May 12, 2012; Eugene, OR, USA; Nike co-founder Phil Knight at the 2012 Pac-12 Championships at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
Michigan State athletic director has organized two eight-team tournaments featuring Nike-sponsored schools to honor Nike founder Phil Knight's 80th birthday.
Michigan State University athletic director Mark Hollis has put together a tournament to honor Nike co-founder Phil Knight's 80th birthday. According to ESPN.com's Andy Katz, Hollis worked hard and secured commitments from 16 schools to participate in two men's basketball tournaments in November 2017. Knight will turn 80 on Feb. 24, 2018.
According to Katz, the two tournaments will consist of eight teams each and take place in Portland, Ore., over a four-day period. All 16 schools are Nike-sponsored, and most are top-tier programs. Participants will include the Michigan St. Spartans (obviously), Kentucky Wildcats, Duke Blue Devils, North Carolina Tar Heels and Ohio St. Buckeyes.
NCAA rules prohibit schools from the same conference playing in the same event, which is why the 16-team field will be broken into two eight-team tournaments. It's worth noting that Knight has nothing to do with this tournament -- it's all being organized by the participating schools' athletic directors, headed, presumably, by MSU's Hollis. According to Katz, many elements must still be worked out, including how to split the conference teams and the format of the event.
The full list of schools currently involved (the report mentions more may be added to play at the time, but not in the tournament field) includes: Michigan State, Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Ohio State, the Florida Gators, Georgetown Hoyas, Texas Longhorns, Oklahoma Sooners, Stanford Cardinal, Connecticut Huskies, Oregon Ducks, Xavier Musketeers, Butler Bulldogs, Gonzaga Bulldogs and Portland Pilots.
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