In May the Big Ten Conference announced that its 2017 men’s basketball tournament will be played in Washington, D.C., with the league taking advantage of the addition of nearby Maryland to the membership. With that decision being made the next step for commissioner Jim Delany is to find a home for the 2018 event, and according to Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune there are a couple options on the table.
One of those options is Madison Square Garden in New York City, which would get the event in the largest media market in the country. However the issue at play here is the presence of the Big East tournament, with that conference having an agreement with Madison Square Garden through the 2025-26 season.
As a result, in order for the Big Ten to get into MSG they would likely have to play their event a week earlier, and the financial cost associated with playing at the “World’s Most Famous Arena” is another issue Delany cited in the Tribune story. With this being the case Delany has also discussed other options for the 2018 Big Ten tournament.
Delany told the Tribune that if the tournament does not go to the Big Apple, strong possibilities to host include Omaha, Minneapolis and Detroit.
“I’m thinking that if it’s not New York, we’ll put it up (for bid) and see who’s really interested,” he said. “Omaha is hungry.”
Before scheduling the 2017 event for the nation’s capital only Chicago (which will host in 2015) and Indianapolis (the 2016 host) had the honor of hosting the Big Ten tournament since its inception in 1998. Will the league membership be in favor of another city hosting the event? Those discussions won’t be completed for a while, but it’s clear that Delany is open to the possibility.
It’s been a busy day for the Big Ten, as earlier Monday, the conference was announced as a participant in the newly-created Gavitt Tipoff Games with the Big East to open the college basketball season beginning in 2015.
Now comes news for the Big Ten’s postseason plans as it was reported by multiple outlets on Monday afternoon that the Big Ten Tournament would move to Washington D.C.
The Big Ten’s move to our nation’s capital for the league tournament was first reported by Justin Albers of Scout.com and also confirmed to be at the Verizon Center on March 8-12, 2017 by the Washington Post’s Alex Prewitt.
Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson confirmed to Prewitt the Big Ten’s plans to move to the home of the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals for the 2017 edition of the league’s men’s basketball tournament.
A 1 p.m. press conference is scheduled at the Verizon Center on Tuesday that features Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney as well as Anderson and Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon.
“We’re excited the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament will be played at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.,” Anderson said to Prewitt. “The Big Ten has shared its commitment to having a strong presence on the East Coast. It’s a great opportunity for our fans to attend the tournament in our backyard and it should be a tremendous atmosphere.”
The Big Ten has only played it’s men’s basketball conference tournament at Chicago’s United Center and Indianapolis’ Banker’s Life Fieldhouse since the event began in 1998 and it wouldn’t be any surprise if Washington D.C. was permanently alternated into the equation to continue to conference’s growth on the East Coast. With Maryland and Rutgers joining the league in 2014-15, the Big Ten will have a growing East Coast presence to go along with current member Penn State.
The Big Ten is also putting new offices in New York — to go along with headquarters in Chicago — and is also opening a satellite office in Washington D.C.
The Verizon Center will also host the ACC Tournament in 2016.
Tracy Abrams picked a great day to have a big game for Illinois.
The junior point guard had a game-high 25 points as the No. 9 seed Fighting Illini knocked off No. 8 seed Indiana, 64-54, in Thursday’s opening contest of the Big Ten Tournament.
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The 25 points for Abrams, on 8-for-16 shooting, is a season-high for the junior from Chicago and its his first 20-point performance since knocking in 22 points in a December 21st win over Missouri in the Braggin’ Rights game.
Junior guard Rayvonte Rice also added 13 points for the Illini while freshman guard Kendrick Nunn added 10. The Illinois defense also did a great job of forcing Indiana into 16 turnovers as the Fighting Illini defense continues to play very well down the stretch.
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John Groce’s ballclub won four of its final five games in the regular season and they’re a dangerous team in the Big Ten Tournament because of their ability to defend.
Indiana (17-15) has now lost three straight games and struggled to find consistent offense as sophomore guard Yogi Ferrell finished with a team-high 14 points on 3-for-12 shooting. Senior forward Will Sheehey (13 points) and freshman wing Troy Williams (11 points) also finished in double-figures for Indiana, but freshman forward Noah Vonleh struggled to find his rhythm on offense, going 3-for-9 from the field for nine points.
Illinois advances to face No. 1 seed Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals on Friday at 12:00 p.m.