This week, 16 teams will gather in Portland, Oregon, for a two-tournament, two-venue bonanza in honor of Nike founder Phil Knight's 80th birthday.
The nonconference season always features a multitude of sensational events. But the PK80 is special. North Carolina, Oklahoma, Michigan State and Oregon anchor the Victory Bracket, while Duke, Butler, Texas, Gonzaga and Florida are the headliners of the Motion Bracket.
You don't need to know much more than that to tune in, but here are 80 reasons to care about the PK80.
(Yes, 80. You knew this was coming.)
1. Polarizing star Grayson Allen (21.8 points per game, 53.1 percent from the 3-point line) looks like the early favorite to win the John R. Wooden Award. He'll be there.
2. We missed our chance to see freshman phenom Marvin Bagley III on the big stage after he suffered an eye injury early in Duke's Champions Classic win over Michigan State last week. But the freshman standout is back and ready to show the country why ESPN ranked him No. 1 in his class ahead of Michael Porter Jr., Deandre Ayton and Mohamed Bamba.
3. We won't see Duke vs. North Carolina in Portland -- they're in separate brackets -- but a Sunday offering of Michigan State vs. North Carolina (Victory Bracket) and Duke vs. Gonzaga (Motion Bracket) would satisfy college basketball fans and create a Final Four-like pairing on both sides.
4. The tournament's greatest asset, however, is its depth, which will ensure great consolation games.
5. In the losers' brackets, we could get Texas-Ohio State in one tournament and Oregon-Oklahoma in another. If those are the worst games of the weekend, you have an impressive event.
6. Is Patrick Ewing bringing Georgetown?
7. Greatest swing of the season? Portland played NAIA standout Oregon Tech on Sunday and will face defending national champ North Carolina in the opening round of the PK80 on Thursday.
8. Tom Izzo flipped after Michigan State got bullied by Duke in the Champions Classic. So the Spartans will enter this tournament with a frustrated coach who they'll try to please.
9. Those uniforms ...
Uniforms for the PK80, the Phil Knight basketball tournament next week pic.twitter.com/Jn8ZUiS1Vm
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 16, 2017
10. Bamba, the 6-foot-11, five-star Texas freshman who could lead Texas back to the NCAA tournament, blocked a total of nine shots in his first two games. Nine.
11. Would an all-star team comprised of the best players from the other squads at the PK80 beat Duke? Discuss.
12. But Duke might need wins over two second-weekend squads from last year, Butler (Sweet 16) and Florida (Elite Eight), to win its bracket.
13. Oklahoma's Trae Young, who recorded 23 assists in his first two games as a college athlete, averaged 41.0 PPG in high school. Here's the McDonald's All-American's chance to put the Sooners on the map again.
14. Want to laugh? Perhaps the cameras will show the reporters hustling and stumbling between the Moda Center and neighboring Veterans Memorial Coliseum to catch the action in both brackets.
15. Joel Berry II, last year's Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four, will compete in his first high-profile contests of 2017-18 after missing the first game of the season because he broke his hand when he punched a wall after losing to teammate Theo Pinson in a video game.
18. Michigan State
20. North Carolina
26. Ten teams you might see in the NCAA tournament. That's why this entire event will feel like an early edition of what we can expect in March.
27. Thanksgiving games. All day. And night. The first matchup of the day, Portland-North Carolina, starts at 2:30 p.m. ET and the last game of the day, Ohio State-Gonzaga, will begin at 12 a.m. ET.
28. If Portland gets into a tough situation, the Pilots might let Terry Porter, head coach and two-time NBA all-star, play point guard.
29. Chris Holtmann left Butler for Ohio State in June. Weird timing due to Thad Matta's abrupt "resignation." This week, Holtmann could face his former squad at the PK80.
30. Hey, Barret Peery. You were hired in April. Now, your Portland State squad opens this stacked tournament against top-ranked Duke in a matchup a few miles from your campus. Enjoy.
33. Miles Bridges.
34. Wendell Carter Jr.
36. Five of the top-10 NBA prospects, as ranked by ESPN's Jonathan Givony, will participate in this tournament. And Duke's Trevon Duval is ranked 11th by Givony. So much talent in this field.
37. But Bridges suffered a sprained ankle in Michigan State's win over Stony Brook on Sunday. Will he be available? And if he is, will he play at 100 percent?
38. North Carolina needed a rally in the final three minutes to beat Arkansas in the second round of last season's NCAA tournament. The Tar Heels could meet the Razorbacks in the second round of the PK80 on Friday.
39. UConn's Terry Larrier, a 6-foot-8 wing averaging 16.7 PPG and 5.3 rebounds, could emerge as the Victory Bracket's biggest surprise.
40. Same for Ohio State's Keita Bates-Diop (19.3 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 1.7 blocks) in the Motion Bracket.
41. "I gotta watch these games" is a valid excuse to escape the "When are you going to get married?" conversation during the family dinner.
42. Kevin Ollie led Connecticut to the 2014 national championship, but the Huskies have missed two of the past three NCAA tournaments. He needs quality wins in Portland to help him erase the past two years.
