The 2015 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament returns to the United Center in Chicago for the ninth time and will feature a five-day format for the first time in conference history. The tournament will tip off Wednesday, March 11, and the champion will be crowned Sunday, March 15.
The Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament has made its mark both nationally and locally in its 17-year history. Sellout crowds, exciting and competitive games, national television coverage and throngs of media have all been highlights of past conference tournaments. It is a highlight reel of college basketball that showcases the finest coaches and student-athletes in the nation.
All 14 Big Ten teams will participate in the tournament with the winner receiving the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The team or teams that finish atop the regular-season standings is the Big Ten Champion. The bracket will be seeded according to the final regular-season standings with the conference champion earning the top seed. Two first-round games are slated for Wednesday, March 11, with the No. 12 seed facing the No. 13 seed and the No. 11 seed taking on the No. 14 seed. The top four teams will receive first and second round byes and advance to the quarterfinals on Friday, March 13.
Since its inception, the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament has seen six different conference representatives crowned champion. Michigan State and Ohio State lead all schools with four official tournament titles each. Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin have each claimed the honor twice, and Purdue has captured one crown. BTN, ESPN, ESPN2 and CBS Sports will again provide national television coverage of the event.
Previous Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournaments have attracted fans in masses. In 17 years, the Big Ten has welcomed more than 1.6 million fans and thousands of media members to the event. Each of the last two tournaments have been sold out, including a conference record of more than 124,000 fans at the United Center in 2013 and over 111,000 fans at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in 2014, the largest attendance in Indianapolis.