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.
Big Ten Plans 80/20 split on holding conference tournament in Midwest and East
NEW YORK — The Big Ten Conference plans to hold 80 percent of its conference tournaments in the Midwest and 20 percent on the East Coast going forward, Commissioner Jim Delany said Thursday at the conference’s annual Media Day at Madison Square Garden.
“We will go back to the Midwest but we’ll probably have an 80/20 split,” Delany said.
“We will be back here from time to time to reflect where our schools are located as well as where our alumni live.”
Delaney said “where we would go and when we would go is subject to discussion.”
The Big Ten Tournament will be held at the Garden for the first time beginning Feb. 28, a week before the Big East Tournament here at the Garden, meaning Big Ten teams that qualify for the NCAA Tournament will have an extra week off before the Big Dance.
The 2017 Big Ten Tournament was held in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, it was held in Chicago or Indianapolis every year since 1998.
“We went to New York and D.C. first because we thought those were the two best fits for us in the early stages,” Delaney said. “Most of our institutions and most of our fanbase is in the Midwest so we will be there a good bit. But we will also be here. I think it’s an incredibly important area for us and we will be here.”
With the additions of Rutgers and Maryland to the league, the plan is to hold future tournaments on the East Coast.
“When Rutgers and Maryland as new members came into focus it occurred to me that we needed to be very proactive about developing” a presence here, Delaney said.
“We got great cooperation from everybody and we’re very much looking forward to being here.”
As to whether the weeklong layoff during the Big East Tournament — and ACC Tournament at Barclays Center — would help or hurt Big Ten teams going to the NCAAs, Delaney said: “If they have a successful tournament they’ll probably attribute it to having time off. If they don’t they’ll probably attribute it to the layoff.”
He added: “You won’t know if it’s an advantage or a disadvantage until you know the results.”
Said Minnesota coach Richard Pitino: “If we’re fortunate enough to be in the NCAA Tournament again at the end of the year, it’s a great problem to have.
“I welcome the challenge because that means we’re in the NCAA Tournament again.”
Asked his opinion on the time off between the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments, Maryland’s Mark Turgeon said, “Ask me again in March.”
BIG TEN CONFERENCE — EAST COAST INTEGRATIONTIMELINE OF EVENTSNovember 19, 2012 Announced Maryland to join conference July 1, 2014
November 20, 2012 Announced Rutgers to join conference July 1, 2014
June 3, 2013 Announced addition of men’s/women’s lacrosse and addition of Johns Hopkins as men’s lacrosse sport affiliate member, all for the 2014-15 academic year
June 3, 2013 Announced eight-year partnership with New York Yankees and New Era Pinstripe Bowl; Jim Delany throws out first pitch at the Yankees game
May 5, 2014 Announced establishment of Gavitt Tipoff Games with BIG EAST Conference
May 6, 2014 Announced Verizon Center and Washington, D.C. to host the 2017 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament
June 2014 Big Ten New York City office officially opened with three full-time staff
June 26, 2014 BTN/Big Ten kickoff event in New York City
June 30, 2014 Big Ten/Maryland Integration Event in Washington, D.C.
July 1, 2014 Big Ten/Rutgers Integration Event in New Brunswick, NJ
Dec. 9, 2014 Big Ten announced multi-year partnership with Madison Square Garden
– 2018 Men’s Tournament and four Super Saturday events (2016-19)
May 2015 Inaugural Big Ten Men’s Lacrosse Tournament hosted by Maryland; Women’s Tournament hosted by Rutgers
June 17, 2015 Big Ten announced addition of Johns Hopkins women’s lacrosse as sport affiliate member beginning in the 2016-17 academic year
Jan. 30, 2016 Inaugural Big Ten Super Saturday hosted by Madison Square Garden; Michigan defeated Penn State in both basketball and hockey in front of a combined total of nearly 26,000 fans
Oct. 13, 2016 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Media Day held at Marriott Washington
Wardman Park in Washington, D.C.
Jan. 28, 2017 In the second annual Big Ten Super Saturday, Wisconsin defeated
Rutgers in basketball and Ohio State in hockey, with both games going
March 7, 2017 Big Ten Conference and the Federal Relations Directors host a reception in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill to celebrate the Big Ten’s inaugural basketball tournament in our Nation’s Capital
March 8-12, 2017 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament held at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., marking the first time the event was held on the East Coast
Aug. 31, 2017 FOX Sports kicks off the 2017 college football season with a promotional effort in New York City, including 140 uniformed “players” running through Times Square, appearances on Fox & Friends, and Jim Delany ringing the opening bell at NASDAQ along with Eric Shanks (FOX), Larry Jones (FOX) and Mark Silverman (BTN)
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.