While it seems pointless to worry about where certain sporting events are held this season because fans are not allowed in the building, it is nice to know where your favorite teams will be playing in the postseason, should they qualify.
Big Ten Tournament Considering Move
As initially reported by Jon Rothstein via Twitter, the Big Ten Conference is seriously considering moving their conference tournament to Indianapolis. The Big Ten tournament was originally scheduled to take place in Chicago. Their reason for this move is Indianapolis’ more lax COVID protocols, allowing for family and friends of the players to attend the games.
At first glance, it seems rather moot at this point considering there will be no fans in the stands for the postseason, but it could mean a slight advantage for Big Ten teams come March Madness time.
Consistency is key when it comes to the hardwood, and for teams like Wisconsin and Michigan who are already leading their conference with a vengeance, moving directly from the conference tournament to the Big Dance will allow for them to stay consistent in their practices, as well as give a slight home-court advantage over other teams who have been traveling for their respective postseasons.
This decision makes sense for all parties involved, as the city of Indianapolis is already fully capable of hosting a tournament of this magnitude.
NCAA Tournament Bubble in Indy
The NCAA Tournament typically holds different rounds of the tournament all over the country, so logistically, it seems like a nightmare for the entire tournament to be held in one city. So, how and why are they doing it?
If you remember, it was announced earlier this year that the NCAA Tournament would be held in a bubble in Indianapolis. Their reasoning is simply that they can keep all players quarantined for the entire duration of the tournament, and because the Final Four was originally scheduled to be played in Indy regardless. It simply makes sense to hold all events there.
The Indy Star gave some clearer feedback for what will be happening this March. For teams like Butler, Indiana, and Purdue, who all have given the use of their stadiums for the tournament, they will not be allowed to play any home games at their stadium.
There will be six different locations that will host various games and rounds. Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Mackey Arena, and LucasOil Stadium (Final Four games) are all scheduled to host teams.
Big Ten Teams to Watch Out For
The Big Ten is loaded this season, and it is very likely we see a team from the conference cutting down the nets at the end of the tournament.
Even though Michigan took the Wolverines to the woodshed the last time out, I still think the Wisconsin Badgers are a real threat to make a tournament run. They play a style of unselfish ball and vigorously attack the boards, which gives them a fighting chance against teams who don’t see them coming.
Obviously, with Michigan at #7, they are a team that is going to be a tough out. Especially if they can consistently play as they did on Tuesday against Wisconsin.
My sleeper team to look out for is Ohio State. Currently ranked at #21, They’ve got three players scoring in double digits, Justice Sueing, Duane Washington Jr., and EJ Liddell. Defensively, they are only giving up 65 PPG and allowing 40.6% shooting from the field while averaging 77 PPG on 44.6% shooting from the field.
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