What a long strange trip it’s been for our Big Ten Tournament potluck (days one, two, three, and four here). But here we are, at the end of the road, and with only one day left to discuss, it’s time to deliver a nice big slice of New York Style pizza.
(I’ve been waiting to do that all week.)
Much like claiming Sbarro’s as true New York style pizza, playing the Big Ten Tournament outside of the Midwest just feels wrong to most of us. It’s something that, as with the clip above, we are far more likely to mock and laugh at than to take seriously. And if some of the pictures of the “attendance” at the early games are in any way fair to the crowds at those games, we’re not alone. Doing this once is mildly annoying, but it’s something we can get over. Doing this again would be cause to question if the folks running the conference should still be in those positions.
And now, the question you’ve been waiting for all week. We’ve pushed up the Big Ten Tournament, we condensed the season so we could get it early, and we’ve moved it out to New York to appeal to our East Coast members. Now that we’re here at the end of the regular season, was any of this actually worth it, just so we could play the undercard at MSG to the Big East?
WSR: No. None of it is worth it. Not adding Rutgers, not playing far outside the B1G’s geographic footprint, and most certainly not adding Rutgers. It’s a sad, pathetic joke and we’ve been acting like idiots just to chase money.
BRT: No way. I’m really looking forward to seeing camera shots of the sad, empty stadium during this Midwestern sports tournament held unfathomably in NYC. Quit trying to make Rutgers happen, Big Ten leadership. They’re not going to happen. NYC doesn’t care about them, and neither do we. We’re probably stuck with them now, but it’s best now to just downplay their existence and move on with life. And play our tournaments in, you know, the actual Midwest.
BMan31: Hells to the naw. If you want to be the Nation’s Premier Basketball Conference, act like it.
Andrew K: Bee-one-gee! Bee-one-gee!
JC: Remember that time Nebraska played 7 games in 9 days or something ridiculous? That was stupid. Why don’t we try and not do that again, no? Who the hell cares about MSG if the teams put out terrible basketball due to exhaustion?
MNW: Not a fucking moment of it. Jim Delany himself fucking regrets it. This was a disaster and everyone involved should feel bad. Get back to the Chicago-Indianapolis rotation, you clods.
Aaron Yorke: Having the Big Ten Tournament right in my backyard has been awesome, but now I find myself wondering if the Big Apple hurt the Big Ten from a publicity standpoint. Are fans from other parts of the country even aware that the conference moved its tournament up a week? Is anyone from outside the footprint able to watch the games now that most of them are exclusively on BTN? These are issues to think about that don’t even involve the weird restructuring of the regular season.
Beez: I’m really interested to see if the extra week of rest for B1G teams helps. I don’t know how we’ll measure this, but if the B1G comes out playing with the energy of those awful mid-majors who always put up a big fight to the 1’s and 2’s but lose unless you’re MTSU and sometimes make a run as a 12 or 13, and the B1G overachieves as a conference, I’m gonna claim that it it’s a result of the extra week of rest. When that happens, it’ll have been worth playing at MSG.
Candystripes: Was it worth it? No, I don’t think so. However, I also think I can explain why this scenario happened.
Really, Understanding This Grand Experiment Requires Some ppreciation of just how hard the conference is trying to Acquire Notre Dame from the Atlantic Coast. As Such, Having the tournament at the Garden shows that we are Ready to Add another Big name to our roster.
And of course, how much we love capitalizing on opportunities.