Celebrating its 14th year in Indianapolis, the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament will be played for the eighth-straight year at Conseco Fieldhouse, March 5-8, 2009. The 15th annual tournament features 10 games over four days with the champion earning the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Big Ten Conference is in its second of a five-year agreement with the City of Indianapolis to host both the Big Ten Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments. The men's event will be held at Conseco Fieldhouse from March 12-15, 2009.
The tournament bracket will be announced on Sunday, March 1, the final day of the regular season. All 11 Big Ten teams participate in the tournament with the top five finishers receiving first-round byes. The bracket is seeded according to the final regular-season standings with the team or teams finishing atop the standings named Big Ten Champion.
The inaugural Big Ten Tournament was played at Hinkle Fieldhouse in 1995 and remained at that location until 1996, when it relocated to the RCA Dome from 1997-99. The tournament moved to Conseco Fieldhouse in 2000 and then left Indianapolis for one year in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 2001. The event returned to Indianapolis and Conseco Fieldhouse in 2002 and has been played there since that time.
The Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament has averaged over 5,000 fans per session in each of the last 11 years, including a record of 7,728 in 2006. That season, a record 38,638 fans packed Conseco Fieldhouse over the tournament's four days. Last year's tournament marked the fourth-highest overall and average session attendance numbers in event history and also set a record for Session 1 attendance at 6,432.
In the past 14 years of Big Ten Tournament play, the conference has welcomed over 417,000 fans, including over 390,000 spectators to the Indianapolis area. Six different conference representatives have become tournament champions. Purdue won its conference-best seventh title in 2008 after Ohio State and Michigan State became first-time winners in 2006 and 2005, respectively. Iowa and Penn State have each won two tiles, while Indiana claimed its only title in 2002, capping off a fairy-tale run as the tournament's No. 5 seed.
Join us as we celebrate our 14th year in Indianapolis, and order your tickets for the 2009 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament today!