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Gonzaga and Portland Ready to Compete in Elite Event

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PK80 INVITATIONAL DETAILS

PORTLAND, Ore. –
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.

Two West Coast Conference programs will compete in the inaugural event. Defending WCC regular season co-champion and tournament champion Gonzaga will join Portland in the elite field.

Other participating schools include Arkansas, Butler, Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Georgetown, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, 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.

Field Highlights

  • 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 #WCChoops Coach’s Quotes 
“This going to be an awesome event. 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.”
– Gonzaga head coach Mark Few 

“We are very excited to welcome the elite of college basketball to the city of Portland for this landmark event. To be asked to participate in the greatest regular season college basketball tournament of all time is a special honor for the University of Portland. Phil Knight and Nike have contributed so much to the growth of college basketball and impacted so many individual student-athletes in a positive manner. We are privileged to be able to say thank you to Phil by helping to host and showcase this event, as well as our great city, to a national audience via ESPN next year.” 
– Portland head coach Terry Porter 

Rose Quarter
Established in 1995, the Rose Quarter is a 30-acre sports and entertainment district located on the east bank of the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. The region is highlighted by two multi-purpose arenas, the 19,393-seat Moda Center and 12,888-seat Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Together, the venues serve as homes to the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, WHL’s Portland Winterhawks and AFL’s Portland Steel, in addition to a wide variety of concerts, family shows and other events. Founded in 1970 and purchased by Paul G. Allen in 1988, the Trail Blazers are the foremost resident of the Moda Center after winning the 1977 NBA Championship at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Widely known for its innovative approaches to sustainability and environmental practices, the Moda Center earned LEED Gold Recertification in 2015 after becoming the first existing professional sports venue in the world to receive LEED Gold status in 2010. The Rose Quarter also includes a large commons area, annex office building, four parking garages, signature restaurant and bar Dr. Jack’s, and easy access to the city’s robust public transportation system. For more information and a list of upcoming events, visit rosequarter.com. 

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; 13 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 250-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans. 

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program. 

Collegiate Football
AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (Houston); Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Orlando, Fla.); Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); St. Petersburg Bowl (Florida); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth) 

Collegiate Basketball
AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); State Farm Armed Forces Classic (Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Honolulu); DIRECTV Wooden Legacy (Orange County, Calif.); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s  Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (Uncasville, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); PK80 (Portland, Ore.);  State Farm Champions Classic (New York City) and Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan)