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Four-team Ivy League tournament begins in 2017

Men's College Basketball, Women's College Basketball, Yale Bulldogs, Yale Bulldogs, Princeton Tigers, Princeton Tigers, Columbia Lions, Columbia Lions, Harvard Crimson, Harvard Crimson, Penn Quakers, Penn Quakers, Dartmouth Big Green, Dartmouth Big Green, Cornell Big Red, Cornell Big Red, Brown Bears, Brown Bears

The Ivy League announced Thursday that it will add a conference tournament for both men's and women's basketball beginning next season.

The league's council of presidents approved four-team tournaments in both men's and women's basketball to determine the automatic berth into the NCAA tournament. Each team will have a one-game reduction in the regular season starting in 2016-17.

The Ivy League has been the lone conference not to hold a league tourney. The regular-season champion has earned the Big Dance spot, with Yale earning the men's bid this season and Penn getting the women's berth.

"I'm very excited for our league," Yale men's basketball coach James Jones told ESPN. "This tournament will give us a platform to help showcase our conference."

Harvard coach Tommy Amaker echoed Jones' enthusiasm for the new format.

"This is a terrific opportunity to showcase the depth of our league -- and to provide our student-athletes with the always meaningful experience of playing in the post-season," Amaker said in a statement.

The new tournament will be held on March 11-12 next season in Philadelphia at The Palestra, Penn's home court. The top seed will play the No. 4 seed, and the No. 2 seed will face the No. 3 seed on Saturday. The championship games will be held on Sunday.

"The presidents adopted the proposal to establish men's and women's basketball tournaments after thoughtful discussions and careful review of the thorough information provided by our athletics directors and head coaches," Peter Salovey, Yale president and chairman of the Council of Ivy League Presidents, said in a statement Thursday. "Ultimately, this decision was based on enhancing the overall experience for our basketball student-athletes, while also paying attention to time demands by shortening the regular season."

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