The Ivy League Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments scheduled for March 13 to 15 have been canceled, the League office announced on Tuesday.
The decision was made in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and occurred after Harvard, the host of the tournament, announced it was moving classes online after its spring break.
Instead of sending the tournament winners to the NCAA Tournament, the Ivy League will instead give the regular season champions, Yale for the men and Princeton for the women, automatic bids to March Madness.
Penn men's and women's basketball, which were seeded fourth and second, respectively, in the tournaments, will no longer have an opportunity to claim the Ancient Eight's spot in the NCAA Tournament.
According to an Ivy League statement, the decision was made by the presidents of the eight member schools.
“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 wrote in the 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.”
While other postseason events for winter sports can continue as currently scheduled, the Ivy League is putting in place restrictions on attendance at other sporting events. The League has also banned all practices for out-of-season sports.
“Following a number of league-wide discussions throughout the last several weeks, we have decided to exercise caution in the interest of student-athletes, fans and the general community,” Harris wrote in the statement.
The Ivy League Tournament was scheduled to take place for a fourth straight year this weekend. Before the tournament began, regular season men’s and women’s champions received the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, as is now occurring this season.
The Ivy League is the first NCAA conference to announce the cancellation of a conference basketball tournament.