The Chicago Sports Commission (CSC), Choose Chicago and the City of Chicago are thrilled to once again host the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament, March 11-15 at the United Center. This year's tournament is the Big Ten's first five-day expanded event, thanks to the recent additions of Maryland and Rutgers. This now 14-team tournament features an additional day of games and for the first time ever, the four highest seeded teams will receive byes for the first two rounds of the tournament.
The 2015 edition includes some of the nation's premier basketball programs, highlighted by nationally ranked Wisconsin and Maryland. The winner doesn't just get bragging rights, but actually earns an automatic bid to the NCAA National Championship Tournament.
Outside of the on-court action, CSC will also be several special events to get Chicago into #B1G spirit. The festivities begin with the Big Ten Tip-Off Luncheon on Wednesday, March 11 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at the Westin Chicago River North. The keynote speaker is none other than Chicago native, Big Ten alum and basketball legend Jerry Colangelo. For any basketball fan, hearing the Hall of Fame inductee speak is a can't miss event. Limited tickets are still available, so if you'd like to attend and even entertain clients at a table, visit https://bigtencsctickets.trstickets.com/ before it's too late!
Up next is the Big Ten Alumni 3x3 Basketball Tournament on March 13 at Daley Plaza. The afternoon tournament, managed in collaboration with USA Basketball, features 3x3 teams made up of alumni from each Big Ten school competing to be named the best Big Ten basketball alumni. The winning team will automatically qualify for the USA Basketball 3x3 National Championship Tournament in Colorado Springs this summer. So head on out to Daley Plaza next Friday afternoon to cheer on your favorite Big Ten university alumni, or if you're interested in playing, you can still sign up here.
The final event #B1GTourney event is the VIP/Alumni Party on Saturday, March 14 from 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. in Navy Pier's Grand Ballroom. The event celebrates the final two championship teams with performances from their band and spirit squads, and includes "Taste of Chicago" themed food, beverages and live entertainment. There's certainly no better way to round out another exciting tournament. If you'd like to join in on the Big Ten celebration, get your tickets here.
Hosting events in Chicago, such as the Big Ten Tournament, is only possible thanks to sports fans such as yourselves. If you're interested in getting more involved, volunteer opportunities are still available. Good karma is guaranteed!
So, if you're looking to take advantage of another fantastic Chicago sporting event, this is your chance! To purchase tickets for the tournament or one of the special community events, visit bigtencsctickets.trstickets.com.
Written by Jeffrey Nowak and Natasha Feiger