How to watch the Big Ten Tournament: dates, times, bracket, schedule

March Madness is here, and the NCAA tournament is just around the corner. That means it’s conference tournament season. The Big Ten has several solid teams, not to mention a whole host of bubble teams that can solidify or lose their spot in the NCAA tournament, depending on their performance this week. The Big Ten, like a few other Power Five conferences, features one clear-cut national title contender, one dark horse, and a couple of teams looking to get on the right side of the bubble.

If you want to go see it live, the Big Ten tournament will take place in the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Minnesota Timberwolves are very kindly clearing out and heading out west for a road trip while the Big Ten takes over. The tournament will run from Wednesday, March 13, through to Selection Sunday, the 17th. Here’s everything you need to know about the tournament: the format, who to look out for, and how to watch.

Big Ten Tournament Format and Schedule 

The Big Ten tournament features all 14 teams in the conference with a chance to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. But the worse you did in the regular season, the harder your road is. The bottom four teams, #11-14 in the regular season, will have to win five games in a row to make the tournament. Seeds #5-10 receive a bye to the second round, and the top four teams get a double bye straight to the quarterfinals.

Here is the schedule for the tournament:

First round (Wednesday)

Game 1: No. 12 Maryland vs. No. 13 Rutgers, 6:30 p.m. EDT (Peacock)

Game 2: No. 11 Penn State vs. No. 14 Michigan, approx. 8:55 p.m. (Peacock)

Second round (Thursday)

Game 3: No. 8 Michigan State vs. No. 9 Minnesota, noon (Big Ten Network)

Game 4: No. 5 Wisconsin vs. Game 1 winner, approx. 2:25 p.m. (Big Ten Network)

Game 5: No. 7 Iowa vs. No. 10 Ohio State, 6:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)

Game 6: No. 6 Indiana vs. Game 2 winner, approx. 8:55 p.m. (Big Ten Network)

Quarterfinals (Friday)

Game 7: No. 1 Purdue vs. Game 3 winner, noon (Big Ten Network)

Game 8: No. 4 Northwestern vs. Game 4 winner, approx. 2:25 p.m. (Big Ten Network)

Game 9: No. 2 Illinois vs. Game 5 winner, 6:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)

Game 10: No. 3 Nebraska vs. Game 6 winner, approx. 8:55 p.m. (Big Ten Network)

Semifinals (Saturday)

Game 11: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Game 12: Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, approx. 3:25 p.m. (CBS)

Final (Sunday)

Game 13: Semifinal winners, 3:30 p.m. (CBS)

Big Ten Tournament storylines

The Big Ten’s top five seeds, Purdue, Illinois, Wisconsin, Northwestern, and Nebraska, are all pretty solidly locked into the NCAA tournament. However, Iowa, Indiana, and Michigan State are all right on the bubble of earning a sixth and maybe even a seventh spot in the tournament for the Big Ten, depending on how they do this week. Purdue and Illinois, though, are the favorites to make it to Sunday, with Purdue living in the top five in the country this year and Illinois putting together a top 15 resume as well. If one of those middle to upper-middle teams can pull off an upset earlier in the week, that’s how they’ll show the selection committee they deserve to be included in the NCAA tournament field.

The post How to watch the Big Ten Tournament: dates, times, bracket, schedule appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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