I get that we have three east coast schools in the conference now and that by 2017 that number could be even higher (looking at you, Virginia and North Carolina) and it's somewhat important to make those schools and fan bases feel like they're actually part of the conference. But seriously?
The main point of having the tournament in Chicago and Indianapolis is that they're centrally located major cities full of Big Ten graduates and incredibly easy to travel to for those not living in the cities. The nation's capital can't make that same boast.
"But it increases the amount of eyes on the conference!" you may say. Does it really? Do you really believe that people in DC that don't already care about Big Ten basketball magically will begin to because our tournament is played in their city? I don't. College sports are different. There's a tribalism aspect that makes it harder to care about other programs.
"But Washington D.C. is a bigger media market than Indianapolis and TVs and stuff!" you weird Maryland fans vehemently scream. And that is definitely a fact that I cannot argue against. Indianapolis is only the 25th television market while D.C. comes in 9th. But you know who's even bigger? Chicago.
I understand what Jim Delaney is trying to accomplish, but it just seems so dumb and unnecessary. If you want the conference basketball tournament to be bigger and in front of more faces, put it in the third biggest city in the country. You know, that city that happens to be home to the conference offices. That city that is within four hours driving distance of eight of your institutions. Start. Making. Sense.