Sports | March 10, 2020 1:07 pm

Ivy League Cancels Conference Basketball Tournament Over Coronavirus Ahead of March Madness

As a result, the Princeton women and Yale men will play in the Big Dance

The center court logo on an Ivy League basketball court
The Ivy League's basketball tournament was scheduled for Harvard's Lavietes Pavilion.
M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty

In a move announced on Tuesday, the Ivy League became the first conference to cancel its basketball tournament prior to March Madness due to coronavirus concerns.

Scheduled to be held at Harvard’s Lavietes Pavilion, the eight-team tournament (four women’s teams and four men’s teams) was supposed to tip-off this weekend.

As a result of the cancelation, the Ivy League’s two regular-season champions – the Princeton women and Yale men – will receive the conference’s automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament.

“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 in a statement. “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 conference’s decision was ripped by Harvard guard Bryce Aiken after the Crimson finished in second place in the conference with a 21-8 record.

“Horrible, horrible, horrible decision and total disregard for the players and teams that have put their hearts into this season,” Aiken wrote on Twitter. “This is wrong on so many levels and the Ivy League should do its due diligence to find a better solution. Everyone knows the risks of playing.”

The Ivy League’s controversial decision comes hours after Harvard announced all classes on campus will be moving to an online-only format.

Starting immediately, the Ivy League is also implementing restrictive in-venue spectator limitations for all other upcoming campus athletic events and canceling all out-of-season practices and competitions.

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