The Big Ten Tournament bracket was released over the weekend and, although the conference finished with a tie atop its leaderboard, the Michigan State Spartans will enter this week's tournament schedule with the top seed. The field will begin play Thursday, however, with the majority of the games being televised on either ESPN or the Big Ten Network.
Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin ended up as the top four teams following the conclusion of conference play, giving them a bye through the first round and allowing them to start play on Friday. The other eight teams in the Big Ten tournament (yes, we know that equals 12) will begin play starting at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday morning with the Iowa Hawkeyes and Illinois Fighting Illini.
The full schedule is included below. All times are Eastern.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Game 1: No. 8 Iowa vs. No. 9 Illinois, 11:30 a.m., BTN
Game 2: No. 5 Indiana vs. No. 12 Penn State, 25 minutes following Game 1 conclusion, BTN
Game 3: No. 7 Northwestern vs. No. 10 Minnesota, 5:30 p.m., ESPN2
Game 4: No. 6 Purdue vs. No. 11 Nebraska, 25 minutes following Game 3 conclusion, ESPN2
Friday, March 9, 2012
Game 5: No. 1 Michigan State vs. Game 1 Winner, Noon, ESPN
Game 6: No. 4 Wisconsin vs. Game 2 Winner, 25 minutes following Game 5 conclusion, ESPN
Game 7: No. 2 Michigan vs. Game 3 Winner, 6:30 p.m., BTN
Game 8: No. 3 Ohio State vs. Game 4 Winner, 25 minutes following Game 7 conclusion, BTN
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Game 9: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner, 1:40 p.m., CBS Sports
Game 10: Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner, 25 minutes following Game 9 conclusion, CBS Sports
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Game 11: Tournament Championship, 3:30 p.m., CBS Sports
If it's easier to understand with a visualization, we've got that taken care of as well:
For more on the Big Ten, be sure to visit SB Nation's BT Powerhouse.