Time for the Men’s Big Ten Tourney…

…and we are hosting it right here in Indy!  Are you going?  As an Indiana fan, I’m disappointed in their performance this season, but I am not a fair weather fan and will continue cheering them on despite their record this season.

2014 is the ninth time Indianapolis has hosted the Tourney and the first game tips off at noon on Thursday with 8th seeded Indiana taking on 9th seeded Illinois…click here for the brackets to follow all the games!

The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament has only been around 16-years, sellout crowds, exciting and competitive games, national television coverage and throngs of media have been highlights of past years tournaments.  Since the beginning of the tournament, the Big Ten has  has had 6 teams crowned champion. Ohio State leads all Big Ten schools with 4 (2007, 2010, 2011, 2013), followed by Michigan State with 3 (1999, 2000, 2001). Illinois 2 (2003, 2005), Iowa 2 (2001, 2006) and Wisconsin 2 (2004, 2008), and Purdue 1 in 2009.

Just remember, while each team participates in the tournament and the winner receives the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, but the team (or teams) that finish at the top of the regular-season standings is the Big Ten Champion. The bracket is seeded according to the final regular-season standings with the conference champion earning the top seed and the top four finishers receiving first-round byes.

Not going to the games, you can find the games covered by 4 different networks.  BTN will carry the opening 2 games as well as 2 primetime games on Friday.  ESPN2 will cover Thursday’s primetime matchups, ESPN will carry Friday’s afternoon games and CBS Sports takes over on Saturday for the semifinals and Sunday’s championship game.

So…are you going to the Fieldhouse to catch your favorite team?

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Vicki Reed

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Which Way Did They Go?

It’s March Madness…where did your favorite team end up?  For those of you who are friends and/or regular readers, you might have surmised that I am an avid (or is it rabid?) Indiana University Hoosiers fan and am excited they are headed to Dayton for the first round, but sad that for Regional play they will be headed to DC instead of Indy.

Do you know that the day before the games start in your location, each team takes the floor for 50 minutes of practice and that these are FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC?  Regardless of who is playing in Indy, we have always gone to these practices and with the advantage of Indy hosting the final four and regional play on a regular basis, we have had the opportunity to watch a lot of really great teams over the years.  The last time Indianapolis hosted a Final Four, Butler was in the Final Four and it was estimated that 40,000 people came to open practice that day!  Indy generally has an abundance of people at these free practices, but the Butler Bulldogs added about 12,000 to the usual crowd.

So who do you think will win?  I do 2 brackets, the first based in reality and the second based on my heart…which means all of my favorite programs win!  So go ahead…fill out those brackets, no one is working today anyway…who do you think will be meeting in Atlanta?

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Vicki Reed