On Wednesday, the Ivy League office announced that Harvard will host the 2020 Ivy League Tournaments on Sat., Mar. 14 and Sun. Mar. 15. In addition, the league also scheduled the tournament locations through the 2024-25 season, with each of the conference’s schools that haven’t already hosted getting a turn.
After holding the first two Ivy tournaments at Penn’s Palestra (seating 8,722) and scheduling this year’s event at Yale’s John J. Lee Amphitheater (2,800), the league has elected to follow a southern-central-northern pattern for future sites. After Harvard’s Lavietes Pavilion (1,636), Ivy Madness will travel down south to Princeton’s Jadwin Gymnasium (6,854) in 2021, followed by trips to Brown’s Pizzitola Sports Center (2,800) in 2022 and Cornell’s Newman Arena (4,473) in 2023. The event will move to the northern-most site at Dartmouth’s Leede Arena (2,100) in 2024, before finishing the rotation at Columbia’s Levien Gymnasium (2,700) in the spring of 2025.
The format for the tournaments will remain the same over the length of this plan, with the top four teams in the men’s and women’s divisions competing for the league’s automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. With the Ivy League’s 10-year partnership deal with ESPN in effect until the summer of 2028, the planned Ivy League Tournaments will continue to be broadcast by the sports network.
The dates for the 2021-2025 tournaments have not been posted. In an interview with IHO late Wednesday afternoon, Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris stated that the dates for those events will be announced at a later time. She did not feel that the change of the 2020-21 Princeton academic calendar, which will move fall finals from January to December, would cause the conference to move its event up one week.
Harris also noted that the rotation plan had been in the works for a while, with complete consensus among the league’s athletic directors. Harris said that due to the success of the first two Ivy tournaments, the positive feelings regarding the upcoming tournament and the outstanding organizational skills of the various athletic staffs, league officials felt confident that the events could thrive at the eight on-campus sites without having to look for off-campus venues.
The league’s largest and most famous arena, the Palestra, will sit idle over the next seven postseasons and a number of stakeholders have voiced displeasure in the decision, the league feels the shared excitement among the eight schools is more important than keeping the conference’s premier event locked into one site. Ultimately, Harris is aware that the improved quality of the men’s and women’s divisions (present conference RPI for men is No. 10 and women is No. 11) will be the biggest factor in drawing the fans to Ivy Madness over the next several years.
Some reactions from around the Ivy Twittersphere:
Big yikes https://t.co/oW9LETBXhF
— AJ Brodeur (@AJBrodeur) February 27, 2019
The home court advantage standpoint should only motivate the tournaments teams’ fan bases and athletic departments. Get your students, alumni, and fans there! Go all in, not half ass! https://t.co/CSzwbZATG2
— D.Foreman (@DarnellForeman4) February 27, 2019
An Ivy League Class of 2025 recruit who makes the league tournament in all 4 years will play in 4 gyms averaging 3,195 (or 12,780 total for 4 years.)
— Terence C. (@TerenceTMC) February 27, 2019
do the tournament as a rotation or let the #1 seed host, but the idea that certain schools are fundamentally unworthy of hosting is nonsense (promulgated by the usual suspects, of course)
— Peter Andrews (@pfandrews) February 27, 2019
Moving the Ivy League basketball tournament to every school through 2025 is the worst example of “Everybody gets a trophy.” Some of the gyms are just too small. And inconvenient. And don’t have the ticketing capabilities. #smartleaguestupidchoices
— Howard Gensler (@DNTattle) February 27, 2019
Really disappointed that the ivy tournament won’t be in Ithaca till ’23. I get going to each campus, but why put Harvard early in the “rotation” where they can barely hold 2,000. Because its Harvard. Dartmouth and Columbia are smaller and at end.
— nate (@NSolly02) February 27, 2019
Glad to see Princeton will host Ivy League Tournament in 2021. Jadwin is a cool venue. If I were king, though, the games would always be played at the higher seed. Reward the regular season.
— Jerry Carino (@NJHoopsHaven) February 27, 2019
— Brad Fadem (@bradfad) February 27, 2019