PK80 brackets unveiled: Duke, UNC learn opponents

Rivals will not meet in November Nike tournament

Robert Deutsch—USA Today Sports
Roy Williams hugs Theo Pinson after UNC's national championship victory against Gonzaga.

The brackets for the PK80 Invitational Tournament were released on Wednesday. As expected, although both North Carolina and Duke will be participating in the tournament, honoring Nike founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday, the two archrivals will not meet.Sixteen of the top Nike schools in the country will take part in the Thanksgiving tournament in Portland, Oregon. A pair of champions will be crowned in two separate eight-team brackets.North Carolina was placed in the Victory Bracket. The defending national champions will open play the afternoon of Thursday, Nov. 23, against Portland. Assuming the Tar Heels get past the hometown team, they’ll play the winner of Arkansas and Oklahoma in the second round on Nov. 24.The teams don’t play on Saturday, and the championship game will take place on Sunday, Nov. 26.North Carolina has never played Portland in men’s basketball. The Tar Heels last met Arkansas in March, in a second-round NCAA game. Carolina last met Oklahoma in the 2009 NCAA Tournament.The bottom half of the Victory Bracket features Georgetown, Michigan State, UConn and Oregon.Duke was assigned to the Motion Bracket and will also open against a local team—Portland State—the afternoon of Nov. 23. If the Blue Devils win, they’ll face the winner of Butler and Texas.Florida, Stanford, Gonzaga and Ohio State round out the bottom half of Duke’s bracket.Duke beat Portland State by 50 points in the only previous meeting between the two teams, in 1997. The Blue Devils last played Butler in the 2010 NCAA Championship Game and last met Texas in 2009.” It’s a great event for a great man,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “In the history of sport, the Mount Rushmore, Phil Knight would be there. There’s nobody who has elevated the athlete more than Phil. In celebration of his 80th birthday, we feel honored. We’re looking forward to it. He’s still so enthusiastic and passionate about it. I love him. He’s a great, great friend.”Ten of the 16 teams in the field have won a total of 23 NCAA titles, including nine of the last 13 national champions. Thirteen of the teams have been to a Final Four, including three of last season’s Final Four participants.