The 2008–09 Big Ten Conference men's basketball season marked the continuation of the annual tradition of competitive basketball among Big Ten Conference members that began in 1904. It was the 104th season of Big Ten Conference basketball play. Although during the 2008-09 NCAA Division I men's basketball season there were no Big Ten players named to any All-American teams, no coaches given any national coaching honors, and no teams that won any major preconference tournament, the season was successful for other reasons. The conference had an overall 14–8 record in post season play with one representative qualifying for the 2009 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament championship game and another winning the championship of the 2009 National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
The season marked the second year that all regular season and Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Tournament games were nationally televised. It was the first season that eight member teams achieved 20 wins. During the season, the conference achieved a .781 winning percentage against non-conference opponents, which is the highest percentage since 1998–99.
Michigan State was the regular season champion and Purdue was the 2009 Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Tournament champion. At the end of the season, the conference tied its record by placing seven teams in the NCAA Tournament: Michigan State, Purdue, Illinois, Ohio State, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. By placing 7 of its 11 teams in the tournament, it had 64% of its teams in the tournament, which outpaced all of its rival conferences. Both Michigan State and Purdue advanced to the second weekend's Sweet Sixteen round, where Purdue lost to Connecticut. Michigan State advanced to the championship game where it lost to North Carolina 89–72. The Big Ten also had two entrants in the 2009 NIT: Penn State and Northwestern. Penn State won the tournament.
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