Phil Knight Legacy releases schedule, Gonzaga faces Portland State to start PKI
July 27, 2022
The NCAA's men's and women's basketball tournaments will be held in Portland, Oregon, on Thanksgiving weekend. This event could provide a preview of the Final Four.
On the men's side, a potential title game between Duke's new head coach, Jon Scheyer, and Drew Timme of the Zags could be held at the Phil Knight Legacy. Iowa's Caity Clark and Connecticut's Paige Bueckers could lead their respective teams into the championship game on the women's side.
The women's tournament will feature Oregon and North Carolina, ranked in ESPN's early top 25. On the other hand, the Phil Knight Invitational (PKI) will feature teams such as Alabama and Villanova. North Carolina, the reigning national runner-up, is the top team in the PKI.
The Phil Knight Legacy championship game will be held on November 27 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. After that, the third-place match will be held at the Chiles Center. Although the exact times and locations of the fifth and seventh-place games have not been announced, they will be held at the Chiles Center.
In the men's event, Duke will face off against Oregon State. Other notable games include West Virginia facing off against Purdue, and Portland State taking on the Zags. Both Sean Miller and Todd Golden, who are new head coaches, will be making their debut at the event.
Connecticut and Duke will face off against each other in the women's tournament. Also, Oregon State and Iowa will be participating in the preliminary rounds.
The first round of the men's tournament will feature North Carolina, which returns most of its players from last year's national championship team, against Portland. Also, Iowa State will face off against Kyle Neptune's first-year team, while Connecticut will face off against Oregon, which is currently ranked in ESPN's early top 25. In addition, Alabama and Michigan State will be participating in another highly-anticipated game.
The opening round of the women's PKI tournament will feature Oregon and Te-Hina Paopao against Deja Kelly and the North Carolina team that reached the Sweet 16 last season. In the other game, Iowa State will face off against Michigan State. Iowa State is led by Big 12 first-teamers Lexi Donarski and Ashley Joens.
Gonzaga visits Portland State to start PKI
The tournament's first game will be held on November 24 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. It's expected to be a rematch of a game that happened in 2009. The Vikings defeated the Zags 77-70 in their last matchup.
For the 2021-22 season, Portland State finished with a 14-17 record and a 10-10 mark against Big Sky teams. The Vikings have a history of defeating the Zags, as they are 18-7 all-time against them.
If the Zags defeated Portland State, the team might have a chance for a long-awaited rematch against Purdue if the Boilermakers defeated West Virginia.
Since 2000, the Zags have faced off against Purdue twice. The last time these two teams met was in the third round of the NCAA Tournament, where the Bulldogs lost to the eventual champion. The Purdue team went 29-8 last season, reaching the NCAA Tournament as a third seed before being defeated by Saint Peter's. Despite losing leading scorer and All-American candidate Jaden Ivy, the team is expected to be a Top 25 contender in the upcoming season.
If West Virginia pulled an upset over Purdue, Gonzaga might have an easier time facing the Mountaineers. Gonzaga and West Virginia have met several times in the past seven seasons. In 2020, the two played in the Jimmy V Classic in Indianapolis, and the Zags could defeat West Virginia 87-82.