Championship week is underway. For mid-major conferences like the Ivy League, it is a chance to determine which school will represent the conference in the NCAA Tournament. Essentially, conference tournaments like the Ivy League are the be-all-end-all for teams.
Ivy League Cancels Conference Tournament Due to Coronavirus
With the decision to cancel the conference tournament, the Ivy League will award the tournament berth to the Yale Bulldogs. They finished in first place in the regular season. The Ivy League orginially awarded the tournament berth to the regular season champion. However, it recently switched to the tournament format, to the delight of fans.
One team in particular, the Harvard Crimson, are upset. They were the hosts of this years tournament and after finishing just one game behind Yale in the regular season standings, seemed to have a great shot at securing a tournament berth.
Horrible, horrible, horrible decision and total disregard for the players and teams that have put their hearts into this season. This is wrong on so many levels and the @IvyLeague should do its due diligence to find a better solution. Everyone knows the risks of playing! https://t.co/HQXprzX9q6
— Bryce Aiken (@BryceAiken) March 10, 2020
There has been a lot of talk involving the coronavirus, COVID-19, and how it will impact major sporting events. Leagues like the NBA, MLB, MLS, and NHL have limited access to locker rooms and put plans in place to ensure the safety of both athletes and fans.
In terms of college basketball, this is the first reaction to the Coronavirus scare. Obviously, the decision is made out of an abundance of caution, but it is unfortunate for athletes like Bryce Aiken. He would have suited up for Harvard for potentially the last time in the conference tournament.
The next fear for fans is whether or not the NCAA Tournament will proceed as scheduled. There has been talk about limiting access to the arena for fans or even cancelling the tournament in general. That seems to be a ways away, but clearly leagues and the NCAA in general are concerned about the coronavirus.
Conferences like the Big East announced their intentions to continue postseason play as scheduled. At this point, each conference is going to make their own decision. If tensions continue to rise, the NCAA will have to step in and make some decision as the governing body.
With Selection Sunday just five days away, time is running short. As fans, the hope is the virus is contained and March Madness can continue as scheduled with everyone’s health intact.
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