2009 Big Ten Tournament held at neutral site

This bit of news came out before the holidays but is worth passing on.  The 2009 Big Ten Tournament will be held at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio.  Huntington Park is the home of the Yankees’ Triple-A team, the Columbus Clippers.

The set dates for the tournament are May 20-23.  This is the first time the Big Ten has played their tournament at a neutral site since 1994 when they played in Battle Creek, MI.  Though it is played at a park foreign to all teams, Ohio State University is right across town.  Some Big Ten teams will be more “neutral” than others, I guess.

That said, I applaud the move for practical reasons.  What does this mean?  We don’t have to wait till the last weekend of the regular season (and three days before the tournament) before we know where the tournament is held.

Traditionally, the first place team hosts the tournament.  When this happens:

1)  All tournament teams (and for that matter, any team in the running) make all travel arrangements at all schools who in still in the running for first place before the last weekend of the regular season then make the necessary cancellations afterwards.  Two years ago if memory serves, three teams were still in the running.

2)  Any still in the running for first place more than likely needs to start thinking of organizing the tournament.  Think of two years ago.  Three schools needed to get things into place knowing full well that they may not be hosting.

As you can see, it was a logistical nightmare.  And a neutral site will take care of some of those issues.

All that’s got to happen now is the Illini have to get into Tournament.  Then Columbus, here I come!

But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves…Illinois’ first game is February 20 in Clearwater, Florida.  The strange thing… we start off against a Big Ten Team, Iowa.

Go Illinois!!

One Response to “2009 Big Ten Tournament held at neutral site”

  1. If they were truly interested in “neutrality,” they could hold it in Madison, Wisconsin…

    …perhaps naming it The Rick Reichardt Touornament.

    — “Totally Negative Individual” DonS.

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