A League of Their Own. With Maryland's upcoming NCAA Tournament game against Harvard, we thought our readers might like to know a little more about Ivy League sports. As the BasketCases know first hand (well, at least one of the BasketCases has first hand experience with the Ivy League), they do things just a little differently at the Ivies . . . particularly when it comes to sports.
First of all, Ivy Leaguers have a pretty interesting idea of what a sport actually is. It almost seems the fewer people who participate, the better. And the fewer who can watch, that's even better still. Squash, fencing, golf and crew! Major Ivy League Sports! Goodness, how do they contain their excitement?
And athletic scholarships . . . you can forget about them! Financial support as reward for athletic prowess? Tsk, tsk, how unseemly! The Ivy League schools would never stoop to that level. Athletic scholarships are no-nos. You get in because of brains, not brawn! (But don't feel too sorry for the student-athletes . . . these schools do have endowments that are greater than the Gross National Product of most countries, so if an athlete really does need financial assistance to attend one of these schools, you can be pretty sure she'll get it.)
And while they do play basketball in the Ivy League, there is no conference tournament! That's right: no long weekend in Greensboro or Hartford or Knoxville where all the teams and their most devoted fans gather for virtually round the clock games and great fun! Can you believe it? No doubt, that, too, would be considered unseemly. So as the only conference sending a team into March Madness without a championship tournament (at least that's what we've read), the winner of the Ivy League's regular season gets an automatic bid to the Big Dance! Somehow it just doesn't seem fair.
But that's the way they do things at Haaa-vad, Princeton (Go TIGERS!!!), and the rest of the Ivy League schools. They do it their way. But there's one thing they do have in common with the Terps and the other teams in this year's tournament . . . their team wants to win and their team will come to play. Just ask Tara VanDerveer.
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Television coverage of the women's tournament starts today at noon on the ESPN family of channels, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. (The "U" stands for "U know it if you have it.") The Terps' game against Harvard tips off on Sunday at approximately 2:30pm. If you live in Maryland, you should get to see the entire game, thanks to ESPN's "home market protection." The rest of us will be treated to ESPN's famous