After a one-year stint at Madison Square Garden, the Big Ten tourney returns to America’s heartland. If you remember last year’s tourney, the Big Ten went a week early (February 28 – March 4) and had an extra week of waiting before Selection Sunday. It didn’t seem to hurt the tournament champion, Michigan, which went on to the NCAA tournament finals.
This year, games will run March 13 – March 17 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The Michigan State Spartans are the top seed and looking to improve their seeding in the Big Dance, but they’ll have their hands full with the other three top seeds in Purdue, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Outside the top four sits No. 5 seed Maryland, one of the more dangerous teams in the country, let alone the conference. Can the Terps put together a run? Can Penn State string together some wins? From top to bottom, the Big Ten is tight, so this one should be fun.
At least one No. 1-seed in the NCAA tournament is still up for grabs, and there’s a chance that a Big Ten squad that runs the tournament could snag it. MSU is the favorite in that regard, but Michigan could have an outside shot at it. Indiana has an opportunity to pick up more wins to potentially play its way into the NCAA tournament. The Hoosiers have an interesting resume, to say the least, with two wins over Michigan State and no losses to any team worse than No. 77 in KenPom.
The top nine teams receive first-round byes and the top four teams receive double-byes to the quarterfinals. Teams are seeded by record within the conference, with a tiebreaker system to seed teams with identical conference records.
The Bracket & Schedule
Here is the full tournament bracket and day-by-day schedule. Game times subject to change, and the second game in each session will start 25 minutes after the conclusion of the previous game. We’ll be updating it with results along the way.
Round 1: Wednesday, March 13 (All times ET)
Game 1: No. 12 Nebraska 68, No. 13 Rutgers 61
Game 2: No. 11 Illinois 74, No. 14 Northwestern 69 (OT)
Round 2: Thursday, March 14
Game 3: No. 8 Ohio State vs. No. 9 Indiana, 12:30 a.m. (fuboTV, BTN)
Game 4: No. 5 Maryland vs. No. 12 Nebraska, 3 p.m. (fuboTV, BTN)
Game 5: No. 7 Minnesota vs. No. 10 Penn State, 7 p.m.(fuboTV, BTN)
Game 6: No. 6 Iowa vs. No. 11 Illinois, 9:30 p.m. (fuboTV, BTN)
Quarterfinals: Friday, March 15
Semifinals: Saturday, March 16
Game 11: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 1 p.m. (fuboTV, CBS)
Game 12: Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, 3:30 p.m. (fuboTV, CBS)
Championship—Sunday, March 17
Game 13: Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner, 3:30 p.m. (fuboTV, CBS)