File this under: #WhenKeepingItRealGoesWrong
The Big Ten Tournament is underway at Madison Square Garden this week, marking the first time the tourney has been held in New York City in its over 20-year history.
So, it’s understandable that the social media efforts of the various accounts associated with the conference would reflect the sights and sounds of the city that never sleeps.
On Thursday, the Big Ten Network posted a photo of the league’s mascots crossing a busy Manhattan intersection with the caption, “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (2018).”
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (2018) pic.twitter.com/wcMWCZxxbg
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) February 28, 2018
But the tweet hit a little too close to home for fans that believe the tournament should be held in the Midwest, given that’s where most of the schools are located with the exception of Maryland, Penn State and Rutgers. Up until last year, the tourney was held at either the United Center in Chicago, Illinois or Bankers Life Fieldhouse (formerly Conseco Fieldhouse) in Indianapolis, Indiana.
They wouldn’t be lost if they were in a city that is actually home to a B1G team!!! B1G tournament needs to be in Chicago or Minneapolis, NOT NYC!!!
— Billy Jones (@PantherHawk1A) February 28, 2018
I’m lost as to why the tournament is in New York
— leah (@LeahKlinestiver) February 28, 2018
Furthermore, the Terrapins and Scarlet Knights were the teams to most recently joined the conference and the tournament is held at neutral sites every year, so there could also be some bitterness concerning conference realignment. The 2017 tournament was held at what was the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., about a half hour drive southeast of College Park, Maryland.
The controversy doesn’t end there. The official account of the Wisconsin Badgers had a little fun replying to the tweet:
— Wisconsin Badgers (@UWBadgers) February 28, 2018
Meanwhile, a fan pointed out that another mascot, Brutus Buckeye, arguably one of the most iconic mascots in all of college sports is also noticeably absent from the picture.
Despite the fact the tournament had to be held a week earlier than usual thanks to the Big East Tournament, there are worst host sites than the “Greatest Arena in the World.” Fans that hail from the Midwest can breathe easy though, the tournament will return to alternating between Chitown and Indy through 2019-2022.