The field for the Battle 4 Atlantis was finalized Thursday with Iowa joining a field consisting of Tennessee, Kansas, Southern Cal, UTEP, Villanova, Wake Forest and Xavier.
The Hawkeyes had been scheduled to play in the Great Alaska Shootout
The Vols will have to wait until the 2013-14 season creeps closer before a bracket in the men’s basketball tournament is unveiled. The field boasts two teams — UT and Kansas — appearing in most projected preseason top 25 rankings.
The Battle 4 Atlantis will be held Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 28-30, at the Atlantis Towers Resort in the Bahamas.
The Vols return All-SEC performers Jordan McRae and Jarnell Stokes, welcome back injured forward Jeronne Maymon, and will introduce touted freshman Robert Hubbs. Tennessee’s 2012-13 season ended with a 20-13 record, a fifth-place 11-7 finish in the SEC and a trip to the NIT.
UT also traveled to the islands last season, going 2-1 in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The Vols topped UNC-Asheville and Massachusetts, while falling to Oklahoma State.
As it was at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, UT will be considered one of the favorites at the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Kansas finished 31-6 last season, reaching the Sweet 16, but loses five starters, including likely top-five NBA pick Ben McLemore.
Aside from Kansas, Villanova (20-14) was the only other school in the field to reach the NCAA tournament. Iowa (25-13) lost in the finals of the NIT.
UTEP is coming off an 18-14 season and its coach, Tim Floyd, will find himself in the same tournament as his former employer, USC. Floyd interviewed for his old job at USC after former UT coach Kevin O’Neill was relieved midseason. Floyd was passed over and USC ultimately hired Andy Enfield, who led upstart Florida Gulf Coast to the Sweet 16.
The Trojans finished with a 14-18 mark.
After reaching four Sweet 16s in a five-year span, Xavier (17-14) missed out on postseason play. The Musketeers fell to the Vols 51-47 at Thompson-Boling Arena last season and are scheduled to host UT in 2013-14.
Wake Forest (13-18) finished with a losing record for a third straight season.
Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men’s basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn