|Pages related to the Ivy League|
The Ivy League is a conference participating in the NCAA's Division I, with member institutions in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. The all-sports conference was founded in 1954 and began play in the 1955–56 season, although the eight universities had been playing football as a loosely organized conference since 1945 and informally since the late 19th century. In men's basketball, the Ivy League claims the history of the Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League, founded in 1901 by five of the current eight members.
Ivy League institutions are among the most academically prestigious in the United States and indeed in the world, with Harvard, Yale, and Princeton regularly ranking as the three best U.S. universities. The most notable distinction of the conference from a sports standpoint is that its members are not allowed to award athletic scholarships.
Also, the Ivy League was the last Division I conference that did not hold a postseason tournament in basketball. Through the 2015–16 season, the Ivies' automatic bids to the Division I men's and women's tournaments went to the top team in regular-season league standings. Ties for the conference title were broken in a unique manner—the tied teams played a one-game playoff to determine the automatic bid. (When more than two teams were tied, a series of one-game playoffs was held.) The Ivy League introduced conference tournaments for men and women in the 2016–17 season; unlike most Division I conference tournaments, not all members qualify. Only the top four teams in the regular-season standings (with tiebreakers used as needed) qualify for each tournament.
The conference's membership has been unchanged since its formation, making it by far the most stable of any major college conference.