HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Sports Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Big Ten Conference men’s basketball tournament is headed to the East Coast in three years.
The league is going to make it official Tuesday that its 2017 tournament will be held at Washington’s Verizon Center, according to a person familiar with the plans.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on Monday on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made.
The conference said Commissioner Jim Delaney would appear at a news conference at Verizon Center on Tuesday but did not say why. That arena is the main home for Big East member Georgetown’s men’s basketball, as well as the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals.
The 2017 Big Ten tournament will be the conference’s 20th for basketball. The inaugural tournament was held in 1998 in Chicago. It was in Indianapolis this year.
But the conference, which is mainly filled with Midwestern schools such as Michigan, Indiana and Ohio State, is expanding its membership — and, it hopes, its reach and popularity. Maryland and Rutgers are set to join the Big Ten next season.
Maryland is leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference, while Rutgers was part of the American Athletic Conference last season.
Tuesday’s news conference will be the second in two days about basketball for Delaney and the Big Ten.
On Monday, the Big Ten and Big East announced that those leagues will start a four-day, eight-game series among their teams during the first week of the 2015-16 regular season.
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