The Big Ten men's basketball tournament begins Wednesday in Indianapolis, with 14 teams competing for the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. This year's conference tournament was moved from the United Center in Chicago to Indianapolis to provide more concentrated coronavirus testing during the pandemic. As the men's tournament is being held concurrently with the women's tournament in Indy rather than on separate weeks, the men's tournament will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium, the home of the Indianapolis Colts and the venue for this year's Final Four.
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
Wednesday's first round: No. 13 seed Gophers (13-14) play No. 12 seed Northwestern (9-14) at 5:30 p.m., followed 25 minutes after by No. 11 seed Penn State playing No. 14 seed Nebraska in Game 2.
The Gophers' path: If the Gophers advanced past Northwestern, they would play Thursday against No. 5 seed Ohio State in the second game. Should they win again, their next opponent Friday would be No. 4 Purdue.
TV: BTN will televise the first three days of the tournament, including the Gophers-Northwestern matchup. CBS will televise the final two days as usual, including Sunday's 2:30 p.m. title game just before the NCAA tournament selection show.
The favorites: Top-seeded Michigan (19-3) won the outright Big Ten regular-season title for the first time since 1986. The Wolverines had only lost once all season, to the Gophers on the road, until they fell to Illinois at home and at Michigan State over their past three games. Second-seeded Illinois (20-6) enters the postseason on a four-game win streak, including three consecutive victories vs. ranked opponents. The Illini recently got All-America guard Ayo Dosunmu back from a broken nose. Iowa's Luka Garza, who won back-to-back conference Player of the Year awards, leads third-seeded Iowa (20-7), which had victories against Ohio State and Wisconsin in winning seven of its past eight regular-season games.