PORTLAND, Ore. — A 16-team tournament featuring some of college basketball’s elite teams will be staged next year in Portland to honor Nike co-founder Phil Knight before his 80th birthday.
The PK80, or more formally the Phil Knight Invitational, will be played at Portland’s Moda Center and Memorial Coliseum on Nov. 23-26, 2017.
Participating teams include Arkansas, Butler, Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Portland, Portland State, Stanford and Texas.
The event, billed as one of the largest regular-season invitational tournaments ever, includes nine of the past 13 NCAA champions.
“To be in Portland, in and around where Phil’s had a tremendous impact to the community, the impact of Nike from the business perspective, employment, and all the things that come along with it, it seemed like a real natural,” said Chris Oxley, senior vice president of venue operations for the two arenas. “We couldn’t be more excited to have this tournament.”
Nike’s headquarters are in Beaverton, Oregon, just west of Portland.
The teams will be divided into two groups of eight and each group will compete for a bracket title. All the games will be broadcast on ESPN.
Only two teams from each conference were allowed, and Knight holds degrees from Oregon and Stanford, so that did not allow room for Oregon State or Arizona.
Oregon coach Dana Altman, who led the Ducks to an appearance in the Elite Eight at the NCAA Tournament last year, called the event an “excellent way to celebrate Phil Knight.”
“He has done so much, not just for the University of Oregon, but all of college basketball,” Altman said in a statement. “We are honored to be a part of the PK80 tournament.”
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski echoed the sentiment: “PK80 is a unique way we can honor him and the contributions he has made not just to the game of basketball, but to all of sport.”