Big Ten Tournament 2023: Bracket, schedule and history

Big Ten Tournament Bracket


The 2023 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament will be held March 8-12 at the United Center in Chicago. All 14 B1G programs will participate in the tournament, with the winner receiving the conference’s automatic bid to the 2023 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The Big Ten Tournament is back in Chicago for the first time since 2019 after being played in Indianapolis the previous 3 years. Iowa is the defending Tournament champion, beating Purdue 75-66 in the 2022 title game. The Hawkeyes have won 3 Big Ten Tournament titles.

Seeding is based on regular-season records. The Big Ten regular season concludes March 5.

Big Ten Tournament schedule

All times are Central.

Wednesday, March 8 (First Round)
12 Wisconsin vs. 13 Ohio State – 6:30 p.m. ET (BTN)
11 Nebraska vs. 14 Minnesota – 25 minutes following Game 1 (BTN)

Thursday, March 9 (Second Round)
(Game 3): 8 Michigan vs. 9 Rutgers – 12 p.m. ET (BTN)
(Game 4): 5 Iowa vs. Wisconsin/OSU winner) – 25 minutes following Game 3 (BTN)
(Game 5): 7 Illinois vs. 10 Penn State – 6:30 p.m. ET (BTN)
(Game 6): 6 Maryland vs. Nebraska/Minnesota winner) – 25 minutes following Game 5 (BTN)

Friday, March 10 (Quarterfinals)
(Game 7): 1 Purdue vs. Game 3 winner – 12 p.m. ET (BTN)
(Game 8): 4 Michigan State vs. Game 4 winner – 25 minutes following Game 7 (BTN)
(Game 9): 2 Northwestern vs. Game 5 winner – 6:30 p.m. ET (BTN)
(Game 10): 3 Indiana vs. Game 6 winner – 25 minutes following Game 9 (BTN)

Saturday, March 11 (Semifinals)
(Game 11): Game 7 vs. Game 8 winner – 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
(Game 12): Game 9 vs. Game 10 winner – 25 minutes following Game 11 (CBS)

Sunday, March 5 (Championship)
(Game 13): Game 11 vs. Game 12 winner – 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)

Big Ten Tournament history

Compared to other conferences, the Big Ten Tournament doesn’t have a very deep history.

For years, the Big Ten, (then) Pac-10 and Ivy League were the final holdouts against a postseason basketball tournament. The regular-season champion earned the auto bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Indiana coach Bob Knight, who was the Big Ten’s top dog from the 1970s-90s, was adamant in his opposition to a conference tournament. Dealing with an angry Knight isn’t a fun time, so that’s how things remained until 1998. At that point, the money and exposure of being the lead-in event to Selection Sunday became too good to pass up.

The Pac-10, now Pac-12, added a postseason tournament in 2002. The Ivy League finally ended its holdout in 2017.

Michigan State is the most successful program in Big Ten Tournament history with 6 titles and a .654 overall winning percentage. The Spartans last won the event the last time it was in Chicago in 2019.

Previous winners

Top Ten moments

2022: Indiana’s must-win over Illinois

As Selection Sunday would reveal, Indiana needed this 65-63 win over top-seeded Illinois in the Big Ten quarterfinals in order to earn its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2016.

This game was back-and-forth from the tip, with neither team getting more than 5 points of separation. Trayce Jackson-Davis hit a pair of free throws with 26 seconds remaining to give the Hoosiers a 64-63 lead.

An Illinois turnover and missed layup on the ensuing possessions helped assure Indiana of the must-win.

2021 championship game: Illinois 91, Ohio State 88 (OT)

Just the second overtime championship game in Tournament history. Ayo Dosunmu, Kofi Cockburn and Andre Curbelo each scored 16 points in a game that required an extra session after Ohio State erased an early 27-10 deficit.

2017: Michigan defines survive and advance

The Wolverines felt lucky to even be playing in the first Big Ten Tournament held in Washington, D.C. Michigan’s plane slid off the runway before an aborted takeoff, forcing the Wolverines to fly in on the day of their opening game against Illinois.

