NEW YORK (WCIA) — The Illinois men’s basketball team is in Manhattan less than 24 hours before its Big Ten tournament opener against Iowa on Wednesday afternoon. The Illini have spent the last four days on the east coast after playing at Rutgers on Sunday afternoon.
“My first time and it’s an unbelievable environment,” Illinois freshman guard Trent Frazier said. “The scenery is amazing. Me and a couple guys walked around a little bit and went shopping, bought a couple stuff but it’s unbelievable. It’s amazing, I’m blessed to be here and playing in Madison Square Garden tomorrow.”
The city is decked out with banners, signs and billboards all promoting the Big Ten Conference. This is the first time the league has hosted its tournament in the Big Apple.
“We have some east coast representation in Rutgers and Maryland and to move it here, the media capital of the world and the best venue in all of basketball, it’s going to be great,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said. “Then we’ll get it back to the midwest and get it in it’s proper place.”
Illinois plays Iowa at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The winner advances to play No. 5 seed Michigan on Thursday.