DePaul added to Nike tourney honoring Phil Knight over Thanksgiving

The DePaul men’s basketball team has been invited to participate in the PK80 Invitational tournament, which honors Nike co-founder Phil Knight for his 80th birthday.

The Blue Demons replace Georgetown in the event and will face Michigan State on Thanksgiving (Nov. 23) in the “Victory” bracket of the tournament.  Two eight-team brackets will crown two champions at the Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Ore.

DePaul had previously been slated to participate in the Wooden Legacy tournament but instead will face steeper competition in a field that contains two 2017 Final Four participants (Oregon), including the national champion North Carolina. Also in the Victory bracket is Arkansas, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Oregon, Portland and their first-round opponent Spartans.

“The opportunity to play in this event to celebrate Phil Knight’s 80th birthday and his impact on college basketball is a thrill and an honor” coach Dave Leitao said. “The eight-team Victory bracket is full of great programs and we’re excited to make the trip to Portland to face the challenge that only the PK80 presents. DePaul’s basketball history, combined with the other teams competing, illustrates the magnitude of this tournament.”

DePaul head coach Dave Leitao shouts from the sidelines during a game against Villanova on Dec. 28, 2016. | Laurence Kesterson/AP

Following the Michigan State game, the Blue Demons face either Connecticut or Oregon on Nov. 24 with another game coming on Nov. 26.

DePaul opens the new Wintrust Arena in the South Loop on Nov. 11 against Notre Dame. They previously announced a game at Illinois on Nov. 17 in the Dave Gavitt Tipff Games. The remainder of the schedule will be announced at a later date.