Virginia, Seton Hall, Rhode Island and Vanderbilt Headline 2017 Field
BROOKLYN (November 25, 2016) – The NIT Season Tip-Off will return to Barclays Center for a third straight season Thanksgiving Week 2017, featuring nationally-ranked teams from America’s top conferences.
The field includes the University of Virginia of the Atlantic Coast Conference, 2016 BIG EAST Conference Champion Seton Hall University, the University of Rhode Island of the Atlantic 10 Conference, and Vanderbilt University of the Southeastern Conference.
Virginia, ranked No. 7/6 in this week’s national polls, advanced to the 2016 Elite Eight as a No. 1 seed in last year’s NCAA Tournament. The Cavaliers return to Brooklyn, where two Thanksgivings ago Tony Bennett’s team won the 2014 Barclays Center Classic.
Seton Hall – receiving votes in both national polls this week – earned a No. 6 seed in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, and will again contend atop the BIG EAST after winning the 2016 title behind Brooklyn Nets star and Coney Island product Isaiah Whitehead. Led by Brooklyn products Khadeen Carrington (Bishop Loughlin) and Desi Rodriguez (Lincoln), Kevin Willard’s Pirates bring their local flavor back to Barclays Center.
Rhode Island, ranked No. 23/25 nationally this week, has posted winning records in seven of its last 10 seasons. Head coach Dan Hurley’s Rams have played at Barclays Center the last three seasons in the Atlantic 10 Tournament and were picked to finish second in the league’s preseason poll.
Vanderbilt, seeded No. 11 in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, won 19 games a season ago. The Commodores return to Barclays Center for the first time since 2014.
Next year will mark 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. Defending NCAA National Champion Villanova won the event in 2015, and the current field features Florida State, West Virginia, Illinois, and Temple.
The NIT Season Tip-Off is one of 11 college basketball events owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.