The Big Ten announced on Sunday the bracket for the 2012 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament, which will be played Thursday through Sunday, March 8-11, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Michigan State is the No. 1 seed for the fourth time in tournament history and the first time since 2009, finishing the conference slate with a 13-5 record. No. 2 Michigan (13-5), No. 3 Ohio State (13-5) and No. 4 Wisconsin (12-6) also earned first-round byes.
The tournament will tip off at 11:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 8, as No. 8 Iowa (8-10) takes on No. 9 Illinois (6-12) on BTN. The second game of the day features No. 5 Indiana (11-7) and No. 12 Penn State (4-14), also on BTN.
Thursday's second session tips off at 5:30 p.m. as No. 7 Northwestern (8-10) takes on No. 10 Minnesota (6-12) on ESPN2. The first day of games wraps up as No. 6 Purdue (10-8) takes on No. 11 Nebraska (4-14) also on ESPN2.
The second day of the tournament tips off with Michigan State squaring off against the winner of Thursday's Iowa/Illinois game at Noon on ESPN. The second contest of the day will have Wisconsin playing the winner of the Indiana versus Penn State match up at approximately 2:30 p.m., also on ESPN. Michigan will face either Northwestern or Minnesota at 6:30 p.m., while Ohio State will take on the winner of Thursday's Purdue-Nebraska game at approximately 9 p.m. The last two games of the day will be broadcast by BTN.
Big Ten Tournament semifinal games will be played on Saturday, beginning at 1:40 p.m. on CBS Sports. The championship game tips off at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday and will also be broadcast by CBS Sports.
This year's tournament marks the fourth time Michigan State has earned the No. 1 seed and the first time since 2009. Michigan earns its highest seed ever at No. 2, claiming a first-round bye for the second consecutive season. Ohio State will have a bye in the first round for the seventh straight season. The Buckeyes have won the last two Big Ten Tournament titles and three all-time, marking the most of any team. Wisconsin earns the No. 4 seed for the fifth time and for the third time in the last four seasons. With the No. 4 seed, the Badgers also earn a first-round bye for the 12th consecutive season.
Since the first Big Ten Tournament in 1998, six teams have captured the event's title with Ohio State claiming three titles, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State and Wisconsin each owning two tournament trophies, and Purdue winning one tournament title. Tournament championship games have featured teams seeded as high as first, second and third and as low as eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th. Nine different schools have advanced to the tournament's championship game.
All-session and single-session tickets to the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament can be purchased through the Bankers Life Fieldhouse box office, Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.
For the complete tournament bracket, including game times and television information, click on the link under this story's headline.