UConn will participate in the inaugural PK80 - Phil Knight Invitational next year over Thanksgiving week. Here's the press release:
PK80: 16-Team College Hoops Event in 2017
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.
“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.
· The schools have combined for 23 National Championships, more than 85 Final Fours, more than 380 NCAA Championship appearances and more than 680 NCAA Championship wins
· Ten of the 16 schools have won a NCAA title
· Nine of the past 13 National Champions are in the field
· Thirteen of the 16 schools have made at least one Final Four appearance
Ticket information and tournament bracket will be announced at a later date. PK80 was created on behalf of the schools and is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, in conjunction with the Rose Quarter.
Participating Coach’s Quotes
“It’s an honor to be included in this prestigious group of college basketball programs and to get the chance to participate in an event as exciting as the PK80. The level of competition, as well as the college basketball atmosphere, will make it a tremendous experience for everyone involved, especially the student-athletes. After all he’s done for college basketball, there is no more appropriate way to help Phil Knight celebrate such a special birthday.” – UConn head coach Kevin Ollie
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