The 2017 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament will be held from March 8-12 at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. As a conference, the Big Ten hasn’t been as strong as prior years, but three of its top teams could make deep runs in the NCAA Tournament.
Purdue, a renaissance program in 2017, currently paces the conference. Led by Caleb Swanigan, the odds-on favorite to become player of the year, Purdue is a tough defensive team that can also shoot three-pointers with efficiency. Wisconsin, Maryland, Minnesota, and Northwestern will likely round out the Top-5 seeds. All four have exhibited flashes of promise at times, but have also fallen into slumps. Maryland, a team that hasn’t received a lot of respect in the national polls, can solidify itself as a contender by winning the Big Ten Tournament in our nation’s capital. With point guard Melo Trimble at the helm, the Terrapins will be a tough out for any club.
As seems to always be the case, tickets for the Big Ten Tournament have been in high demand on the secondary market. In fact, All Session Big Ten Tournament tickets begin as high as $358 on TicketIQ, while tickets to the Championship Game on Sunday, March 12, feature a get-in price of $68.
The reigning Big Ten Tournament Champions, the Michigan State Spartans, are having a down season, but head coach Tom Izzo knows what it takes to energize his team. Likewise, Michigan is also having a rocky campaign, but a strong showing in the Big Ten Tournament could propel the Wolverines into the NCAA Tournament. The rest of the Big Ten tourney field, consisting of Iowa, Illinois, Penn State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Indiana, and Rutgers, is largely filled with non-contenders.
The Big Ten Tournament, for all intents and purposes, is wide-open this year. Arguably, there are seven teams that could cut down the nets at the Verizon Center. The winner of the tournament will be guaranteed an NCAA Tournament bid. Expect a lot of competitive games in a conference tournament that features a lot of comparable teams.
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