B1G Hoops Tourney Slated For D.C. in 2017
The Big Ten Conference announced today that it will hold its Men’s Basketball Tournament in Washington D.C. in 2017. According to a story at mlive.com, Commissioner Jim Delany announced the move today, and said the tournament will rotate between cities in the Midwest and East Coast. There have been 17 tournaments in conference history, all played in either Chicago or Indianapolis. This is the latest effort to push the conference brand east to lucrative television markets in Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and the surrounding population centers. The University of Maryland and Rutgers University (New Jersey) are set to join the conference officially on July 1. Earlier this week, plans were announced for a new inter-conference basketball series with the Big East, similar to the existing Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
This news may not settle well with traditionalists and the fan bases of the current conference schools, as the product they’ve supported for 17 years will be taken to a more remote location away from the Big Ten epicenter. Then again, it may bode well for other Midwest cities, like Detroit or Grand Rapids, that have made a push to host the tournament in years past. Either way, it’s another sign of the ever-changing landscape of big time college athletics.