A year after disastrous attendance in Washington D.C., the Big Ten Tournament concludes their two-year East Coast tour with a trip to New York City this week. The motivation for holding the tournament there stems from wanting to appease new members Maryland (D.C.) and Rutger (NYC) as well as landing those surrounding TV markets, which ended up being a huge coup for the conference.
Naturally, there's been a lot of blowback and rightfully so. The conference's member institutions had to condense the schedule, with a bunch of Friday night games (FOX is partly to blame there) and two-games-in-three-nights swings (IU had four of those), and the tournament was pushed up a week before every other major conference tournament. Oh, and did I mention that New York City is really far away from 11 of the 14 Big Ten campuses?
I grew up near New York City. I love the city and I love Madison Square Garden, but I think it's ridiculous to hold your conference tournament in a city where a small fraction of people give a darn about Big Ten basketball. Unlike Indianapolis (yeah, I'm a homer) or Chicago, New York City rarely embraces events like this, and their limited interest in college basketball mostly died with the old Big East (2013).
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