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.

ESPN Events ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans. ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program. Collegiate Football Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Florida); Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); DXL Frisco Bowl (Frisco, Texas); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Baton Rouge, La.); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth) Collegiate Basketball AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Ramstein Air Base, Germany); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s  Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (Hartford, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); PK80 presented by State Farm (Portland, Ore.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan); State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.) For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages. -30- ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron at 860-766-2233 or [email protected]; @Anna_ESPN