Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Tom Izzo Not a Fan of Big Ten Tourney Move to MSG in 2018
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo is not a fan of the Big Ten Conference moving its postseason tournament to Madison Square Garden in 2018, when it will be played a week before the Big East Tournament and leave a gap of 11 days before the start of the NCAA Tournament.
“That’s probably my biggest concern,” Izzo told The Detroit Free Press. “Not where it is, but [the timing]. Nobody wants that much time off. It could be two weeks, because you could play [in the league tournament] and get beat on a Thursday.”
The Big Ten held a press conference Tuesday at the Garden to formally announce the move, which was first reported by SI.com.
The 2017 tournament will be held at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., but during the week before the NCAAs.
“I kind of worry about traveling way out there for those two times,” Izzo said of the 2017 and 2018 tournaments. “I worry about it from a physical standpoint. I worry about it depending on where the NCAA sends you. I worry about it from a financial standpoint for parents and families. Are they going to change some of those rules (to help families afford travel to such events)? I’ve got some questions on it. I know why the commissioner is doing it. I understand it. … They’re for the reasons of why we make more money and why we have better facilities and all that stuff, so I understand some of it. I just hope we don’t lose, I hope the conferences don’t lose, what I think these conferences like the Big Ten that have had tradition seem to be losing a little bit.”
The Big Ten Tournament has been held in either Chicago or Indianapolis through the first 17 years of its existence. The annual event returns to Chicago’s United Center for the ninth time in 2015 and will be held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for the 10th time in 2016, before making its first appearance on the East Coast in 2017 in Washington. The tournament will return to Chicago in 2019 and 2021 and Indianapolis in 2020 and 2022.
ESPN’s Jay Bilas said he believes once the Big Ten fans get a taste of their postseason tournament at the Garden, they won’t want to return to Chicago.
“Once you go MSG for a tournament, I’m not sure you can ever go back,” Bilas said on air.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.