Yeshiva University men’s basketball team qualifies for NCAA tournament

Sophomore Gabriel Leiter of the Yeshiva University Maccabees takes on a player from Purchase College during the team’s championship victory on Feb. 25, 2018, which earned an automatic qualification into the NCAA tournament. (Courtesy Yeshiva University)

JTA

(JTA) — The Yeshiva University men’s basketball team has earned its first berth in the NCAA Division III basketball tournament in program history.

The Maccabees on Sunday defeated Purchase College, 87-81, to win the Skyline Conference championship and earned automatic qualification into the tournament.

“There is nothing much to say. We are champs,” Yeshiva University 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!”

Yeshiva University Athletic Director Joe Bednarsh said that people from all over the world have been following the team and its run to the championship.

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“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 bracket for the NCAA tournament will be announced on Monday afternoon. YU will be competing in the opening round of the popular tournament next weekend.