It’s a great time of year if you love college basketball. (I know, this excludes my pro-loving friend Winship.)
Tonight I’m sitting and watching the first day of the Big Ten Tournament. I’m a traditionalist, so I think the regular season champion is the true Big Ten champion. Still, the conference tournament has its attractions.
For teams like Ohio State, which has already punched its ticket to the NCAA Tournament, the Big Ten Tournament is a nice tuneup and a chance to stay sharp for the Big Dance. For the desperate teams — like both Purdue and Nebraska, who are playing now — the tournament means a chance to redeem an otherwise tough season. So long as they stay alive, there’s a chance they might win, and win, and make it to the NCAA Tournament. Imagine what it might be like in their locker rooms, knowing they might be playing their last games of the year and can only keep playing if they win this game!
So we’ll see how this game ends, and who survives to play the Buckeyes. And when this game ends, I’ll watch the next one. The Big Ten has been tremendously exciting and competitive this season, and I’m expecting nothing less from the Tournament.
As I said, it’s a great time for college basketball fans.