Ivy League cancels men’s and women’s conference tournaments

The Ivy League announced Tuesday that it has canceled the men’s and women’s conference basketball tournaments slated to be held at Harvard’s Lavietes Pavilion Friday through Sunday in response to coronavirus concerns, declaring the Princeton women and Yale men, the Ivy League regular season champions, the automatic qualifiers to the NCAA tournaments.

“We understand and share the disappointment with student-athletes, coaches and fans who will not be able to participate in these tournaments,” Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said. “Regrettably, the information and recommendations presented to us from public health authorities and medical professionals have convinced us that this is the most prudent decision.”

The announcement came the same day as Harvard announced that the university would move all courses to remote instruction after spring break beginning March 23 due to the global coronavirus outbreak. It also came the same day as Cornell Athletics announced that fans would not be permitted at the ECAC Men’s Hockey Championship quarterfinals (Cornell vs. Princeton) and NCAA Women’s Hockey Championship quarterfinals (Cornell vs. Mercyhurst) in Ithaca.

  • All tickets for the Ivy League Basketball Tournaments will be refunded in full, per the league, which said ticket holders with any questions should contact the Harvard ticket office.

Health concerns aside, it’s a jarring ending to the season, unexpectedly cutting short the collegiate playing careers of many student-athletes.


6 thoughts on “Ivy League cancels men’s and women’s conference tournaments”

  1. What a letdown, and it makes little sense to me. I know my own disappointment at not being able to attend is nothing compared to that of all of those players — even the Princeton women and the Yale men, but especially for the others. Imagine you’re Phoebe Sterba at Penn, a senior looking forward to beating Yale and earning one more shot at upsetting Princeton: She’s been working for this for years. Or Columbia’s Jamiya Clemmons, who in her senior year is finally on a winning team; Penn at least will go to the WNIT, but Columbia is probably done.

  2. No one is happy that the League opted for prudence in the face of so many unknowns going forward. I hope that next year’s tournament will be played at Jadwin as previously scheduled. No one can dispute that the Yale men and Princeton women have compiled NCAA tournament-worthy records. Everyone at IHO wishes both teams the very best going forward. It has been a real blast sharing my thoughts with all of you this season and for many seasons.

    • John, you think this decision was made by Robin Harris? Your belief says more about you than it does about Ivy League administrators.

      Look, I think that a reasonable solution in the face of available information would have been to play the games in front of empty stands. The League opted to go further than that.

      But I can assure you that the decision was made by university presidents, not Ms Robin Harris. Whatever you think of her, the League does not invest in her the authority to make a call like this one.

      And whether the best decision would have been to cancel outright, play without spectators, or carry on as per usual, it was not made “to pull crap” or “to gin up fear.” Like it or not, there is a public health crisis occurring now.

  3. The Princeton women would have won a bid to the NCAAs regardless of the tournament outcome, so the practical impact of the women’s tournament being canceled is that it deprives one of the other three teams from having an opportunity to secure an NCAA berth. The primary loser on the men’s side is Harvard, as they had a legitimate chance to leverage their home court advantage to win the league tournament and secure a berth in the NCAAs. Given my antipathy for the Harvard basketball program (but not the magnificent university itself), I can live with that outcome. The Yale men won the regular season title and deserve a chance to play the role of Cinderella in March Madness. Good luck to the Eli!

  4. I am sorry for any seniors who expected a little more season. But, I am NOT sorry to see this Tournament cancelled. Let it stay dead until such time as the Ivies warrant more than 1 bid and then, give the automatic bid to the team that won the 14 game season rather than the two game tournament played on someone’s home turf. Good luck at the NCAAs Eli men and Tiger women. You both earned your bids the honest way.

Comments are closed.