PORTLAND, Ore. -- If you’re a college basketball fan, Portland is the place to be over the Thanksgiving holiday.
The PK80 Invitational kicks off Thursday. 16 teams, 24 games over three days. Games will be played at both the Moda Center and Memorial Coliseum. Five of the teams are ranked in the top ten, No. 1 Duke, No. 2 Michigan State, No. 7 Florida and ninth-ranked North Carolina..
Portland State plays Duke, University of Portland plays North Carolina and Oregon plays UCONN.
Pilots head coach Terry Porter says, “The guys ar excited this week. I’m excited for them. It’s the biggest stage and they get to play the best. This is what it’s all about.”
The tournament is in celebration of Phil Knight’s birthday. He will turn 80 in February. There are still tickets available. If you’d like to learn more about the PK80 Invitational you can check out the website.
There’s also a women’s event on Saturday in Eugene. Oregon will play Oklahoma and UCONN will play Michigan State.
Knight's tournament in Oregon is certain to grab headlines, but it's hardly the only tournament to be thankful for this week. Here are some of the others listed by the Associated Press:
— The Maui Invitational began Monday with sixth-ranked Wichita State rallying from an 18-point hole to beat California and No. 13 Notre Dame beating host Chaminade. They are back in action Tuesday with a chance to meet for the championship on Wednesday.
— The Battle 4 Atlantis begins in the Bahamas on Tuesday with No. 2 Arizona perhaps on a collision course with fifth-ranked Villanova. No. 18 Purdue, North Carolina State and SMU are also in the field.
— The Hall of Fame Classic will be decided Tuesday night when Creighton plays No. 25 Baylor in the finals. No. 23 UCLA will meet Wisconsin in the third-place matchup.
— The Cayman Islands Classic is highlighted by No. 12 Cincinnati, which plays Richmond in the semifinal Tuesday. The winner gets Louisiana or Wyoming for the title on Wednesday.
— The Legends Classic began with No. 16 Texas A&M routing Oklahoma State and Penn State beating up Pittsburgh in the semifinals Monday. The Aggies and Nittany Lions meet for the title on Tuesday.
— The Advocare Invitational championship rounds begin Thursday with No. 23 West Virginia topping the field. Nebraska, St. John's and Missouri are among the other teams in the mix.
— The NIT Season Tip-Off has some local flavor with No. 20 Seton Hall. Virginia, Vanderbilt and Rhode Island are also in the field with the semifinals Thursday and championship game Friday.
— The Las Vegas Invitational begins Thursday with No. 15 Xavier the star attraction. Kansas State, Arizona State and George Washington are among the teams playing at Orleans Arena.
GAMES ALREADY SET
Yes, there is an "if" element to all of those tournaments, and some upsets along the way could deprive hoops fans of some high-profile showdowns. But there are at least a couple games involving ranked teams this week that are taking place out of tournaments.
No. 25 Alabama is set to face No. 14 Minnesota on Friday night in New York, while Texas A&M heads across the country to Los Angeles to face No. 10 Southern California in a showdown Sunday.
SO LONG, ALASKA: One of the premier tournaments for years was the Great Alaska Shootout, attracting high-profile schools such as Duke, Kentucky, UCLA and Kansas since its inception in 1978. But its shine wore off as tournaments popped up in more exotic — and far warmer — destinations, and the headliners the last few years have been Colorado State, Toledo and Iona.
But if for no better reason than posterity, tune in this week for the final edition hosted by the University of Alaska-Anchorage. Central Michigan, Idaho and Santa Clara top the field.
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