Which 2015 (and beyond) Big Ten basketball tournament format is best?

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

We know the Big Ten Tournament is going an extra day, and we know it involves 14 teams. Other than that, we don't know much. What format is best?

By now, you probably already know about the Big Ten Tournament changing a location in the near future, but that isn't only change coming. Thanks to the additions of Maryland and Rutgers, the league will be switching to a five day, 14 team affair. We knew about that, and surmised that the league would be moving towards a model similar to how the SEC structures their tournament, or how the old Big East did their final season after West Virginia left and UConn was under an NCAA postseason ban: Two games on Wednesday, four on Thursday and Friday, etc.

Friend of the Holy Land Bob Baptist at the Columbus Dispatch said today that the Big Ten hasn't decided on a format yet though, and also floated another possible format that has three games on Wednesday (we'll get to that in a second). Which format would be best? What would they look like? It's one thing to look at them int he abstract, but to get a better idea, let's plug in some actual teams.

For this exercise, let's use the 2013-2014 standings. I'll put Maryland as the seventh seed (they finished 9-9 in the ACC, and that feels like a reasonable approximation of where Maryland might have fit last year in the Big Ten), and Rutgers as the 14th. If you really want to argue that Rutgers was better than Purdue last season or whatever, knock yourself out in the comment section.

Format #1

Wednesday

(12) Northwestern vs (13) Purdue

(11) Penn State vs (14) Rutgers

Thursday

(8) Indiana vs (9) Minnesota

(5) Ohio State vs (12) Northwestern/(13)Purdue

(7) Maryland vs (10) Illinois

(6) Iowa vs (11)Penn State vs (14) Rutgers

Friday

(1) Michigan vs (8) Indiana/(9) Minnesota

(4) Nebraska vs (5) Ohio State/(12) Northwestern/(13) Purdue

(2) Wisconsin vs (7)Maryland/(10) Illinois

(3) Michigan State vs (6)Iowa/(11) Penn State/(14) Rutgers

Saturday

(1)/(8)/(9) vs (4)/(13)/(5)(12)

(2)/(7)/(10) vs (3)/(14)/(6)/(11)

Sunday

Championship

And, let's take a look behind Door #2, aka the Bob Baptist format.

Format #2:

Wednesday:

(3) Michigan State vs (14) Rutgers

(4) Nebraska vs (13) Purdue

(5) Ohio State vs (12) Northwestern

Thursday

(6) Iowa vs (11) Penn State

(7) Maryland vs (10) Illinois

(8) Indiana vs (9) Minnesota

Friday

(1) Michigan vs (8) Indiana/ (9) Minnesota

(2) Wisconsin vs (7) Maryland)/(10) Illinois

(3) Michigan State /(14) Rutgers/ (6) Iowa / (11) Penn State

(4) Nebraska /(13) Purdue) vs (5) Ohio State/(12)Northwestern

Saturday

(1)/(8)/(9) vs (4)/(13)/(5)(12)

(2)/(7)/(10) vs (3)/(14)/(6)/(11)

Sunday

Championship

And for reference, if you want to look at what the bracket was last year, just check out our article. The Big Ten won't do this, but an alternative would always be to keep the tournament at 12 teams, keep the format, and just lock out the two worst teams.

So which one is best? I'm personally partial to the second, Baptist suggested version. His idea gives each team a bye, which could be handy over a five-day tournament, and also spreads out quality games over both Wednesday and Thursday. That's going to help attendance, since more folks are going to show up for Ohio State whowever (or a comparable school) than they will for a 12/13 seed pillowfight.

The first option does place a premium on getting a higher regular season seed, so that could make the last 2-3 weeks of the regular season more interesting, but the first day of the tournament will probably be horrible basketball. Given that the initial report back in March in which Inside The Hall said that the league was going to go to a format with two Wednesday games, this seems to be the more likely option though.

What do you think? Is there a third way to carve up a bracket? Do you prefer one way or another, or would you rather the tournament stick to 12 teams?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Land-Grant Holy Land

You must be a member of Land-Grant Holy Land to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Land-Grant Holy Land. You should read them.

Join Land-Grant Holy Land

You must be a member of Land-Grant Holy Land to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Land-Grant Holy Land. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker