The Ivy League Tournament will return to The Palestra in Philadelphia in 2018, the league announced on Thursday afternoon.
The Palestra was the site of the first-ever Ivy League postseason this past March. A four-team tournament saw Princeton advance to the 2017 NCAA Tournament, capping an unbeaten season within the league with a 73-71 win over Yale.
“The Inaugural Ivy League Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments were an unequivocal success,” said Executive Director Robin Harris in a statement. “We featured the tremendous talent of our basketball student-athletes in an electric atmosphere, and we look forward to an even better event in 2018.”
Holding an event at one of the cathedrals of college basketball was a no-brainer. But once Penn earned the final spot in the tournament, it took away the neutral site setting. Imagine if Princeton, 14-0 in league play, lost to the lowest-seeded team in the field because the game was played on Penn’s full-time home court?
The press release added that the league is evaluating other venues for 2019.
It’ll be interesting to see what the league does following this season. The Palestra is not only an iconic venue but it puts the conference’s postseason event in a major city. It also happens to be the biggest venue in the Ancient Eight. But that gives the Quakers a home-court advantage each and every year they qualify for the postseason.
A truly neutral host, like Springfield, Mass., the birthplace of basketball, would make sense given its basketball tradition and its centralized location in regards to the eight universities. But that would cost money, something these schools may not be interested in.
The 2018 Ivy League Tournament will be held March 10-11.