Even from Hong Kong, Yale president Peter Salovey is cheering on the Bulldogs ahead of Friday’s matchup against Auburn in March Madness. 

Salovey, who is stepping down as president at the end of the year, is a longtime supporter of the team. He often sits courtside at home games with his wife, Marta Moret.

“I wish I could have been there in person with the students and coaches,” Salovey wrote to the News, referring to Yale’s win over Brown on Sunday. “The team plays with a ‘never say die attitude,’ and that comes through!”

Against Brown, The Bulldogs fought back from a six-point deficit in the game’s final thirty seconds and won on a buzzer-beating layup by Matt Knowling ’24. The win earned Yale the Ivy men’s basketball conference title and the league’s automatic bid to March Madness.

Salovey and his wife, Marta Moret, attending a Yale basketball game

Salovey, who is currently on a two-week trip to Cote d’Ivoire and Hong Kong to strengthen the University’s international partnerships, wrote that he woke up early from Hong Kong Monday morning to check the score and watch the game’s highlights.

“My favorite is the assist that sets up the final bucket to best Brown,” he wrote. “What a great bounce pass and wonderful court vision.”

He also wrote Yale head coach James Jones a note to congratulate him and the team on the win, and “doing so in such an exciting fashion.”

The twenty-third University president has spent much of his time as a Yale faculty member. Salovey joined the department of psychology as an assistant professor in 1995, the same year that Jones joined the team as an assistant coach. 

Salovey’s tenure as Yale president has coincided with the most dominant era of Yale basketball in school history. 

Since 2013 – the year of Salovey’s appointment – Yale has finished in third place or better in every Ivy League season and racked up five Ivy League championships. Since the league introduced the four-team Ivy Tournament in 2017, Yale is the only school to have qualified in all six tournaments and has advanced to the championship game in five of them. 

In 2016, the Bulldogs made March Madness for the first time since 1962 and upset No. 5-seeded Baylor in the tournament’s first round. Yale has qualified for the tournament three more times since then. 

Salovey “wished the team luck” ahead of Friday’s game against No. 4 Auburn and will be “cheering the Bulldogs on” from Hong Kong.

Friday’s game is set to tip off at 4:15 p.m. Eastern, which will be 4:15 a.m. in Hong Kong. 

Ben Raab covers faculty and academics at Yale and writes about the Yale men's basketball team. Originally from New York City, Ben is a sophomore in Pierson college pursuing a double major in history and political science.