Big Ten Conference Tournament Coming to Indy

Now that the Indianapolis Colts season has come to a bitter, crushing end, Indianapolis sports fans are probably asking themselves, “what next?” Forgetting a Super Bowl loss is no easy task, but luckily, Indy has plenty of distractions for sports enthusiasts over the next few months. And it all begins in less than three weeks.

The Big Ten Conference is holding its men’s and women’s conference tournaments in Indianapolis, Indiana this March. The events will be held at Conseco Fieldhouse, marking the sixth time the Circle City has hosted both tourneys in the same year. Each will feature 10 games over four days, with the champion earning the Big Ten’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. All 11 teams are invited to the end-of-the-year affair, with first round byes awarded to the top six finishers in the conference.

The women, who will be making their 8th consecutive appearance at Conseco, get things kicked off on March 4, with the men taking the court on March 11. Fans of the Purdue Boilermakers can expect a lengthy run in the tournament. Both squads sit in the top three of the Big Ten standings. Indiana University isn’t quite as strong, but both the men and the women are capable of pulling off an upset or two.

In addition to the action on the court, there will be plenty of other events going on around the city for visitors and residents to take part in. The Big Ten Hoops 5K, taking place on March 14, encourages fans to wear their school colors while taking a 3.1 mile job/walk around downtown Indianapolis. There will also be a Big Conference Career Expo for students and alumni of Big Ten universities to meet with various industry leading companies.

Downtown Indianapolis restaurants are even opening their doors to visiting fans by participating in the Big Ten University Restaurant Pairings. 11 of Indy’s best restaurants will be hosting a designated fan base before, during, and after their team’s games. For instance, Michigan State fans looking for comfortable surroundings to talk about the Spartans can go to the Slippery Noodle Inn, while Iowa Hawkeye followers will find the Claddagh Irish Pub a friendly environment to sport the black and yellow. For a complete listing restaurant pairings, visit the Indiana Sports Corp website.

There will also be pep rallies before the start of each tournament featuring cheerleaders, a band, free popcorn, face painting and an autograph session. Indianapolis is preparing for the event by decorating downtown streetlight poles with Big Ten and university logos, and renaming streets to represent each participating school. The IPL building on Monument Circle will have a “Big 10” light display in its windows.

Tickets can purchased for both tournaments starting on Monday at 10 a.m. through ticketmaster, or by visiting the Conseco Fieldhouse box office. For the women, all-session passes are $65, and single session tickets can be had between $12-$16. Men’s all-session packages range from $165-$220 depending on how close to the action you want to be. Single-session tickets are between $30-$75.

For more info on the tournament, check back with on a daily basis. We’ll have everything you need to know in order to maximize your enjoyment while attending the event in beautiful Indianapolis.