After a one-year hiatus, the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament returns to Chicago to crown the 2007 tournament champion at the United Center from March 8-11. The 2006 tournament was played at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and will return there for the next five tournaments beginning with the 2008 event.
The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament has made its mark both nationally and locally in its first nine years of existence. Sell-out crowds, exciting and competitive games, national television coverage and throngs of media have been featured in past conference tournaments. It is a highlight reel of college basketball that showcases the finest coaches and athletes in the nation.
All 11 teams participate in the men's tournament with the winner receiving the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The team that finishes atop the regular season standings is the Big Ten champion. The bracket will be seeded according to the final regular-season standings with the league champion earning the top seed and the top five finishers receiving first-round byes.
After nine years of Big Ten Tournament play, the conference has welcomed more than 860,000 fans and issued over 5,300 media credentials. Four different conference representatives have become Big Ten Tournament champions, with Michigan State (1999, 2000), Illinois (2003, 2005) and Iowa (2001, 2006) claiming the honor twice along with Wisconsin capturing the 2004 crown. The strength and depth of the league have also been displayed, as the tournament final has featured teams seeded 11th, 9th and 6th, while the No. 4 seed has advanced to the championship game on three occasions.