The Big Ten will bring the conference’s basketball tournament back to the Midwest in 2019, with the conference announcing Thursday that the tournaments in 2019 and 2021 will be held in Chicago and they will be at Indianapolis in 2020 and 2022.
The Big Ten created a bit of a splash earlier this year when it announced the basketball tournament would be held at the Verizon Center in Washington in 2017, but things will take a return to normalcy at least in 2019 when the event returns to the United Center in Chicago before bouncing to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The venue for the 2018 Big Ten basketball tournament has yet to be decided, but with the conference’s eastern push—with the additions of Maryland and Rutgers for the 2014-15 academic year—the Big Ten is still reportedly pushing to have the 2018 tournament at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
The football championship, instituted in 2011 when the conference added Nebraska and split into two divisions, isn’t going anywhere, however.
The Big Ten Championship will remain where it has been from its inception, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, through at least 2021.
Some argue that the Big Ten Conference holding its football games in a domed stadium with a controlled climate is akin to heresy, but at that point it comes down to the question of whether or not the conference wants its Rose Bowl (or College Football Playoff) representative determined by the players on the field or the conditions around it.
As far as the basketball tournament goes, yeah, it will be weird to see it played in D.C. or possibly New York because neither of those places is thought of immediately when one thinks “Big Ten.”
On the other hand, maybe Indiana coach Bobby Knight was right when he campaigned against a conference tournament for so long.
But in 21st century collegiate athletics, the rule of thumb is that if every other conference is making shameless cash grabs, you’re insane not to do so yourself.