Big Ten Basketball Tournament coming to Madison Square Garden in 2018, per report
In news that is sure to be met with mixed reactions, the Big Ten Tournament is headed to New York in 2018.
The Big Ten Conference will play its men’s basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden in 2018, this according to a report by Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated. An official announcement is expected to be made on Tuesday.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this story is that the 2018 Big Ten Tournament’s championship game will take place a full week before Selection Sunday. Typically, that weekend is reserved for the championship games of low and mid-major conferences, while the power leagues all play their tournaments the following week. The result is that all Big Ten teams that qualify for the NCAA Tournament will have at least 10 days between their final conference tournament game and their first contest in the big dance. The move would also eliminate what has always been the final week of the Big Ten’s regular season, likely forcing the league start conference play a week earlier than it has in the past.
The reason for the change in dates, of course, is that MSG will still be playing host to the Big East Tournament during “Championship Week” in 2018. Additionally, the ACC Tournament will be taking place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn during the week of Selection Sunday in 2018.
The move to New York is huge for league commissioner Jim Delany’s push to make the Big Ten more of a player in major East Coast media markets. In May, Delany announced that the conference’s 2017 tournament would be played in Washington, D.C., a revelation which was met with anger from some and praise from others.
The Big Ten Tournament will be held in Chicago this season, and in Indianapolis in 2016.