The Big Ten Tournament will begin Wednesday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. That's one week earlier than the other Power 5 conferences start postseason play.
Don't expect this to be a regular occurrence. In fact, according to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, it won't happen again, period.
On Friday, Delany told the Chicago Tribune the early tournament, which resulted in a condensed conference schedule, had a negative impact on teams. That's why the league won't duplicate the arrangement.
Delany did indicate his desire to still occasionally play the conference tournament on the East Coast. He expects that roughly "20 percent" of future tournaments will be held at an Eastern venue, but it would have to be during the standard conference tournament week.
“I appreciate the sacrifices the teams made, the impact it had on our students,” Delany said. “Wasn’t good. Wasn’t healthy. I thought starting (the conference schedule) early was OK, but if you look at our schedules (through the years), we’ve been able to give everybody two-day prep (before games) in 99 percent of the cases.
“We won’t do it again this way, and I take responsibility for asking the coaches. … If we can make it back to the Garden on a regular week, that’s great.
“I know we will be back out East. Where we will be, I don’t know. It won’t be on a regular basis. I expect that 80 percent will be in legacy territory (Chicago and Indianapolis) and probably 20 percent out East, whether it’s in D.C. or Philadelphia or New York.”
If Delany wants to hold another tournament at the Garden, he might have a problem. The annual Big East Tournament is a mainstay at the famed arena, which is why the Big Ten held its tournament a week earlier this year.
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn could be a possibility. The ACC held its tournament there last year and will do the same this season.
The Big Ten held its 2017 conference tourney in D.C. at the Verizon Center, meaning this will be the second year in a row at an Eastern locale.
However, the next four Big Ten tourneys are set for the United Center in Chicago (2019 and 2021) and Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis (2020 and 2022).