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Volume 24 No. 157
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Sixteen Schools Committ To '17 Tourney To Honor Phil Knight's 80th Birthday

Michigan State AD Mark Hollis on Thursday said that he has "secured commitments from 16 schools to participate in a two-tournament men's basketball event" in '17 in honor of Nike Founder & Chair Phil Knight's 80th birthday. The two eight-team tourneys are to be played in Portland, Ore., in November ahead of Knight's birthday on Feb. 24, 2018. Hollis said that the event "isn't driven by Knight or Nike, but rather by the schools' athletic directors." ESPN Senior VP/College Programming Burke Magnus said that ESPN is "interested in televising it" (, 8/16).

Kentucky Texas
Florida Oklahoma
Michigan State Stanford
Ohio State Oregon
Duke Xavier
North Carolina Butler
Connecticut Gonzaga
Georgetown Portland

A BIG THANK YOU: In Portland, Adam Jude reports Hollis “came up with the idea” for the event. Univ. of Oregon AD Rob Mullens said, “There are still some logistics to work through, but the concept is fantastic.” The event "will be held simultaneously at the Rose Garden and Veterans Memorial Coliseum.” Mullens said that the schools “have not signed any contracts” (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/17). In Louisville, Kyle Tucker writes the Univ. of Kentucky is one of Nike’s “higher-profile partners, evidenced by Knight showing up in the Wildcats’ locker room at last year’s Final Four.” Hollis said that the event “wasn’t the brainchild of the company or Knight, rather as a way for those 16 schools to thank both Nike and Knight” (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 8/17).