PRESS RELEASE

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
  • Additional information, including travel packages, can be found on the Gildan Charleston Classic website

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)
  • Additional information, including travel packages, can be found on the Tire Pros Puerto Rico Tip-Off website

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)
  • Additional information, including travel packages, can be found on the Wooden Legacy website

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
  • Additional information, including travel packages, can be found on the AdvoCare Invitational website

NIT Season Tip-Off – Thanksgiving Week
The NIT Season Tip-Off championship round will be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. and will feature Rhode Island, Seton Hall, Vanderbilt and Virginia.

  • No. 21 Rhode Island posted a winning record in 2015-16 for the seventh time in the last 10 seasons
  • Seton Hall won the 2016 BIG EAST Championship and earned a No. 6 seed in the 2016 NCAA Championship
  • Vanderbilt received an at-large bid to the 2016 NCAA Championship as a No. 11 seed
  • No. 6 Virginia advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight as a No. 1 seed in the 2016 event
  • Additional information can be found on the NIT Season Tip-Off website

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.
  • Participating schools include Arkansas, No. 18 Butler, Connecticut, No. 5 Duke, No. 24 Florida, Georgetown, No. 8 Gonzaga, Michigan State, No. 3 North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, No. 23 Oregon, Portland, Portland State, Stanford and Texas
  • Additional information can be found on the PK80 website

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 information can be found on the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic website

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.
  • Additional information can be found on the Armed Forces Classic website

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).

ESPN Events ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans. ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program. Collegiate Football AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Frisco Bowl (Frisco, Texas); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Baton Rouge, La.); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); St. Petersburg Bowl (Florida); Texas Bowl (Houston); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth) Collegiate Basketball AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Ramstein Air Base, Germany); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s  Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (TBD); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); PK80 (Portland, Ore.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan); State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.) For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages. ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron at 860-766-2233 or [email protected].