The creation of PK80 – Phil Knight Invitational, a 16-team, early-season men’s college basketball tournament honoring Nike co-founder and 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Phil Knight in advance of his 80th birthday, will take place over Thanksgiving week in 2017 from Portland, Ore. One of the largest regular-season tournaments in college basketball history, sporting a field featuring some of the top schools in the nation, will be played Thursday, Nov. 23, Friday, Nov. 24 and Sunday, Nov. 26, from the Rose Quarter’s Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Participating schools include Arkansas, Butler, Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Portland, Portland State, Stanford and Texas.
“This going to be an awesome event," Mark Few said. "It’s an honor for us at Gonzaga to be part of this tournament and an honor for me to be in it. Nike has been a huge part of my life since I was in the second grade and got my first basketball shoes. It’s cool that this tournament is in the Northwest, and the teams that are in the field are going to make it a first-class event.”
“On behalf of the 16 schools participating in PK80, we are honored to be highlighting Mr. Knight’s contributions to college basketball,” said Clint Overby, vice president, ESPN Events. “The strength of the field coupled with the two venues in Portland set the stage for what should be an exciting weekend.”
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to host 16 of the country’s best college basketball teams while honoring a man whose influence on the game and our region is immeasurable,” said Chris Oxley, senior vice president of venue operations, Rose Quarter. “PK80 will be an incredible showcase of basketball for fans in our arenas and watching on ESPN.”
Two eight-team events – consisting of three games per team – will run simultaneously in the two buildings with the crowning of two bracket champions. All games from Portland will be televised on ESPN networks.