Big Ten Tournament Opens Competition Today
Published on March 14 2013 6:41 am
Last Updated on March 14 2013 6:41 am
Written by Millie Lange
The Big Ten announced on Sunday the bracket for the 2013 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament, with Indiana earning the No. 1 seed for the first time after claiming its first outright Big Ten Championship since 1993. The 2013 event, which sold out all tickets in advance for the first time in conference history, will be played Thursday through Sunday, March 14-17, at the United Center in Chicago.
Indiana finished the Big Ten slate with a 14-4 record in conference play to win their 21st Big Ten Championship and first since sharing the title in 2002. The Hoosiers secured the top seed in the tournament, while Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin also earned first-round byes. The Hoosiers previous highest seed was No. 3 in the 1999, 2007 and 2008 events. The Buckeyes and Spartans ended the season tied for second with 13-5 conference marks. The two teams split their regular season meetings, but Ohio State won the tiebreaker to earn the No. 2 seed based on a better record against Indiana. The Buckeyes have now claimed a top-three seed in four straight tournaments. Michigan State is the No. 3 seed, its fourth top-three seed in the last five events. Wisconsin and Michigan concluded regular season action tied for fourth place, but the Badgers clinched the No. 4 seed based on a home win over the Wolverines earlier this year. Wisconsin has now earned a top-four seed for the 12th straight year and a first-round bye in 13 straight tournaments.
The tournament will tip off at 11 a.m. CT on Thursday, March 14, as No. 8 Illinois takes on No. 9 Minnesota, followed by No. 5 Michigan facing No. 12 Penn State, both on BTN. Thursday's second session tips off at 5:30 p.m. CT as No. 7 Purdue challenges No. 10 Nebraska before No. 6 Iowa squares off against No. 11 Northwestern, both on ESPN2. The Illini, Gophers and Boilermakers all ended the regular season tied for seventh in the Big Ten with 8-10 marks, but Purdue earned the No. 7 seed based on the best record amongst the group, followed by Illinois and Minnesota.
The second day of the tournament tips off on Friday with top-seeded Indiana battling the winner of Thursday's Illinois/Minnesota game at 11 a.m. CT, to be followed by fourth-seeded Wisconsin playing the winner of the Michigan/Penn State matchup, with both games appearing on ESPN. Friday's second session will be broadcast by BTN and begins with second-seeded Ohio State facing the victor of Thursday's Purdue/Nebraska contest at 5:30 p.m. CT before the quarterfinals conclude with third-seeded Michigan State squaring off against the Iowa/Northwestern winner.
Big Ten Tournament semifinal games will be played on Saturday, beginning at 12:40 p.m. CT on CBS Sports. The championship game tips off at 2:30 p.m. CT on Sunday and will also be broadcast by CBS Sports.
Six different programs have won the Big Ten Tournament. Michigan State and Ohio State have won the title three times. Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin have each won the championship twice, and Purdue has won the tournament once. Tournament championship games have featured teams seeded as high as first, second and third and as low as eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th. Nine different schools have advanced to the tournament's championship game.
The 2013 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament returns to Chicago, which hosted the inaugural event in 1998 and will serve as the site for the eighth time in the tournament's 16-year history. The conference tournament averaged 18,882 fans per session when the event was last held at the United Center in 2007. The men's tournament set total and average attendance records while in Chicago in 2001 with 109,769 fans in attendance for an average of 21,954 patrons per session.
Several fan events surround this year's men's tournament, including the Daley Plaza Hoops Fest, Tip-Off Luncheon, Big Ten Youth Fitness Program, Big Ten Books for Baskets and Restaurant Pairings Program. For more information on ancillary events, go to bigtenchicagohoops.com.
Seven different Big Ten teams have been ranked among the nation's top 25 this season, including five programs appearing in the most recent Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls. Indiana entered the week ranked second in the country in both polls. The Hoosiers are one of two Big Ten teams to earn the No. 1 ranking this season along with Michigan. Illinois, Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State have also appeared among the top 10 this season, while Wisconsin has been ranked among the top 20.
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT PAIRINGS
Thursday, March 14
Game 1 -- Illinois vs. Minnesota, 11 a.m.
Game 2 -- Michigan vs. Penn State, 25 minutes after Game 1
Game 3 -- Purdue vs. Nebraska, 5:30 p.m.
Game 4 -- Iowa vs. Northwestenr, 25 minutes after Game 4
Friday, March 15
Game 5 -- Indiana vs. Winner Game 1, 11 a.m.
Game 6 -- Wisconsin vs. Winner Game 2, 25 minutes after Game 5
Game 7 -- Ohio State vs. Winner Game 3, 5:30 p.m.
Game 8 -- Michigan State vs. Winner Game 4, 25 minutes after Game 7
Saturday, March 16
Game 9 -- Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6, 12:40 p.m.
Game 10 -- Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, 25 minutes after Game 9
Sunday, March 17
Game 11 -- Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10, 2:30 p.m. (championship)