The NIT Season Tip-Off is an annual college basketball tournament that takes place in November of each year, around the beginning of the season. The first two rounds are held at campus sites and the semifinals and the finals are held at Madison Square Garden. The tournament began in 1985 as the Preseason NIT, so called to distinguish it from the post-season NIT. In 2005, the NCAA purchased the Men's Preseason and Postseason NIT and renamed the November tournament the NIT Season Tip-Off. The tournament remains one of the most well-known preseason tournaments, along with the Maui Invitational and the Great Alaska Shootout.
The tournament had a new format in 2006. The first two rounds were held at regional "common sites" instead of campus sites, making the format more like the postseason NCAA Tournament. The semifinals and finals were still held at Madison Square Garden. In 2006, the common sites were Charlotte, N.C., Nashville, Tenn., Indianapolis and Spokane, Wash. The tournament returned to its previous format in 2007 then returned to the 2006 format in 2009.