Looks like Marquette will be participating in another highly contested non-conference tournament next year.
According to Jon “This is March” Rothstein and a press release from ESPN Events, Marquette will join Kansas, Louisville, and Tennessee in headlining the 2018 NIT Tip Off at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. This should be an event with four NCAA tournament caliber squads.
Kansas, if you recall, wound up landing Quentin Grimes last week along with fellow 5 star recruit Devon Dotson. They will be stacked as always, and Marquette is 1-6 all time against the Jayhawks. The two teams haven’t met in the regular season since 1992, and not at all since the 2003 Final Four. Who the hell knows what’s going on with Louisville right now, but either A) David Padgett is going to get things going in a positive direction and still be in charge next season or B) UL is going to hire a high quality coach to continue their high wattage tradition. MU has an all-time record of 26-43 against the Cardinals, but the two teams haven’t met since February of 2013 thanks to The Reformation. Tennessee, led by Rick Barnes and his crippling addiction to burnt orange, features a solid young team this year that just clipped Purdue yesterday, and they should be in the national picture next year. Marquette has played UT just eight times, but the Golden Eagles hold a 5-3 advantage in the series after getting a 67-59 victory at the 2014 Orlando Classic.
Marquette will play two games on campus against teams that will be announced at a later date. The 2017 iteration of the Tip Off included campus games against Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth, Austin Peay, and North Carolina-Asheville, so expect that kind of competition to be headed to the brand new Wisconsin Entertainment & Sports Complex next November. The bracketed games with the headliners will take place at the Barclays Center with the semifinals scheduled for Wednesday, November 21st, 2018, with the championship and consolation games set for Friday, November 23rd.
A potential Kansas-Marquette game will be an excellent segue to showing Dwyane Wade highlights, so I’ll be hoping for that even though it also probably means those of us with Kansas fandom in our background will have to see the replay of the Michael Lee blocked shot like 50 times.