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MYHSAL Varsity Basketball Playoff Preview

This is a continuation from last week’s edition, where the possible outcomes for the MYHSAL basketball and hockey leagues were outlined. After a week of action, the Western Conference has been sorted out in five of the six JV and varsity leagues. Heading into the first full week of February, only boys varsity basketball still has spots left to be determined:

The boys varsity basketball West has figured out which six teams will be its representatives, however, only two are locked into positions. As a result of wins on Saturday night, JEC (7-6) and MTA (6-7) have clinched the West #5 and #6 seeds. Theoretically, the two could finish the season tied should JEC lose its last regular season contest against Hillel on February 4, and MTA win its last regular season contest against TABC on February 5, however, JEC holds the tie-break as a result of their win over MTA in early January. The two teams will be on the road to begin the playoffs. Who they play will be determined this week.

At the top of the division are four teams jockeying to earn a bye. Heschel and Frisch are locked at the top at 10-3, followed by TABC at 9-4 and SAR at 9-5. After rattling off six of seven in the middle of the season to catapult to the top of the standings board, the SAR Sting cooled off and, as a result of two losses to Heschel and TABC within the past week, find themselves out of a bye opportunity. SAR can finish either third or fourth in the West, but, with no games remaining, their seed is not within their control. That will be left up to TABC and their contest with MTA on February 5. A TABC loss will tie the Storm and the Sting at 9-5, however, SAR will take the tiebreak as a result of the better Strength of Schedule and the third seed, relegating TABC to the fourth seed. In that case, the top of the division would come down to Heschel and Frisch, with both teams, nonetheless, having clinched byes. Frisch still has Ramaz to play on February 4, and Heschel will take on Rambam on February 5. Should both teams win or both teams lose, the top seed would go to Heschel. The only way for Frisch to win the division would be for Frisch to win and Heschel to lose.

However, should TABC win, SAR will find themselves locked into the fourth seed and TABC awaiting the possibility of a much bigger prize. The win would put TABC at 10-4, and depending on the results of the games involving Frisch and Heschel, TABC could theoretically walk out of the contest with the division title. Should both Heschel and Frisch lose, the three teams would be tied at 10-4. In that case, TABC would hold the three-way head-to-head tie-break (2-1), with Heschel gaining the second seed (1-1) and Frisch finishing in third (1-2). This is the only way for TABC to win the division. They can still clinch the second seed should they win and Heschel lose, as they currently hold the head-to-head tie-break over Heschel (1-0), however, this would not work positively for TABC should Heschel win and Frisch lose, as Frisch will hold the Strength of Schedule tie-break over the Storm. Obviously, should both Frisch and Heschel be victorious in their final games, the point will be moot as TABC will finish as the West #3 seed, and for the same reasons that we applied previously, Heschel would grab the top seed with Frisch finishing as the West #2.

As convoluted as that may seem, at least it isn’t the Eastern Conference, where, with the exception of Magen David who has clinched the top seed at 11-3, seven teams remain in contention for the final five slots, with the final berths likely not fully decided on until the completion of Saturday night’s contest between Shaare Torah and North Shore.

Elliot Weiselberg is the voice of the Yeshiva League Championships, the host of the Court Report and editor of the JM in the AM Sports Update for the Nachum Segal Network airing on Tuesdays at around 7:20 AM, as well as a regular hockey contributor to the Yeshiva League Pass account on Instagram.

By Elliot Weiselberg

 

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