The 1980 America EastMen's Basketball Tournament was hosted by the higher seeds in head-to-head matchups. It was the inaugural tournament ever held for the America East Conference. The final was held at The Hart Center on the campus at the College of Holy Cross. Holy Cross gained their first and only America East Conference Championship in the first ever tournament as well as an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament with its win over Boston University. Holy Cross was given the 11th seed in the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament and lost in the first round to Maryland 84–78. Boston University gained a bid to the NIT and lost in the first round to Boston College 95–74.