Illinois set to play West Virginia in NIT Tip-Off


Austin Yattoni

Malcolm Hill driving to the basketball against Michigan’s Mark Donnal during Illinois’ 78-68 loss to the Wolverines at State Farm Center on Wednesday.

According to a release from the 2016 NIT Season Tip-Off tournament, the Illini will face the Mountaineers in a Thanksgiving semifinal.

The contest is slated for 2:30 p.m. at the conclusion of the Temple-Florida State contest at the Barclays Center located in Brooklyn, New York. Both games are scheduled to broadcast on ESPN2 with a championship and third-place game on Friday.

Thursday’s game will be an Illini debut appearance in the New York tournament, which was first established in 1985. Last year’s victor was eventual NCAA Champion Villanova and each team will also host two non-bracketed games as a part of the event.

The non-conference schedule for the Illini also features North Carolina in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Virginia Commonwealth University as part of the Hoophall Miami Invitational and Birmingham Young University at the United Center.

The contest with VCU is scheduled for Dec. 3, just over one week after the NIT Season Tip-Off.