Playing in yellow practice jerseys because their gear was still on the abandoned airplane, Michigan beat the Illini by 20. The next day, wearing actual jerseys, the 8th-seeded Wolverines upset top-seeded Purdue in overtime. Michigan finished with wins over Minnesota and Wisconsin, clinching its first Big Ten Tournament title since 1998.

2015: Wisconsin shuts out Michigan State in OT

The only other overtime final in Tournament history ended up with a surprisingly lopsided score — Wisconsin 80, Michigan State 69. That’s because the Badgers shut out the Spartans in overtime.

Eleven was evidently Wisconsin’s magic number. The Badgers rallied from a 57-46 deficit late in the second half to force the overtime. Wisconsin wouldn’t lose again until the national championship game.

2011: Wisconsin almost gets shut out

We’re only exaggerating a little.

The lowest-scoring game in Big Ten Tournament history defied all logic as 6th-seeded Penn State grinded out a 36-33 win over No. 3 Wisconsin in the quarterfinals. The teams committed just 13 combined turnovers, but shot a collective 31.1% (28-of-90) from the field.

Penn State upset Michigan State 61-49 in the semifinals to reach the title game for the first time. Top-seeded Ohio State dispatched the Nittany Lions, 71-60.

2010: Evan Turner’s heave beats Michigan

Pulling up just past half-court, Evan Turner drilled a buzzer-beater to give top-seeded Ohio State a 69-68 win over rival Michigan in the quarterfinals.

The Buckeyes went on to beat Illinois in double overtime in the semifinals before cruising to a 90-61 win over Minnesota for the tournament championship.

2008: Blake Hoffarber stuns Indiana

The most bananas finishing sequence in Big Ten Tournament history.

Indiana trailed 57-55 when Eric Gordon intentionally missed a free throw with 3.1 seconds left. DJ White grabbed the rebound before being fouled while making the tying bucket.

White missed the free throw, but somehow got fouled again while chasing down the rebound with 1.5 seconds to go. White hit his second attempt to put the Hoosiers up 58-57.

Minnesota coach Tubby Smith then drew up a baseball pass to Blake Hoffarber modeled off Christian Laettner’s game-winner over Kentucky in the 1992 Elite Eight. Shooting left-handed, Hoffarber drained the buzzer-beater — which somehow wasn’t even the craziest game-winning shot of his basketball career. This was.

2005: Alando Tucker calls bank

In a classic finish, Wisconsin guard Alando Tucker banked in a buzzer-beating 3 to lift Wisconsin to a 59-56 win over Iowa in the semifinals.

2002: Luke Recker wrecks Indiana at the buzzer

In 2002, Luke Recker was possibly the most profoundly disliked individual in Bloomington, Indiana.

An Indiana schoolboy hero, Recker was a Hoosier for 2 seasons before electing to transfer at a time when such moves were rare — and in this case, unthinkable. History later made it clear why Recker wanted to move on from Bob Knight, but at the time Recker was cast as the villain.

He wound up at Iowa, playing for fellow former Hoosier guard Steve Alford. Booed every time he touched the ball in Iowa’s trip to Assembly Hall, Recker exacted the ultimate revenge in the 2002 Big Ten semifinals.

Indiana would go on a run to the Final Four, but it was Recker who ended up with the legendary Big Ten Tournament memory.

Incredibly, it was Recker’s second-straight game-winning shot. He also drained one against top-seeded Wisconsin with 1.2 seconds left in the quarterfinals.

1999: 11th-seeded Illinois’ unlikely run to the final

1999 was a down year for the Illini, who went 3-13 in Big Ten play a year after graduating the 5 senior starters who led them to the 1998 regular-season title. The Illini finished alone in last place of the 11-team B1G.

But the 11th-seeded Illini knocked off No. 6 Minnesota in the first round before springing another upset over No. 3 Indiana in the quarterfinals. Illinois then upset No. 2 Ohio State, 79-77, despite 32 points from Buckeyes star Michael Redd.

Michigan State stopped the Cinderella run with a 67-50 win in the final. Both the Spartans and Buckeyes went on to reach the Final Four.

The ’99 Illini remain the lowest seed to reach the Big Ten championship game. Impressively, Illinois guard Cory Bradford’s 17 3-pointers from that run remain a Big Ten Tournament record.

Where the Big Ten Tournament has been played

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