INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The “Motion” and “Victory” brackets for PK80 presented by State Farm – the 16-team, early-season men’s college basketball event honoring Nike co-founder and 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Phil Knight celebrating his 80th birthday – have been finalized. The Butler Bulldogs will meet the Texas Longhorns in the quarterfinals of the “Motion” bracket.
The two eight-team brackets will run simultaneously in the Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Ore., with the crowning of two champions. Games will be played Thursday, Nov. 23, Friday, Nov. 24 and Sunday, Nov. 26. All games from Portland will be televised on ESPN networks (to be announced at a later date).
The “Motion” bracket will feature Butler, Duke, Florida, Gonzaga, OhioState, PortlandState, Stanford and Texas. The early session will showcase Duke vs. Portland State and Butler vs. Texas, followed by an evening session pairing Florida vs. Stanford and Gonzaga vs. Ohio State.
The “Victory” bracket will showcase Arkansas, UConn, Georgetown, MichiganState, NorthCarolina, Oklahoma, Oregon and Portland. In accordance with NCAA rules regarding regular-season multiple-team events (MTEs), no more than one member per conference can be in the same bracket.
One of the largest regular-season multi-team events in college basketball history, PK80 sports a field featuring some of the top schools in the nation. The field boasts 24 National Champions, including 10 of the past 14 winners. Participants include three 2017 NCAA Final Four teams (National Champion North Carolina, Runner-up Gonzaga, and Oregon). Also, earning berths in the 2017 NCAA Tournament were Arkansas, Butler, Duke, Florida and Michigan State, in addition to field participants UConn, Georgetown, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Portland, Portland State, Stanford and Texas
The PK80 brackets are named as a tribute to Phil Knight and the iconic sports brand he created. “Victory”: In Greek mythology, Nike was considered the goddess of Victory. “Motion”: The swoosh logo is not only meant to represent motion, but to also resemble the wings of the goddess Nike.
Butler and Texas have met only once previously, a 56-48 win by the Bulldogs in the first round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
Texas posted a losing record last season under head coach Shaka Smart, his first as head coach of the Longhorns. But the Longhorns bring in a nationally-ranked Top 5 recruiting class led by Mohamed Bamba, who is ranked as the No. 2 overall prospect in the nation by Rivals.com, No. 2 by Scout.com and No. 3 by ESPN. Smart is no stranger to Butler, having previously led the VCU program. The Bulldogs defeated his VCU team in the 2011 national semifinals and the teams were both members of the Atlantic 10 Conference for the 2012-13 season.
Butler finished the 2016-17 season with a 25-9 record under head coach Chris Holtmann, advancing to the sixth Sweet 16 in program history. The Bulldogs earned their highest NCAA Tournament seed in program history on the heels of a second-place finish in the BIG EAST Conference standings. Leading scorer and All-BIG EAST selection Kelan Martin returns alongside starters Tyler Wideman and Kamar Baldwin. That talented trio will join an experienced group of returners and the highest-ranked recruiting class in program history.
Chris Fultz is a Senior Writer for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow @CafultzISR and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.
Chris Fultz is a Senior Writer and the Butler Athletics beat writer for the Indiana Sports Report. Chris Fultz is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler University Athletics and has full media access.
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