NEW YORK — The Yeshiva University men’s basketball team has earned its first berth in the NCAA Division III basketball tournament.
On Feb. 25, the Maccabees defeated Purchase College, 87-81, in Purchase, NY, to win the Skyline Conference championship and earn an automatic berth in the national tournament.
“There is nothing much to say. We are champs,” head coach Elliot Steinmetz said in an interview posted on the Maccabees’ website. “These kids worked hard, stayed the course through everything all season, and now we are champs forever. What a moment!”
Athletic director Joe Bednarsh said that people from all over the world have been following the team and its run to the championship.
“People have been reaching out to me about this team from Thailand, South Africa, Argentina, Israel, England and more,” Bednarsh said. “The Maccabees are truly the pride of the Jewish people.”
The team announced that its game against York College in Pennsylvania will take place at 1 p.m. Friday. The original schedule had YU playing at 1 p.m. Saturday.
“They are keenly aware of our restrictions — they’ve been talking about how to accommodate us since at least Saturday evening,” said Bednarsh.
If the Maccabees (18-10) defeat York (23-4), champions of the Capital Athletic Conference, they will advance to play at 8:30 p.m. Saturday in York against the winner of the Nazareth-Hamilton first-round game.