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Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments Set for Minneapolis, 2023 and 2024

Finally, this conference gets some goddamn culture.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Final Four Championship Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, this conference gets some damn culture:

That’s the announcement that the 2023 and 2024 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament, as well as the 2024 Big Ten Tournament for Men’s Basketball (I’m too lazy to change it around for the sweet, sweet SEO clicks) will be at the Target Center in Minneapolis. That’s where the NBA Playoff-bound Minnesota Timberwolves play. (SEO, baby!)

We asked the OTE writers what they thought about such a momentous decision:

WSR: We need to take a second to recognize that Kevin Warren may have taken one of the most important big step of any B1G commissioner ever. Far more important than adding Nebraska. Far more important than creating BTN. Maybe even as important as adding Rutgers and Maryland.

Kevin Warren is taking the first steps to move big B1G events out of fucking Indianapolis and into civilization.

I’m not just happy about this because the games are coming to Minneapolis (although I am quite happy about that). I’m happy because Indianapolis is trash and infuriating to get to and has no redeeming cultural values. Put the football game in Minneapolis or Detroit and have the basketball game anywhere that has an actual airport and an arena and never go back to the Hoosier State again.

Also, the tournaments are coming to Minnesota. Y’all should come on up and have a beer and watch the basketball here. It’ll be fun.

MNW: Just please don’t stay too long. We’ve already got enough Iowans, in particular.

Kind of...: This Badger fan thinks it’s a positive for the league. It’s good to find another Central time zone destination for the tournament and, while, obviously, Milwaukee would be cool, Minneapolis is indisputably accomplished at hosting sporting events on this scale. Other than an increase blizzard risk, this is all upside. Sure beats the hell out of playing it a week early just to get a slot at MSG.

He was a high school quarterback: I would prefer the tournament always be in Chicago. Illinois has had more success in years when the tournament was there and I don’t care about anything else, but it is also the central point of the original Big Ten for what that’s worth.

If it can’t be Chicago, it should be Minneapolis since, like the B1G tournament, I just moved to Minnesota this week.

MNW: God fucking damnit. WHAT DID I JUST SAY

BoilerUp89: I’m a big proponent of Indianapolis as the location for B1G events. The city is set up very well to host these events, does a great job, and is centrally located within the conference footprint. Especially in basketball, you have the ability of all the conference basketball powers fans to go drive to the semifinals or final should they make it thru the weekday games. This is just not true in Minneapolis, which is drivable for all of three fanbases—1 of which isn’t particularly good at basketball in recent history anyway.

And it’s not like Purdue or Indiana has done anything with the “home court advantage” they could theoretically have.

All that being said, Indianapolis didn’t bid to host the BTT in 2024. Apparently the city doesn’t want to host the BTT and NCAA first/second round games back to back again. And if Minneapolis is just competing with Chicago or Detroit or Milwaukee or DC or insert random city vaguely in the B1G footprint - it’s fine. I still think Indianapolis should host half the time, but if the rest of the years are rotated among B1G cities instead of just going to Chicago every other year that is probably a good thing. Chicago isn’t a perfect host city and probably shouldn’t be hosting every other year.

Greek Akers: Insofar as the hoops tournament doesn’t carry the same weight as the football title game, I’m more amenable to moving it around, letting fans get out and see different cities for a few days (wouldn’t kill most of you people to broaden your horizons a little).

But I like the significance of the football title being in the same spot, for everyone to know what it means when opponents taunt you about how long it’s been since you went to Indy, or that you’ve never been. I don’t find Lucas Oil an especially compelling venue, but the alternatives would be Soldier, which would sent our insurance premiums through the roof with its terrible field, or Lambeau, which as I think through this could be cool as long as Wisconsin is disqualified.

MNW: I just personally look forward to attending a Northwestern game at Target Center on March 13, 2024.

misdreavus79: I’ve attended three Big Ten Tournaments —One in Chicago, one in Indiana polis, and one in New York. The latter of the three being the only one where I didn’t need to take a plane to get to (but I still did because 1 hour < 5 hours). So in that sense, it doesn’t matter to me where the event is —I’m likely flying to the destination if I plan on attending.

That said, as others have already mentioned, I like the idea of rotating sites for the tournament, and maybe if MSG is unavailable, and it will be given the Big East, maybe we candy Barclays Center instead?

As per the football variant, I agree that it staying in Indianapolis for the foreseeable future is a good thing. Associate winning the Big Ten with going to Indianapolis.


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