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Ohio State to face Gonzaga at Phil Knight PK80 2017 basketball tournament

Ohio State’s non-conference schedule certainly won’t be easy.

2016 CBS Sports Classic - Ohio State v UCLA Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

ESPN has released the brackets for the Phil Knight Invitational, and the Ohio State Buckeyes will face the Gonzaga Bulldogs in their opening round game. This year will mark Knight’s 80th birthday, for which the tournament will celebrate as PK80.

The Buckeyes will be guaranteed three games in the PK80. Their second game will be against either Stanford or Florida, and the third game will come from a group of Duke, Portland State, Butler or Texas.

The other half of the bracket will include UNC, Portland, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Georgetown, Michigan State, UConn and Oregon:

Gonzaga, of course, was this close to winning the national title last season. While they’re replacing many important players from that team, like point guard and former Ohio State target Nigel Williams-Goss and likely lotto pick Zach Collins, the Bulldogs will be a very tough test for Ohio State.

The good news is that Ohio State will get plenty of chances to grab some RPI boosts. Everybody on this side of the bracket, save Portland State, should be a solid team next season. If the Buckeyes can grab a name win or two, they’ll be in much better shape heading into the season. But if Buckeye fans were hoping for a deep run in this tournament, the draw didn’t do them any favors.

The Buckeyes will also play UNC in New Orleans this season, and play non-conference games against Miami (OH), The Citadel, Robert Morris and William & Mary. Other non-conference games have yet to be announced.

The full bracket, and more PK80 information, can be found here.