Arkansas and Florida will get quite the early-season test next basketball season.
Both teams will take part in the 2017 PK80: Phil Knight Invitational tournament in Portland, Ore., a 16-team mega-event featuring some of the top programs in the nation.
Duke, Michigan State and North Carolina will highlight the field, which also includes Butler, Connecticut, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Portland, Portland State, Stanford and Texas.
Talk about being thrown into the fire.
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson, in a release through ESPN, said: 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 head 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.”
Meanwhile, Florida coach Mike White said, “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.”
The event will honor Knight as the Nike co-founder turns 80.
The tournament will be Nov. 23-25 from the Rose Quarter’s Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
It’ll be an elite event, although not all of college basketball’s powers will be there.
Excited an event has been put together for my good friend Phil Knight. Unfortunately scheduling conflicts didn’t allow us to be a part of it
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) September 21, 2016