Big Ten tourney to Verizon Center

The Big Ten will take its conference tournament to Washington, D.C., in 2017, following up on additions of Maryland and Rutgers that are intended to push its brand into major Eastern markets.

"We're thrilled to announce plans to host the Big Ten men's basketball tournament in Washington, D.C.," Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said Tuesday in a statement. "We have a great amount of respect for basketball in this region of the country and are pleased that we were able to place this tournament at the Verizon Center at this first possible opportunity in March 2017."

The Big Ten had already slated its tournament for Chicago's United Center in 2015 and Indianapolis' Banker's Life Fieldhouse in 2016.

The conference has been on an Eastern push lately, opening a satellite office in New York and then Monday announcing a partnership with the Big East for an eight-team challenge series of nonconference games in 2015-16.

The Big Ten is also looking to put its tournament in the New York area, at either Madison Square Garden or the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, in future years as well. The new cities would rotate with traditional homes Chicago and Indianapolis.

Maryland and Rutgers join the Big Ten this summer, pushing membership to 14 schools.

The Atlantic 10, with area members George Washington, George Mason, VCU and Richmond, also has looked at the Verizon Center as a potential home for its tournament.

The Verizon Center will host the ACC tournament in 2016.