Big Ten Moving Conference Basketball Tournament to Indianapolis
The Big Ten Conference announced late Wednesday morning they're trading the Windy City for Circle City, and moving this year's Men's basketball tournament to Indianapolis.
In a statement posted on their website, the conference said representatives from all 14 universities approved the measure to relocate this year's tournament, originally scheduled to take place March 10th through 14th in Chicago, to Indianapolis. While they didn't go into specifics, they did say the decision "was based on multiple factors...First and foremost was the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches, officials and conference constituents." The statement went on to say the relocation would allow for "cohesive testing and medical protocols...as well as centralized accommodations surrounding the competition venues."
The 2021 Women's Big Ten Tournament was already scheduled to be held in Indianapolis this year.
The decision comes just over one month after the NCAA announced they would be holding the entire March Madness tournament in Indiana, with all games being played in Indianapolis, Lafayette, and Bloomington. Indianapolis, specifically Lucas Oil Stadium, was already scheduled to host the tournament's Final Four and Championship games.
I assume that decision factored into the conference's decision to move their tournament. This year's Selection Sunday, the day the team's who made the tournament are announced and placed on the famous bracket, is scheduled for March 14th, the final day of the Big Ten tournament. This will make it possible for any conference team selected for March Madness to remain in Indy, therefore limiting travel, and hopefully lowering the chance players, coaches, and other personnel are exposed to COVID-19. Again, that is pure speculation on my part.
Whether or not that was a factor in their decision, the month of March is shaping up to big one in terms of basketball for the Hoosier state.
[Source: Big Ten Conference]