NCAA Basketball Betting Stuff to Look Forward to: PK80

Posted by: Charlie Smith
NCAA Basketball Betting Stuff to Look Forward to: PK80

Why should NCAA basketball betting enthusiasts be excited about the Phil Knight Invitational (aka PK80 Phil Knight Invitational)? CBS Sports called it “the best in-season tourney ever.” And it hasn’t even taken place yet. The 16-team, two-bracket tournament will be held in Portland, Oregon on November 23, 24, and 26. Two eight-team brackets (the Victory Bracket and the Motion Bracket. Why ‘Victory’ and ‘Motion’? Because Nike) will run concurrently in the Moda Center and the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in the Rose Quarter, and two champions will be crowned. Schools from the same conference were placed in separate brackets to avoid non-NCAA sanctioned pairings.

Sweeter than Sweet

The 16-college field includes 10 National Champions, which combine for 23 NCAA titles, more than 85 Final Fours, more than 380 NCAA Championship appearances and more than 680 NCAA Tournament wins. Additionally, nine of the past 13 National Champions are in the field, and 13 of the schools have made at least one appearance in the Final Four. Without further ado, here they be:

Victory bracket

  • North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Portland Pilots
  • Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Oklahoma Sooners
  • Georgetown Hoyas vs. Michigan State Spartans
  • Connecticut Huskies vs. Oregon Ducks

Motion Bracket

  • Duke Blue Devils vs. Portland State Vikings
  • Butler Bulldogs vs. Texas Longhorns
  • Florida Gators vs. Stanford Cardinal
  • Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

Fans who bet on college basketball would be forgiven for thinking that UNC and Duke were pretty much given a bye to the semis. After all, Duke is a perennial NCAA basketball betting favourite that has advanced to the Final Four 16 times, including five NCAA championships, while head coach Mike Krzyzewski has led the program to 33 NCAA Tournament appearances – and 22 in a row. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels have appeared in 20 Final Fours in 48 appearances in the NCAA Tournament, and won six NCAA championships, including the 2017 edition. If the Razorbacks go past Oklahoma, that could set up a Arkansas-North Carolina rematch from the Second Round of the 2017 South Regional. Elsewhere, the Blue Devils and the Bulldogs could meet on the Motion Bracket final game, which should provide a juicy treat for fans who bet on college basketball.

Now in case you’re wondering how all of this came about – and even if you’re not – the PK80 was created to commemorate Nike Co-Founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday as well as his many contributions to college basketball; financial contributions in particular. Knight has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the University of Oregon and Stanford Graduate School of Business, including the then-largest donation in history to Stanford’s business school in 2006, and matching the record for the largest individual donation ever to a university with a $400 million contribution to Stanford’s new Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program. Additionally, Knight was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012 and elected to the 2015 American Academy of Arts and Sciences membership class. And now we can thank him for his indirect contribution to NCAA basketball betting.