May 31, 2017

Buckeyes Face Gonzaga in PK80 Opener Nov. 23


May 31, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Ohio State men’s basketball team will open with 2017 NCAA runner-up Gonzaga in the 2017 Phil Knight Invitational Nov. 23-26 in Portland, Oregon. The Buckeyes are one of 16 teams participating in two eight-team tournaments at the event.

The other teams in Ohio State’s (Motion) bracket include: Butler, Duke, Florida, Portland State, Stanford and Texas.

The other bracket (Victory) features Arkansas, UConn, Georgetown, Michigan State, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon and Portland. Ohio State will not face any of these teams at this event. The Buckeyes are scheduled to face 2017 NCAA Champion North Carolina Dec. 23 in New Orleans in the 2017 CBSSports Classic. 

When approached with playing in the 2017 PK80 event, Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach, said there was no hesitation in accepting the invitation.

“We are thrilled to be part of the PK80 basketball tournament in Portland next season,” Matta said. “The Nike brand has had an enormous impact on collegiate athletics. Being part of such a prestigious event that honors Mr. Knight was very important to The Ohio State University.”

Ohio State and Gonzaga have met once previously. The Buckeyes won 73-66 March 17, 2012 in the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. The contest was a NCAA Tournament Second Round matchup.

Jared Sullinger and Deshaun Thomas led the Buckeyes with 18 points apiece. Aaron Craft notched a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists. Ohio State advanced to the Final Four that season and finished the year 31-8 following a 64-62 loss to Kansas in New Orleans.

The winner of the Ohio State vs. Gonzaga game will face the winner of the Florida vs. Stanford Nov. 24. The championship game of the Motion bracket will be played Nov. 26. Ohio State is 8-5 all-time vs. Florida and 0-3 vs. Stanford.

The creation of PK80 — Phil Knight Invitational, was organized to honor Nike co-founder and 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Phil Knight in advance of his 80th birthday. The games will be played at the Rose Quarter’s Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The 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.