After five years, Nike co-founder Phil Knight and co. decided to have another 16-team, multi-tournament style event. The one five years ago was called the PK80, and fast forward five years we now have the PK85.
Just like it’s predecessor, PK85 has two tournaments, the Phil Knight Invitational and the Phil Knight Legacy. Both tournaments were loaded with excellent rosters to make for a great week of college basketball. And what a great week it’s been.
In the invitational bracket, both No. 1 North Carolina and No. 18 Alabama lost on Friday, and No. 12 Michigan State lost to the Tide on Thursday. No. 20 UConn will face Iowa State in the PKI championship game on Sunday.
In the Legacy bracket, the only major upset was Gonzaga losing to Purdue on Friday. The Boilermakers blew out the Zags 84-66 to give them their second loss of the season. Purdue will matchup against No. 8 Duke in the championship match.
PKL Championship Game: No. 8 Duke vs No. 24 Purdue | 3:30 pm ET | ABC
It wasn’t the prettiest, but Duke has made it to the championship by first beating Oregon State 54-51. Freshman Kyle Filipowski and transfer Ryan Young both notched double-doubles to propel the Blue Devils past the Beavers. Xavier was their opponent in the Friday game, and Jeremy Roach’s 21 points pushed Duke to a solid 71-64 win. Duke’s only loss still is to Kansas in that Champions Classic game, but it’s possible their second loss could be handed down by Purdue.
The Boilermakers have been arguably the best team in the entire PK85. They cruised past West Virginia in their first game, keeping a double-digit lead for most of the second half. Zach Edey had a great 24 point and 12 rebounds showing. After that, Purdue got the most impressive win of the entire PK85: an 84-66 beat down over Gonzaga. Purdue had four players in double-digits for the game and out-rebounded the Zags by 15. Edey played 31 minutes in the game and scored 23 points.
While Duke is a 2-point favorite in this game, there is one major difference between the two teams. Duke has lost its only ranked matchup up to this point, and Purdue killed its ranked opponent. This will be the second ranked test for Jon Scheyer in his first season, so let’s see if he can get his Blue Devils a win.
PKI Championship Game: No. 20 UConn vs Iowa State | 10:00 pm ET | ESPN
UConn got here by first taking down Oregon 83-59. Tristen Newton led all scorers with 23. Newton went 5-6 from beyond the arc, and UConn as a team went a stellar 17-37 to set a program record for most 3-pointers in a game. Next they faced Alabama and again cruised to an 82-67 victory over the Crimson Tide. Adama Sanogo led all scorers with 25. He scored 11 of those 25 within the last seven minutes to help push the Huskies to a comfortable double-digit lead. UConn is one of three power six conference members that are 7-0 currently, the other two are fellow Big East member St. John’s and Missouri from the SEC.
Iowa State made its way to the big game beating Villanova in its first game 81-79. The Cyclones had 4 double-digit scorers, and Gabe Kalscheur lead with 23 off the bench. In their second game, Iowa State pulled out a stunner to beat No. 1 North Carolina 70-65. Caleb Grill went off for 31 points on 11-15 from the field, 7-11 from 3-point range. That is a remarkable performance, and overshadowed a great performance by Jaren Holmes who has 22 himself. TJ Otzelberger has rejuvenated this Cyclones program and has them at 5-0 and in the PKI championship game.
While you could argue Iowa State has the more impressive win over UConn, UConn has looked stellar thus far in the season and in the PKI. Their lowest score in a game this season was the 82 points against Alabama. That is insane stuff from Dan Hurley’s team, and points as to why they are 7-0.
Villanova continues to struggle in its first season without Jay Wright. The Wildcats are dealing with injury issues, but have the talent to still be successful. They fell to 2-4 after losing to Portland by double-digits on Friday.
Oregon, like Villanova, falls to 2-4 after starting 0-2 in the PKI. The Ducks were preseason top 25, but have struggled to start the season.
North Carolina was struggling more than a typical No. 1-ranked team struggles, and the Tar Heels finally fell to Iowa State. After early struggles, and now a loss, the Tar Heels might not even crack the top five of the AP poll.
After the bad loss to Purdue, Gonzaga has now lost two top 25 matchups by more than 15 points. They still have wins over Kentucky and Michigan State.
7th-place game: Villanova vs Oregon | 3:00 pm ET | ESPN2
3rd-place game: North Carolina vs Alabama | 3:30 pm ET | ESPN
5th-place game: Portland vs Michigan State | 5:30 pm ET | ESPN
Championship game: Iowa State vs UConn | 10:00 pm ET | ESPN
Championship game: Duke vs Purdue | 3:30 pm ET | ABC
3rd-place game: Xavier vs Gonzaga | 7:30 pm ET | ESPN
5th-place game: Florida vs West Virginia | 8:30 pm ET | ESPNU
7th-place game: Oregon State vs Portland State | 11:00 pm ET | ESPNU
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