Thanksgiving weekend brings not one but two Phil Knight college basketball tournaments to Portland, Oregon. The Phil Knight Invitational features No. 1 North Carolina, No. 12 Michigan State, and No. 18 Alabama on the men’s side, with No. 8 North and No. 5 Iowa State on the women’s side. The Phil Knight Legacy Tournament includes No. 8 Duke, No. 6 Gonzaga, and No. 24 Purdue, and only includes a men’s bracket.
So why is the Nike founder the namesake of two college basketball tournaments happening this weekend? The tournament is technically all under the same umbrella, but falls into two different brackets that will not compete against each other. Limited for time over the holiday weekend, two eight-team men’s brackets and one four-team women’s bracket will end play on Sunday, Nov. 27 before returning to their regular seasons.
We will get to witness some of the best talent that college basketball has to offer. The first Phil Knight tournament was five years ago, when he brought 16 of the best teams in college together to celebrate his 80th birthday. He celebrates 85 this year, and CBB fans get to share in the festivities.
The separate brackets are set up so that no two teams from one conference can meet, so as not to skew the conference schedule.