It’s been almost three years since the Big Ten announced that they’re going to play the 2018 conference basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
It’s still funny.
Because that league INSISTS on making Rutgers happy and because the Big East has an ironclad contract that keeps their tournament at The Garden through 2026, the Big Ten will be playing their tournament a week earlier than it is traditionally played.
It just keeps being funny. They’re throwing their entire league schedule out of whack (hello, early December league games) just to make RUTGERS happy about being in the conference. RUTGERS. The 6-48 since joining the Big Ten Scarlet Knights. Hell, the announcement was made right before Rutgers started league play in their first Big Ten season, and they promptly rewarded commissioner Jim Delany by going 2-16.
Borderline criminally hilarious.
Anyway, I was reminded the other day that Northwestern is going to be playing their 2017-18 home games at the Allstate Arena/Rosemont Horizon.
The Horizon was most recently home to DePaul Blue Demons basketball, but the Blue Demons have vacated the premises for Wintrust Arena down by the lake. Thus, the Wildcats are able to use the building while Welsh-Ryan Arena on campus undergoes renovations.
This does seem to be starting a trend of Big Ten basketball teams moving their games to Big East arenas.
Thus the question: Which Big Ten team will be the next one to move their home games to a Big East arena?
I think the most obvious answers are found through the use of geography. After all, you don’t want to be traipsing halfway across the country for a home game. Big Ten fans can barely put down their fried butter long enough to figure out where their on-campus arenas are in the first place. The following list is created through the use of Google Maps to create the shortest possible driving distance between a Big Ten campus and the nearest Big East arena. For situations where a Big East team uses multiple arenas, I went with the largest one. The Big Ten can be accused of a lot of things, but afraid of maximizing their money is not one of them.
THE FIVE BIG TEN TEAMS MOST LIKELY TO MOVE TO A BIG EAST ARENA
NUMBER 1: MARYLAND TERRAPINS
Located in College Park, Maryland’s campus is just 11.6 miles away from the newly renamed Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., home to the Georgetown Hoyas. That’s barely twice as far away as the Hoyas themselves. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure why Maryland doesn’t actually play their games at the former Verizon Center. I mean, other than the fact that it’s not actually in Maryland.
NUMBER 2: RUTGERS SCARLET KNIGHTS
If we were merely making a list of closest driving trips to a Big East arena, Rutgers would actually occupy two spots on the list. Piscataway is a mere 27.7 miles from the Prudential Center in Newark and just 38.3 miles away from Madison Square Garden. 38.3 miles away from the arena where they’re holding the Big Ten tournament in order to make Rutgers happy. Mindblowing. This would be like holding an event at the Bradley Center in order to make the Pleasant Prairie Premium Outlets mall happy. PLEASE NOTE: THAT IS NOT A JOKE.
NUMBER 3: INDIANA HOOSIERS
Assembly Hall is a dump. It’s literally falling apart. Indiana should really consider moving their games out of Bloomington and heading 57.5 miles up the road to Hinkle Fieldhouse. It’s not like there’s a shortage of Hoosier fans in Indianapolis or anything. Plus, come on. They filmed Hoosiers there! HOOSIERS IN THE HOOSIERS ARENA, IT JUST MAKES SENSE, PEOPLE. MAKE IT HAPPEN.
NUMBER 4: NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
Bet you thought a different team was going to get this spot, didn’t you? Turns out that Lincoln is a scant 59.2 miles away from CenturyLink Center in Omaha. Much like the case in Indiana, the Huskers would probably be better off playing their games in Omaha due to 1) a preponderance of Nebraska fans in Omaha and 2) CenturyLink is a much nicer building than Pinnacle Bank Arena, anyway.
NUMBER 5: PURDUE BOILERMAKERS
This is the one you expected at #4, isn’t it? It makes sense to guess that, to be honest. However, it turns out that Hinkle Fieldhouse is 65.3 miles away from West Lafayette, so it’s a slightly longer hike than the trip from Lincoln to Omaha. Honestly, I think Purdue should consider this for kind of the same reason as I mentioned in the Indiana section. It would really grate on Hoosier fans to see the Boilermakers playing in the building where they filmed Hoosiers. I mean, I presume it would. These are the same people who got mad about Tom Crean only winning two Big Ten regular season titles in nine seasons as opposed to the.... um.... lemme count here....... one in the previous 15 seasons. They’re not exactly the sharpest crayons in the box.
HONORABLE MENTION: Wisconsin Badgers (78.3 miles to the Bradley Center); Ohio State Buckeyes (106 miles to Cintas Center); Illinois Fighting Illini (120 miles to Hinkle Fieldhouse) (yes, they’re actually further away from Wintrust Arena, which is 134 miles)