ESPN Events Welcomes Elite Teams to 2017 Early-Season Men’s Basketball Tournaments
The newest addition is the recently-announced PK80 – Phil Knight Invitational, a 16-team, early-season men’s college basketball event honoring Nike co-founder and 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Phil Knight in advance of his 80th birthday. One of the largest regular-season multi-team events in college basketball history will be played from the Rose Quarter’s Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Ore., over Thanksgiving week.
The other three-day multi-team events include the Gildan Charleston Classic, Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off, Wooden Legacy, AdvoCare Invitational and Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic. The destination events staged from Charleston, S.C., San Juan, Puerto Rico, Orange County, Calif., Orlando and Honolulu are all bracket-format tournaments featuring 12 games over three days. The teams compete once per day, advancing with a victory. The two remaining undefeated teams will face off in a championship game.
In its third-year under the ESPN Events umbrella, the NIT Season Tip-Off will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The four designated home schools will each host two campus-site games prior to traveling to Brooklyn for the two-day championship round.
In addition to the multi-team tournaments, ESPN Events also manages four single-day, neutral-site events including the Armed Forces Classic, State Farm Champions Classic and Jimmy V Men’s and Women’s Classics presented by Corona. The Jimmy V Men’s and Women’s Classics fields will be announced at a later date.
The 2016-17 college basketball season is underway and several teams ranked in the November 28 Associated Press poll will be participating in 2017 events: No. 1 Kentucky, No. 3 North Carolina, No. 4 Kansas, No. 5 Duke, No. 6 Virginia, No. 8 Gonzaga, No. 12 Saint Mary’s (Calif.), No. 18 Butler, No. 19 Iowa State, No. 20 South Carolina, No. 21 Rhode Island, No. 23 Oregon, No. 24 Florida and No. 25 West Virginia.
Gildan Charleston Classic – Nov. 16, 17 & 19
The Gildan Charleston Classic, held at TD Arena in Charleston, S.C., will include Auburn, Clemson, Dayton, Hofstra, Indiana State, Old Dominion, Ohio and Temple.
Auburn enters the 2016-17 season with one of ESPN Recruiting Nation’s top 20 classes
Clemson will make its third appearance in the event, advancing to the title game in both previous appearances (2008 & 2013)
Dayton made its third-straight NCAA Championship appearance in 2016
Hofstra earned the No. 1 seed in the 2016 Colonial Athletic Association Championship, advancing to the title game and also appearing in the NIT
Indiana State will make its second consecutive appearance in an ESPN Events tournament (2016 AdvoCare Invitational)
Old Dominion posted a 25-13 record in 2015-16, marking the school’s second-straight 20-win season, and advanced to the C-USA title game
Ohio finished with a 23-12 record in 2015-16, including a trip to the College Basketball Invitational
Temple earned a bid to the 2016 NCAA Championship for the seventh time in the last nine seasons
Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tire Pros Tip-Off – Nov. 16, 17 & 19 The Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off, held in San Juan, will showcase Boise State, Florida State, Illinois State, Iowa State, South Carolina, Tulsa, UTEP and Western Michigan
Boise State earned its fourth consecutive 20-win season in 2015-16 and qualified for the NCAA Championship twice in that span
Florida State earned a berth in the 2016 NIT after finishing with 20 or more wins for the sixth time in the last eight seasons
Illinois State finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference in 2015-16 with its fifth-straight winning season
No. 19 Iowa State advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2016 NCAA Championship in the school’s fifth consecutive NCAA bid
No. 20 South Carolina received a bid to the 2016 NIT as a No. 1 seed
Tulsa earned a No. 11 seed in the 2016 NCAA Championship
UTEP will make its first appearance in the event on the heels of four consecutive seasons with a winning record
Western Michigan will make its second appearance in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off (2011)
Wooden Legacy – Nov. 23, 24 & 26
The Wooden Legacy will be played in Orange County, Calif. The field consists of Cal-State Fullerton, DePaul, Georgia, Harvard, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Mary’s (Calif.), San Diego State and Washington State.
