Arkansas has accepted an invitation to play in the 16-team Phil Knight Invitational next year, one of the largest regular season tournaments ever created to honor Nike co-founder and chairman Phil Knight in advance of his 80th birthday.
The three-day tournament will take place over Thanksgiving week in 2017 from Portland, Oregon, with games played Thursday, Nov. 23, Friday, Nov. 24 and Sunday, Nov. 26, from the Rose Quarter’s Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The event will feature two eight-team brackets running simultaneously in the two buildings with the crowning of two bracket champions. Each program will play three games with all 24 contests televised on ESPN networks.
Joining Arkansas in the tournament is Butler, Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Portland, Portland State, Stanford and Texas.
“We are excited to join one of the largest regular season basketball tournaments ever created to honor Phil Knight and his many contributions to college athletics,” Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said. “Phil has been instrumental in growing and promoting our sport throughout the world. We are proud of our partnership with Nike and look forward to competing against other nationally recognized programs in this exclusive event.”
The participating schools have combined for 23 National Championships, 85 Final Fours, more than 380 NCAA Championship appearances and more than 680 NCAA Championship wins. Ten of the 16 schools have won a National Championship in basketball and 13 of the 16 programs have made at least one Final Four appearance.
Ticket information and tournament brackets 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.