September 24, 2018 | ° F

RU to play Canisius in NIT Preseason Tip-Off

The Rutgers men’s basketball team will host a portion of the first round of this season’s NIT Season Tip-Off.

Elon will play Drexel at the Louis Brown Athletic Center on Nov. 18 before the Scarlet Knights face Canisius.

The winner of both games will play each other the following night at the RAC, with the winner of that contest earning a trip to Madison Square Garden for a spot in the Semifinals.

Rutgers is guaranteed at least two games in the tournament.

The Knights are one of four programs to play host for the 29th installment of the tournament. Arizona, Duke and Alabama will also host.

The tournament will conclude Nov. 29 at MSG. National runner-up Michigan defeated Kansas, 71-57, in last year’s championship game.

If Rutgers wins both games at the RAC, the Knights have an opportunity to play Arizona in the semifinal. The Wildcats went 27-8 last season and lost, 73-70, to Ohio State in the Sweet 16.

The Knights are the No. 4 seed in the tournament. Rutgers went 15-16 last season in its final year in the Big East, losing to Notre Dame, 69-61, in the second round of the Big East Tournament.

Rutgers went 3-1 last year in games at the Garden, including wins against Iona, St. Johns and a 76-57 defeat of DePaul in the first round of the Big East Tournament.

Other notable teams in the field include Fairleigh Dickenson, Rhode Island, East Carolina and UNC Ashville.

By Bradly Derechailo

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