Big Ten Conference Announces Future Basketball Scheduling Formats

Big Ten Conference Announces Future Basketball Scheduling Formats

ROSEMONT, Illinois – As part of ongoing preparations for the addition of four new member institutions during the 2024-25 academic year, the Big Ten Conference on Tuesday announced details regarding future regular- and postseason competition structures for men’s and women’s basketball.

Beginning next seasoWomen’s Basketball Tournament fields will expand to 15 teams (from 14), a format that maintains the five-day schedule of the event, provides access to all teams in contention for postseason invitations, and will maintain a double bye for each of the top four seeds while seeds 5-9 will receive a single bye.

Both the men’s and women’s conference schedules will remain at 20 and 18 contests, respectively, for each school. This allows for non-conference scheduling flexibility, is consistent with peer schedule formats and maximizes opportunities for NCAA postseason berths. Single-play home/away locations will rotate annually, and two-play opponents will be determined with consideration for competitive balance, geography and rivalries.

The 2024 Big Ten Women’s and Men’s Basketball Tournaments will be hosted at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The women’s event begins on Wednesday, March 6, with the championship game scheduled for Sunday, March 10, and airing on CBS for the first time in its history. The men’s tournament tips off on Wednesday, March 13, with the title being handed out on Sunday, March 17.

Fans wishing to purchase all-session tickets within their university’s reserved fan block are encouraged to contact their school’s ticket office. Tickets also are available at the Target Center box office or online at

The Big Ten men’s basketball tournament is held annually at the end of the men’s college basketball regular season. The tournament has been played each year since 1998. The winner of the tournament is designated the Big Ten Tournament Champion, and receives the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Big Ten was one of the last NCAA Division I college basketball conferences to start a tournament.

The finals of the tournament are typically held immediately before the field for the NCAA Tournament is announced, although in 2018 it was held the week before Selection Sunday.

On seven occasions, the champion of the tournament has gone on to reach the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament (Michigan State in 19992000, and 2019Illinois in 2005Ohio State in 2007Wisconsin in 2015, and Michigan in 2018). In 2000, champion Michigan State won the NCAA tournament. The No. 1 seed has won the tournament ten times, the most of any seed. The lowest seed to win the tournament was Michigan as a No. 8 seed in 2017. Three schools have won two consecutive championships: Michigan State (1999, 2000), Ohio State (2010, 2011), and Michigan (2017, 2018).

Host[edit]

The Big Ten Men’s Basketball tournaments have been held at neutral sites every year. The first four tournaments were held at United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Beginning in 2002, the tournament alternated between United Center and Conseco Fieldhouse (later known as Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and now as Gainbridge Fieldhouse) in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2008, the tournament began a five-year stay in Indianapolis.[1]

On June 5, 2011, the Big Ten announced that the tournament would revert to alternating between Indianapolis and Chicago. The 2013 and 2015 tournaments were played at United Center in Chicago and the 2014 and 2016 tournaments were played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.[2]

The 2017 tournament was held at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.[3][4] The 2018 tournament was held at Madison Square Garden in New York and held a week earlier than usual due to the Big East tournament, ending on March 4, 2018, one week before Selection Sunday.[5][6][7] The 2019 through 2022 Tournaments returned to alternating between United Center in Chicago and Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.[8] On February 9, 2021, it was announced that the 2021 edition of the tournament would be moved to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis due to health and safety protocols relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament returned to Chicago in 2023.[9] On April 20, 2022, the Big Ten announced that Minneapolis will host the event in 2024 at the Target Center.[10]

Vacated results[edit]

Due to various rulings against participating programs, some of the results of the Big Ten tournament have been vacated or voided. Here is a compiled list of sanctions imposed that have affected the results and records of the tournament since its inception. The information in this article does not include results of the teams in which records were vacated.

  • Because of the Minnesota academic scandal, the NCAA has vacated the postseason tournament records for the Minnesota basketball team from the 1993–94 season through the 1998–99 season.[11]Minnesota had a record of 2–1 in the 1998 tournament and went 0–1 in 1999.
  • Because of the Ed Martin scandal, the NCAA vacated the records for the Michigan basketball team from the 1995–96 seasonthrough the 1998–99 season, including the 1998 and 1999 Big Ten tournaments.[12] Michigan had won the Tournament championship in 1998 with a 3–0 record, and had a record of 1–1 in 1999.
  • The NCAA has vacated most NCAA records for the Ohio State basketball team from the 1998–99 season through the 2001–02 season,[13]including the 1999, 2001, and 2002 Big Ten tournaments. Ohio State had a record of 1–1 in the 1999 Tournament, went 0–1 in 2001, and had won the championship in 2002.
  • Starting next season, the bottom three teams in the Big Ten standings won’t be invited to the men’s and women’s conference basketball tournaments as conference realignment ramps up and forces leagues to alter their postseason protocols. While the Big Ten is growing from 14 to 18 members, its conference tournament will expand by only slot to 15 teams, according to Tuesday’s announcementfrom the league.
  • The Big Ten Tournament will remain a five-day event in which the top four seeds receive a double-bye. Teams seeded Nos. 5-9 will receive a single bye, while teams seeded Nos. 10-15 will play in the tournament’s preliminary rounds. The bracket should shape up similarly to how the ACC bracket has looked with 15 teams since the 2013-14 season.
  • Other conferences are expected to follow suit in the coming months with announcements over how their new additions will impact the postseason structure. Under existing protocols for the top six conferences in college basketball, every team makes their conference tournament. However, the Big Ten’s move shows that will change as the sport moves toward a new era amid the Pac-12’s disintegration.
  • The Big Ten is adding Oregon, UCLA, USC and Washington from the Pac-12. The SEC is adding Oklahoma and Texas from the Big 12. The Big 12 is adding Arizona, Arizona State Colorado and Utah from the Pac-12. Lastly, the ACC is adding Cal and Stanford from the Pac-12 along with SMU from the ACC.
  • The Big Ten also announced the number of conference games played by each school will remain the same with men’s teams playing 20 conference games and women’s teams playing 18 conference games
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