Brock’s Random Thoughts: On The Big Ten Tournament
Ok, the regular season is done in Big Ten. And now it's on to the 24th Annual Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament, which is being played this year in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for the very first time.
It was supposed to be played in Chicago. But it was moved to Indy because of COVID-19 issues in Chicago. And because the entire NCAA Tournament is being played in the state of Indiana (a good primer for the Big Dance for Indy).
Regular season champ Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, and Purdue get the double byes (to the quarterfinals on Friday). With Ohio State, Wisconsin, Rutgers, Maryland, Michigan State, and Indiana getting the single bye into the second round.
The Big Ten tourney pales in comparison (IMO) to the king of all conference tournaments, the ACC Tournament. But it's had a good history over this last generation or so. Michigan won the first tournament back in 1998, but had to vacate it because of the Ed Martin scandal. And last year's tournament was canceled after the first day because of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Michigan State has the most Big Ten tourney titles with 6. And they have a 32-16 record in the tourney.
This conference is the deepest in the nation this year. You can argue that the Big 12 was better. But the ACC, SEC and Pac-12 were way down this season. So it should be a very energetic, high intensity gathering this coming weekend in Indianapolis.
Rutgers, Maryland, and Michigan State are looking to solidify their NCAA Tournament cases. While Michigan and Illinois are looking to nail down number 1 seeds in the Big Dance.
The fun begins on Wednesday with the first round games. The championship tilt is Sunday. Let the games begin!!! (And hopefully finish this time!!!)