Big Ten tournament to expand to 13 games with addition of Maryland, Rutgers

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When the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament tips off next March at the United Center in Chicago, the event will span five days and add two games.

The extra day and extra games are necessary to accommodate Maryland and Rutgers, who will officially join the conference on July 1.

Big Ten Senior Associate Commissioner for Television Mark Rudner told Inside the Hall on Thursday afternoon that the conference tournament will now begin on Wednesday with two games.

From there, the tournament will follow its current format: four games on Thursday, four quarterfinals on Friday, two semifinals on Saturday and the championship game on Sunday.

Rudner said the league has not decided on how seeding will work for the expanded tournament.

“We haven’t determined the times, we haven’t determined the seeding,” Rudner said. “All we know is that we go from 11 games to 13 games.”

The SEC currently has a 14-team tournament and under their format, the top four teams in the standings receive byes on Wednesday and Thursday. The fifth and sixth seeded teams play the winners of Wednesday’s games.

Last month, the Big Ten announced scheduling for the next three seasons. Under the new format, each team will play a home and home with five opponents and single plays with eight others.

  • CreamCrimson

    So we are really going through with this whole Rutgers thing huh? Are we sure it’s not too late?

    Virginia, Mizzou, Kansas, even Louisville, Pitt, ND, Syracuse, UConn were all far better options. North Carolina was a pipe dream, but it was supposedly a major focus for Delany.

    I still haven’t heard anyone actually support the addition of Rutgers.

  • brntn

    BTN probably supports it.

  • Snookafly

    The B1G has some fantasy that it’ll make us relevant in the New York market, but who knows, maybe it’ll help our recruiting.

  • Gregory Spera

    Great, maybe we can get a leg up on Rutgers. It’s incredible to me that Indiana has NEVER won the B1G tourney in the 16 years it has been played. Hell, we’ve only been the runner-up once. From Bobby Knight to Mike Davis to %$!@^!$#&? to Tom Crean. Even freaking Purdue has won it. That’s insane. MSU has one it four times. OSU has one it four times. Are we a freaking B1G power baskeball school or not?

  • Gregory Spera

    I am originally from New York and if I may be so bold, the New York market doesn’t give a “you know what” (that’s for Alex) about Rutgers sports. Not at all. Nope. Zilch. Zero. nada. No care.

  • CreamCrimson

    Syracuse would accomplished the same goal and probably could have worked out well. The B10 had the money, clout, and ability to lure another big name program that would have accomplished the same NY Market goal.

    The mission is still probably 16 teams (2 8-Team Divisions). We better not settle for the final 2 pieces of the puzzle if that’s the case.

  • msquaredb

    B1G power? Apparently not in the last 16 years.

  • calbert40

    So far as I am concerned, there are only three reasonable options for the tourney now.

    1) Keep it at 12 teams.
    The bottom two teams aren’t going to do anything, so why pretend like their inclusion in the tourney really matters. Maybe they could win a game, but it is highly unlikely they will every do anything that will help them make ANY tourney, if they are one of the two worst teams in a 14 team league.

    2) Only the top two teams get byes.
    This would be easy to do, and it wouldn’t require an extra day of television coverage and/or facility rental. The 13 seed would play the 4 seed and the 14 seed would play the 3 seed. The rest of the tourney would go on just as it has in the past.

    3) Make the bottom four teams play an “play-in” game.
    Other conferences do this. The idea is to give your best teams a better chance to win the tourney. This makes sense in a small conference, because you want to ensure your best teams are the ones who represent the conference in the dance. In the B1G…it may not be as needed. The #12 and #13 would play a day early, and the winner would play the #5. The #11 and #14 would play a day early, and the winner would play the #6. In this way, the top four teams still get a bye.

  • calbert40

    I think the goal all along has been to pressure Notre Dame to join in ALL sports. I applaud the B1G for not allowing ND to join in all sports except football, but since other conferences are more than willing to appease ND, I doubt they every join.

    Even if they did, we’d have to come up with another team, and I am not a big fan of a 16 team league. I was perfectly content with 12. I think that is a great number.

  • calbert40

    Pretty aggravating, isn’t it? I still can see that one Iowa player (I won’t write his name) hitting that buzzer beater to beat us in the championship. Ugh!

  • Snookafly

    At least now we’ll be ahead of 8 teams when we finish sixth next year.

  • Alford Bailey

    Its time to make success in the B1G a priority. We’ve had it in our back yard half the time for petes sake.

  • Alford Bailey

    My fear is the B1G will eventually keep the tourney in Chicago and move the Indy rotation out east somewhere to a big city for more “exposure”. FWIW I don’t think UM or Rutgers were good additions. These “power” conferences are so ridiculous.

