Next November the Rose Quarter will play host to one of the largest regular season tournaments in the history of college basketball. Welcome to PK80 – The Phil Knight Invitational.
Held in honor of the Nike co-founder’s 80 birthday, PK80will see 12 teams from around the nation and four local schools converge on the Rose City.
Portland’s own University of Portland and Portland State University will carry the torch for PDX, while Gonzaga and the University of Oregon will also help them represent the northwest.
The four northwest school will be joined by 12 of the best college basketball programs in the nation; Arkansas, Butler, Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford and Texas.
The invitational consists of two eight team brackets, with each bracket only having one school from each conference. The the winners of each bracket playing in a championship game.
In total the participants have combined for 23 national titles, 89 final four appearance, and 391 NCAA Tournament Invitations. Needless to say, this tournament is sort of a big deal.
The invitational starts on Thursday, November 23 and ends on Sunday, November 24(with no games played on Saturday).
Here are what some of the participating coaches are saying, via the official press release:
“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
“Phil Knight has been a visionary and an innovator for a long time. 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.” – Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski
“What a great way to celebrate Phil Knight and all that he and Nike have done for college basketball and the Florida Gators. We’re excited and honored to be part of this field that features so many excellent programs.” – Florida head coach Mike White
It's exciting to be a part of this tournament. It is a privilege to be involved in an event that honors Phil Knight. Mr. Knight has not only been pivotal figure in college athletics, but he has been a driving force in the entire sports industry. We are proud to participate in an event that celebrates him. – Georgetown head coach John Thompson III
“We’ve been fortunate to play in some incredible preseason events, but we’ve never been a part of something this amazing – both in terms of quantity and quality of the teams. This is sure to be an incredible experience for all the student-athletes. It’s only fitting to pay tribute to a one-of-a-kind man with a one-of-a-kind event. Phil Knight has revolutionized modern day fitness, while setting the gold standard for shoes and apparel, not just in basketball, but across all other sports and activities as well.” – Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo
“What a thrill for North Carolina Basketball to be playing in such a special event to honor a truly special man. PK80 not only brings together some of the top basketball programs in the game, it honors a giant in business and sports. Mr. Knight has a wonderful ability to touch people’s lives and do great things, both in and out of the sports world. I’ll always cherish my friendship with him.” – North Carolina head coach Roy Williams
For more information, visit pkinvitational.com