Big Ten announces conference schedule, tournament format

The Big Ten Conference announced its men's basketball conference schedule and the new format for next season's basketball tournament.
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The Big Ten announced its men's basketball conference schedule and the new format for the conference tournament on Thursday.

The tournament, held at Chicago's United Center from March 11-15 this year, will feature all 14 league members, after Rutgers and Maryland joined the Big Ten last month. 

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The tournament will take place over five days, with the top four teams in the conference receiving first and second round byes.The first round games will pit the No. 12 seed facing the No. 13 seed, and the No. 11 seed playing the No. 14 seed.

With the addition of Rutgers and Maryland, teams will now play five home-and-homes and eight single plays. Previously, teams had four single plays and seven home-and-homes.

The conference season begins Dec. 30 with four games: Illinois at defending regular season champion Michigan, Iowa at Ohio State, Maryland at conference tournament champion Michigan State and Northwestern at Rutgers. The complete schedule can be found here.

- Scooby Axson