If you like your Kentucky basketball news five years in advance, you’re in luck. ESPN reports that Kentucky will be participating in a 16-team two-tournament mega event honoring Nike founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday. The tournament is set to to take place over the course of four days in November of 2017, and will be played in Nike’s hometown Portland Oregon.
The tournament is set to include two of the best and brightest Nike schools from each major conference. The tournament is split into two 8-team groups, as opponents from the same conference are not allowed to meet prior to their conference schedule.
The full list of schools participating is: Kentucky (SEC), Florida (SEC), Michigan State (Big Ten), Ohio State (Big Ten), Duke (ACC), North Carolina (ACC), Connecticut (Big East), Georgetown (Big East), Texas (Big 12), Oklahoma (Big 12), Stanford (Pac-12), Oregon (Pac-12), Xavier (A-10), Butler (A-10), Gonzaga (WCC), Portland (WCC)
Winning the tournament means an additional three games against tough opponents will be added to the schedule. Calipari typically avoids such tough schedule blocks away from home that early in the season, but they could provide useful high-pressure neutral-court experience for later in the year. All that said, this event is still five years away, so there’s really no reason to spend too much time thinking about it now.
Filed Under: Basketball
About the Author: Corey Tincher is a lifelong Kentucky fan and professional writer who couldn't keep the two worlds apart. He is the lead contributor for StraitCats.com and literally wrote the book on the 2012 NCAA Tournament Championship run, Big Blue Articles: Kentucky Basketball in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Follow @Corey_Tincher on Twitter for more Kentucky news and discussion.