  • Gregory Spera

    Yeah, sometimes I think the reason I get so frustrated all the time is that I am living too much in the glories of the past. Crean says “It’s Indiana.” But, it really isn’t anymore. Who knows if it ever will be, again. I still hold out hope.

  • mc2030

    For that matter, I was happy when the Big TEN actually had ten teams!

  • msquaredb

    As a younger fan, I unfortunately don’t know any different.

  • Ole Man

    Totally agree, Alford. Maryland, I can reluctantly accept, but Rutgers brings nothing to the table.

  • Gregory Spera

    Yeah, it’s hard to criticize Maryland. They went .500 in the very tough ACC. They are probably better than us. And, of course geography doesn’t matter anymore, conference expansion just follows the money, wherever it leads.

  • calbert40

    Crazy, right? I at least understand the need to move from ten to twelve teams. With 12, we can have a football championship game, and that generates BIG bucks for the conference.

  • Gregory Spera

    Yeah, the Big 10 has twelve teams and the Big 12 has ten teams. It’s not about being able to count, anymore.

  • MeniscusDiscus

    You mean “Big” Jim Delany doesn’t have our best interests at heart?

    You gotta remember who was basketball coach and AD at Rutgers when Big Jim brought them into the fold. (Was there any vetting there? I’ll answer that: No.)

    And you’re right. If it’s about NY $ and Delany brings in Rutgers for that? Well, no one said these deals can’t be undone.

    PS:Crooked Lefty Driesell, Poor Lenny Bias and that 8-ball and the whole bloody aftermath at Maryland are distant ghosts in the rear-view mirror of basketball history now.

  • Ole Man

    Having watched them for years in the ACC, I think they might be competitive in the B1G sooner than people realize. It’s actually a great move for them. (They were treated like the step child by the ACC establishment.)

  • Shaggy_C

    As someone who lives in the NY metro area, I fully support the addition of Rutgers. I and many other Hoosier fans will make the quick trip to central Jersey to watch IU football and IU basketball actually stand a chance at winning a conference game.

  • Bled4IU

    The “play-in” games are the biggest joke of the NCAA tourney, so you want to include them in the conference tourney as well? terrible idea IMO.

  • Bled4IU

    It’s not any different, as far as a fan base. Myles Brand did a terrible job with handling the Knight fiasco and the other administration did a terrible job handling the Knights replacement with Davis and Davis’s replacement with Sampson. The Sampson fiasco caused sanctions on IU that sit us back until really last year, two years ago. Crean brought us back soon than anyone expected, that is one thing i will always applaud him for. It really has been tough for many years as a Hoosier, but the fan base has stood by IU’s side regardless of how terrible things might have been/are. The fan base has been the sleeping giant, waiting to explode, that is why IMO everyone is so upset about this season, everyone knew what we lost after last season and that this season was going to be a transition but, we have seen so much crap go on over the last two decades that most of us just can’t take it anymore. We want results and we want them now. I think the addition of Lee and the development of the young players this off season has a very high potential of doing great things next season. If they don’t, i think it will bring bad news for some great people at IU.

  • Tharnid Wanderer

    Does the Philly market? I think the plan was to spread the sphere of influence on the EC.

  • calbert40

    I didn’t say that’s the route I would choose, but that it is one of only three legitimate options I see out there. Other conferences do this type of setup currently. I’d rather they not use it, but it’s just another option.

  • deebo

    The big has high academic standards that a lot of schools can’t meet that’s why it is hard to add certain teams.

  • Devout Hoosier

    It’s still Indiana.

  • CreamCrimson

    While the addition of Nebraska has been pretty seamless, the “academic standards” criteria was somewhat overlooked when they were added despite them losing their Research Institution credentials that EVERY other B10 school has.

    Soon after it was announced that Rutgers was joining, their Athletic Dept went into turmoil. We are adopting damaged goods that brings very little besides market.

  • Southport65

    Let’s see, Coach K cried foul ball when only 6 ACC teams got into the NCAA Tourney but guess what 5 of 6 are out. Just Virginia remains, their conference Camps. The ACC was not a tough conference this year Duke lost to MERCER!
    However, the ACC is usually better and Maryland is a nice add for Basketball. I think of Rutgers like I do NW in basketball, but they have been very good in Football at times. Not all conference adds have been about a round ball for example Penn St. and Nebraska. Football is where most of the big money comes from in the Big Ten other than IU. Look at Ohio St. which gets nearly 100,000 fans for football but struggles to fill it’s basketball arena in spite of very good teams. It is about Big Ten money not IU fans and their Basketball. It is sad, I know, but it is how the Big Ten looks at the big picture.

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