The Big 10 Tournament tips off this week as the Wisconsin Badgers lead the way as the No. 1 seed, and possibly look to slip into a spot for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament on Selection Sunday.
Maryland, Michigan State and Purdue round out the teams who get byes into the quarterfinals rounds on March 13th. There is still plenty of moving and shaking to be done for teams from the Big 10 heading into the NCAA Tournament. They have to like their odds to win the NCAA tournament.
ESPN’s bracketologist Joe Lunardi currently has seven teams from the conference in the big dance. Purdue is in Lundardi’s “Last Four Byes” group, and would be a lock with one victory. Indiana is in his “Last Four In” group, and would be out with a second round lost to Northwestern on March 12th. Illinois has the most work to do, and are in the “Next Four Out” category. The Fighting Illini has a great opportunity to receive a high-quality win if they get passed Michigan on March 12th. Their next game would be against the Big 10 regular season champion Wisconsin Badgers.
The United Center in Chicago will host teams with a lot on the line when action tips off at 4:30 p.m. and the prices indicate that. According to RazorGator.com, average ticket prices will be $622.52 with a get in of $150 for an all sessions pass to the Big 10 tournament. There are two sessions during the quarterfinals on March 13th. Maryland tickets and Michigan State tickets have an average of $153.97 with a walk-in price $23 when they play there to be determined opponents. The other session on March 13th includes games with Wisconsin and Purdue, where the average price is $177.35 with a walk-in price of $32.
Big 10 basketball fans in Chicago will have plenty to fight for when the tournament gets underway. Northwestern would need a miracle run, but they’ve been playing better of late. The Wildcats have won five of their final seven games of Big 10 conference play, including an incredible double-overtime comeback against Michigan. If you’re going to take over a tournament by storm, you’ll need momentum heading into it, which is what the Wildcats have.
Illinois doesn’t have the momentum the Wildcats have, but they do have some quality wins to hang their hat on. An eventual date with Wisconsin may be on the horizon, which will have them highly motivated to try and sneak into the tournament on the final week.
The Big 10 conference has a chance to have more teams in the NCAA Tournament than any other conference (may be outdone by Big 12 depending on tournament results). The conference will be well-represented in March, and will look to make some noise when it matters the most.
One way for out of town fans to save money is by using ParkWhiz to purchase discounted parking ahead of time. For example, parking in Chicago just a short walk from the United Center starts at $22 for the Big Ten Tournament.