. Last season, Barnes not only guided the Big Orange to the SEC championship, but also to the title game of the SEC Tournament, a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a 26-9 record (third-most wins in program history).
November’s event marks 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. Eventual NCAA National Champion Villanova won the event in 2015. November 2016 saw eventual NCAA No. 3 seed Florida State and fourth-seeded West Virginia featured in the annual event. Three of the four teams from the 2017 NIT Season Tip-Off – No. 1 seed Virginia, No. 7 Rhode Island and No. 8 Seton Hall – were selected to the 2018 NCAA Tournament field.
The NIT Season Tip-Off is one of 10 college basketball events owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.