A Look at the PK80: Motion Bracket

In honor of Nike founder Phil Knight, ESPN will be airing the PK80 tournament over Thanksgiving weekend. Consisting of 16 teams and two brackets, this four day tournament will be must watch. NCAA Tournament teams, dazzling freshman and of course, fresh uniforms. Let’s take a look at the Motion Bracket now. Here’s what you need to know.

First Round Schedule:

Portland State vs Duke – Thursday, November 23rd 4:30 PM EST

Butler vs Texas – Thursday, November 23rd 7 PM EST

Florida vs Stanford – Thursday, November 23rd 10 PM EST

Ohio State vs Gonzaga – Thursday, November 23rd 12 AM EST

What to Look For:

Bagley vs Bamba

Assuming Duke doesn’t have an immaculate meltdown, and Texas can get past Butler, Duke vs Texas is a must watch for college basketball and NBA fans. This game would feature a match-up within a match-up, as Marvin Bagley and Mo Bamba would go head to head.  Both players are expected to be lottery picks next year, so this is a great chance for Hawks, Bulls and Mavs fans to get a glimpse of what the future could hold. Aside from these two headline stealers, both teams match up well across the board. Freshman point guards Trevon Duval and Matt Coleman would face off. As would Grayson Allen and Andrew Jones, each team’s best scorer. There are many things to like about this potential second round game.

Can Butler Represent the Big East

Butler will try to spoil the match-up I laid out above by beating Texas in the first round on Thursday. Butler is off to a nice start at 3-1. Their one loss was their only test of the early season so far, a 12 point loss to Maryland at Maryland. They will get their second chance for a resume win on Thanksgiving with Texas. A win against a team in the upper half of the Big 12 will help solidify that the “new” Big East is more than just Villanova. This is the chance for Kelan Martin and Kamar Baldwin to make themselves known on a national stage.

How Good is Gonzaga?  

Every year Mark Few and the Gonzaga Bulldogs post 25+ wins and every year they don’t get enough credit because they seemingly don’t play anyone. Well now the National Runner Ups have helped their cause, scheduling non-conference games against Villanova, Creighton and playing in the PK80. The Zags have the potential to play teams from the Big Ten, SEC and ACC if they make it to the championship game. Two of those teams are currently sitting in the Top 10. Not too shabby for a team that doesn’t play anyone good.

Bracket is Headlined with Talented Forwards

 If you’re a fan of forwards, this is the bracket to watch over Thanksgiving. Travis Reid (Stanford), Kelan Martin (Butler), Jonathan Williams (Gonzaga), Marvin Bagley (Duke) are first all-conference talents in their respective conferences. Based on the bracket, we may never see any of these guys go head to head, but their individual talents will be fun to watch. Reid and Martin are extremely talented scorers, Williams is the piece that makes Gonzaga go, and we’re learning something new about Bagley every day. Add Dylan Osetkowski (Texas) and Egor Koulechov (Florida) who have averaged near double doubles in the short season and this is a very deep field at the forward spot.

Ideal Championship Game: Duke vs Florida

No huge surprise here. this is the game we all should want. Duke and Florida are currently ranked 1 and 7, respectively in the AP Polls. Duke has a plethora of freshman talent, and college basketball’s most hateable/loveable human in Grayson Allen. Florida is a very talented and balanced bunch. In three games they are averaging 98 points a game and have six players averaging 7 points or more, led by Koulechov’s 20 per game. Meanwhile Duke’s starting five has been as good as advertised, combining for 76 points a game themselves.

The match-up here would be Duke’s Trevon Duval vs Florida’s Chris Chiozza. Duval has been spectacular for Duke, averaging nearly 8 assists a game. He’s Grayson Allen’s biggest fan, as Duval has helped free up Allen and get him wide open looks early on. If Florida can contain Duval, they can also help keep Allen from getting great shots in the process. This job would fall on the defensive minded senior, Chris Chiozza. This would be a great Sunday night game to cap off a great weekend of college basketball.

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