43. Meet Stanford's Reid Travis (21.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG).
44. 2010. Duke. Butler. Gordon Hayward. The shot. We might replay that national championship matchup and last-second heave in the second round of the PK80 if Duke and Butler both win their first-round games.
45. What if Portland and Portland State stun the world and pull a Chaminade?
46. Like team ball? Seven players on Gonzaga's squad are averaging 9.7 PPG or more.
47. You can organize a PK80 pool with your family and friends. (Yes, the aunt who never watches college basketball will win, but you'll have fun.)
48. After serving as the backup to Przemek Karnowski and lottery pick Zach Collins during last year's run to the national title game, Killian Tillie (12.3 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.3 BPG), a 6-foot-10 power forward from France, could become Gonzaga's next great big man.
49. How will Oregon look after losing four of the five starters from its Final Four loss to North Carolina last season? We'll see.
50. Oregon fans can enjoy the PK80 and then drive to Eugene on Saturday for the Civil War between Oregon and Oregon State on the gridiron. Convenient.
51. Portland is only a five-hour drive from Spokane, Washington. Gonzaga fans flooded Las Vegas during the West Coast Conference tournament in March. Expect a sizable contingency of Bulldogs fans at the PK80 too.
52. North Carolina leads a pack of 10 participants ranked among the top-50 winningest programs in Division I history.
53. After you see this bash, you'll realize the 80th birthday party you threw for your grandmother wasn't all that.
54. A Duke-Texas matchup in the second round would pit Bamba, the No. 4 recruit in the 2017 class, against Bagley, the No. 1 incoming recruit in the country, per ESPN.
55. We're hopeful the winner of the Victory Bracket will call out the winner of the Motion Bracket for an impromptu pickup game following Sunday's championship.
56. Knight is connected to some of the greatest athletes of the past 30 years. Imagine the celebrity cameos at the PK80.
57. Third time's a charm? Florida is the third school for Egor Koulechov (Rice, Arizona State), who entered the week leading the Gators in scoring at 20.3 PPG.
58. The PK80 will feature three of the four teams from last year's Final Four (Gonzaga, North Carolina and Oregon).
59. Florida's KeVaughn Allen only missed six free throws (63 attempts) in the final 18 games of the 2016-17 season. Remember that if he goes to the charity stripe in a close game.
60. Dana Altman and Oregon could face Arkansas, where Altman was the head coach for 24 hours in 2007.
61. No, really. You should go to YouTube and watch the video of Altman standing on a stage as Arkansas fans chant "Woooooo! Pig Sooie!" after he left Creighton, albeit briefly, and accepted the job. It's all quite odd. You'll root for an Oregon-Arkansas matchup after you see it, though.
62. Every coach at this event has something to prove.
63. Portland's Porter? He has won just four games since New Year's Eve, and only one against a non-NAIA opponent. He just needs something positive to happen for his program at the PK80.
64. Arkansas' Mike Anderson enters his seventh season with two NCAA tourney appearances at Arkansas on his résumé. He could pick up quality wins in Portland that could pay off on Selection Sunday.
65. Roy Williams' squad beat teams with brawn last year. North Carolina must fight through this field and the rest of the season, however, with finesse after losing a trio of talented bigs.
66. Mike Krzyzewski won the bulk of his five national championships when his team was not the preseason favorite (1991, 2010, 2015) and failed to win the title in multiple years when many assumed his Blue Devils would win it all (1999, 2002, 2016). How will this group handle another major moment as the season's preseason favorite?
67. Portland State's Peery? Win a game and you're a hero.
69. If Shaka Smart rallies and reaches Sunday's title game, his Longhorns could build the momentum to justify their status as a trendy pick to challenge Kansas for the Big 12 title.
70. Oklahoma's Lon Kruger believes his team learned from last year's 11-20 season. The PK80 is its first legit test to prove as much.
71. Same for Holtmann's Ohio State squad. It will be a good barometer in his first season.
72. DePaul's Dave Leitao is seeking his first double-digit win tally in his third season of his second stint with the team. The PK80 is an opportunity for the struggling Blue Demons to begin that mission.
73. Wichita State just crashed the American Athletic Conference and made the league even stronger. Struggles in Portland could portend problems in conference play for Ollie's UConn squad.
74. Michigan State's Izzo wants to erase the sour taste from his team's loss to Duke at the Champions Classic. A win over ACC power North Carolina in the title game would suffice.
75. LaVall Jordan would love to make some noise in Portland in his first season at Butler, his alma mater.
76. Mike White led Florida to the Elite Eight last season. A strong outing in Portland would make the masses reconsider Kentucky's status as the preseason favorite in the SEC.
77. Saint Mary's commanded most of the preseason hype in the West Coast Conference. But the PK80 could be Mark Few's allow-me-to-reintroduce-myself moment with this talented crew.
78. Many believe Jerod Haase's Stanford squad will make progress this season, perhaps even reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2014. But last week's home loss to Eastern Washington wasn't a convincing step toward that end. Maybe the Cardinal will exceed expectations at the PK80.
79. Watch for the potential upsets.
80. Enjoy the action. Because nothing beats family, friends and good basketball. And PK80 is set to deliver.