Cal-State Fullerton makes its third appearance in the Wooden Legacy (2008 & 2013)
DePaul will appear in the Wooden Legacy for the second time (2010)
Georgia appeared in the 2016 NIT, marking its third-straight postseason bid
Harvard has appeared in the NCAA Championship four of the last five seasons
Saint Joseph’s advanced to the 2016 NCAA Championship second round as a No. 8 seed
No. 12 Saint Mary’s earned its ninth-straight postseason berth advancing to the 2016 NIT quarterfinals
San Diego State advanced to the 2016 NIT semifinals after earning the school’s 11th consecutive postseason berth
Washington State will make its second appearance in the Wooden Legacy (2011)
AdvoCare Invitational – Nov. 23, 24 & 26 The AdvoCare Invitational, held at HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla., will feature Long Beach State, Marist, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon State, St. John’s, UCF and West Virginia.
Long Beach State earned a berth in the 2016 NIT, marking the school’s fourth postseason bid in the last six seasons
Marist will make its third appearance in the AdvoCare Invitational (2006 & 2012)
Missouri will make its second consecutive appearance in an ESPN Events tournament (2016 Tire Pros Invitational)
Nebraska will be participating in its fifth different ESPN Events tournament (2010 Puerto Rico Tip-Off, 2013 Charleston Classic, 2014 Diamond Head Classic, 2015 Wooden Legacy)
Oregon State earned a No. 7 seed in the 2016 NCAA Championship
St. John’s will become the ninth team in the current BIG EAST to appear in the AdvoCare Invitational
UCF will make its second appearance in the AdvoCare Invitational (2007)
No. 25 West Virginia earned a No. 3 seed in the 2016 NCAA Championship, marking the school’s seventh NCAA appearance in the last nine seasons
PK80 – Phil Knight Invitational – Nov. 23, 24, & 26 PK80 – Phil Knight Invitational is a 16-team, early-season men’s college basketball event honoring Nike co-founder and 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Phil Knight in advance of his 80th birthday. The teams will be split into two separate, eight-team brackets at a later date.
One of the largest regular-season tournaments in college basketball history will be played from the Rose Quarter’s Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Ore.
Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic – Dec. 22, 23 & 25 The eighth annual Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic will be played at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu with a field of Akron, Davidson, Miami, Middle Tennessee, New Mexico State, USC, Utah State and tournament host school Hawai‘i.
Akron qualified for the 2016 NIT after winning the Mid-American Conference regular-season title
Davidson earned a bid to the 2016 NIT, marking the 11th time in the last 12 seasons that the school played in the postseason
Hawai’i advanced to the second round of the 2016 NCAA Championship as a No. 13 seed
Miami received a No. 3 seed in the 2016 NCAA Championship, advancing to the Sweet 16
Middle Tennessee advanced to the second round of the 2016 NCAA Championship
New Mexico State earned a berth in the 2016 NIT, marking the fifth-straight year the school appeared in the postseason
USC qualified for the 2016 NCAA Championship as a No. 8 seed
Utah State extended its streak of 23-straight seasons with a winning record in 2015-16
Additional Events Armed Forces Classic – Friday, Nov. 10
The Armed Forces Classic – a series of Division I men’s college basketball games that are televised from United States military bases around Veterans Day as a morale event for service members – will return to Ramstein Air Base in Germany, the site of the inaugural Classic in 2012, and showcasing Texas A&M against West Virginia.
Texas A&M advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2016 NCAA Championship after posting a 28-9 record
No. 25 West Virginia, which earned a No. 3 seed in the 2016 NCAA Championship, is also playing in the 2017 AdvoCare Invitational over Thanksgiving week
The games will be televised on ESPN as part of the network’s America’s Heroes initiative honoring the men and women who are serving and who have served in the United States military, both at home and abroad.
State Farm Champions Classic – Tuesday, Nov. 14
The seventh installment of the State Farm Champions Classic will be played at the United Center in Chicago and again showcase Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State.
Kentucky is the top-ranked team in the nation, along with No. 4 Kansas, No. 5 Duke and Michigan State
The schools have a combined 18 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships (since 1939): Kentucky (eight), Duke (five), Kansas (three) and Michigan State (two).