The Big Ten is having their conference basketball tournament in New York City in 2018 despite New York City not being in the Midwest.
Every year from 1998 to 2016, the Big Ten was logical and cared about the majority of the fans that root for their teams. The combo of Chicago and Indianapolis made perfect sense. In 2017, the tournament was relocated to Washington, D.C. for some reason. I’m not going to run the math and see if this is true, but it seems that the nation’s capital would be an even further destination for these schools.
However, at least the people in D.C. were smart enough not to boast about exactly how far they made fans travel. “Hey, guys. Do you want to know how far you traveled to watch this subpar basketball? Here.”
The Big Ten has 0 self-awareness about how ridiculous these mileages are. No school should have to travel over 1,000 miles to a conference tournament. pic.twitter.com/bRjNN9m0cy
— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) February 27, 2018
New York City wants to twist the knife and make sure that Minnesota and Nebraska fans know they packed up and traveled over 1,000 miles to watch their teams lose.
Although, to play devil’s advocate to myself, having a reasonable excuse to leave Minnesota and Nebraska for The Big Apple could be looked at as a net positive. Minnesota fans have the opportunity to watch the only active Pitino coach. Nebraska is currently on the bubble trying to earn a NCAA tournament berth. But, let’s be real, Indianapolis and Chicago and almost any city in the world probably seem like a good excuse to get out of Minneapolis or Lincoln by the time March rolls around.
The fans get a raw deal. The players get a trip to NYC to play in the most famous basketball arena in the country. Native New Yorkers are protected from having to watch the Knicks.
I hate this new trend. The SEC tournament is being played in St. Louis for some reason. If the SEC put up a sign like this mocking me as I packed up from Knoxville and headed there to watch the Vols try to cut down the nets, I am defacing this sign as soon as I found it. Give me some spray paint. I’ll take a magic marker. Give me something.
I’m at least taking a picture of me giving the double-bird salute to the sign.
I’ve been mad about this all season. And St. Louis is only 483 miles away. Double that.
I expect nothing less from a conference who once named their divisions “Legends and Leaders.”