One of the most anticipated early season non-conference tournaments revealed its bracket and it offers intriguing matchups involving a pair of Big Ten teams.
The PK80 Phil Knight Invitational is a sixteen team tournament from November 23-26 in Portland, Oregon. It pits some of the most popular Nike schools in two eight-team brackets to celebrate Nike founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday. Big Ten members Ohio State and Michigan State are part of the fray. The games will be played between the Moda Center and the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Check out the brackets and a hype video courtesy of ESPN:
✋more minutes! Here's a quick refresher of the 16 schools that will play in the @pkinvitational #pk80 pic.twitter.com/ltud2hdvYz— ESPN Events (@ESPNEvents) May 31, 2017
The Buckeyes begin by facing off against reigning national-runner up Gonzaga. The Buckeyes will also play either Florida or Stanford depending on first game results. Both the Gators and Zags are projected in the top 20, according to ESPN’s most recent “Way-Too-Early Top 25” poll. Other teams in Ohio State’s bracket include: Duke, Portland State, Texas and Butler.
Michigan State’s first matchup will be against the Georgetown Hoyas. Either Connecticut or Oregon will await. Reigning national champion North Carolina, Portland, Arkansas and Oklahoma are also in the Spartans’ side of the bracket. Both Michigan State and North Carolina are projected top ten teams and would play each other in the championship of their bracket.
Destination non-conference tournaments are always fun events in the non-conference college basketball season. Both Ohio State and Michigan State are in a good one from Portland this November. Stay tuned to BTPowerhouse for additional coverage this summer and fall.