Illinois will be playing a high-profile program on Thanksgiving Day.
The Illini drew West Virginia in their semifinal matchup of the 2016 NIT Season Tip-Off at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Mountaineers were one of the best teams in the loaded Big 12, going 26-9 before being upset by No. 14 seed Stephen F. Austin in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Illinois might not be very thankful this Thanksgiving, as it will have to find a way to conquer West Virginia coach Bob Huggins’ stifling full-court press that has given opponents fits in the past.
The second semifinal matchup is scheduled to tip off at 2:30 p.m. ET following the conclusion of the first semifinal contest between Temple and Florida State. The Illini will play one of those two teams the next day in either the championship or third-place game.
Illinois has a stiff non-conference slate ahead of it. The Illini were already scheduled to play North Carolina State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Virginia Commonwealth in the Hoophall Miami Invitational and BYU in the State Farm Chicago Legends showcase.
— NIT Season Tip-Off (@NITTipOff) July 14, 2016