Duke and North Carolina will participate in PK80 – Phil Knight Invitational, a 16-team ESPN-owned men’s tournament in November 2017 honoring Nike co-founder in advance of his 80th birthday.
Set for Thanksgiving week in Portland, Ore., PK80 will be played Thursday, Nov. 23; Friday, Nov. 24, and Sunday, Nov. 26 in Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
In addition to Duke and UNC, others in the field include: Arkansas, Butler, Connecticut, Florida, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Portland, Portland State, Stanford and Texas.
Two eight-team events – consisting of three games per team – will run simultaneously in the two buildings with the crowning of two bracket champions.
The brackets and schedule will be announced at a later date. Every game will be broadcast on an ESPN network.
“What a thrill for North Carolina Basketball to be playing in such a special event to honor a truly special man,” UNC coach Roy Williams said in a statement. “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.”
The 16 schools in the PK80 have combined for 23 national championships and more than 85 Final Fours. Ten of the 16 schools have won at least won national championship and nine of the past 13 national champions are in the field.
“Phil Knight has been a visionary and innovator for a long time,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. “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.”
Knight was a 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.