July 25, 2024
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July 25, 2024
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The MYHSAL Basketball Post Yeshiva Break Preview

The MYHSAL hockey and basketball leagues have hit the end of winter break and both JV and varsity are gearing up for some intriguing action to close out the 2019-2020 regular season. As one would expect, despite how close we are to the postseason, there is still much up in the air as we enter the final push for a tournament berth. Here is a comprehensive look at what can happen for each West team still in the hunt for the basketball postseason. With pivotal games still to play, be sure to tune in next week for full coverage of MYHSAL hockey:

Boys Varsity Basketball

The JV and varsity playoff format will see the top six teams in each division. The top two teams in each division will receive byes to the quarterfinals with the next four teams meeting in the division before the winners cross over to face the other division’s bye teams.

Three West teams have clinched playoff berths with five of the seven remaining teams in contention for the final three spots. At the top, it’s a three-team race between Heschel (11-2), Hillel (10-1) and TABC (10-2). Hillel remains in control of their own destiny having the tie-break over the other two teams. They require only two wins in their final three contests over Kushner (2/1), Waterbury (2/5) and Ramaz (TBD) or any combination of wins and losses by TABC (@ Frisch 2/1, vs. HAFTR 2/3) and Heschel (@ Frisch 2/5) that has Hillel finishing off at least tied with one or both to earn at least a bye or win the division. In the battle for the final bye spot, should Hillel clinch the top spot, TABC presently holds the strength-of-schedule advantage over Heschel and, as such, only needs to end up in, at least, a tie with the Heat to obtain the second seed.

West seeds #4-6 will take all remaining West games to determine. As of print time, Ramaz, Frisch and SAR have the advantage, all having at least six wins, with Ramaz and SAR having the opportunity to earn their seventh wins against Waterbury (1/29) and North Shore (1/28) respectively. A win by Ramaz over Waterbury will pare down the West race even further, as the Wolfpack will be eliminated with a loss to the Rams, leaving only MTA as the only other possible gate-crasher into the postseason. Ramaz holds the advantage for the West #4 spot, having the most games remaining of the teams left in contention, but Frisch and SAR (and MTA, depending on their final three games) can throw a monkey wrench into the plans of the Rams and each other over their final contests.

Boys JV Basketball

All six playoff spots have been clinched and five of the remaining six West contests will work out the seedings. Entering the postseason will be TABC (8-1), SAR (8-1), Frisch (7-2), Ramaz (6-2), Hillel (6-3) and MTA (5-3). Three teams still have a shot at the top seed: TABC, SAR and Frisch. This race can either work out very cleanly, or it can wind up being extremely messy. TABC and Frisch will finish out their seasons against each other (2/1) while SAR will end its season against Ramaz (2/4) while in between, Ramaz will travel to MTA (2/3). Hillel will host Kushner (2/1) and MTA will also face JEC (2/4), however, those contests are more important to their race for a first-round home game than to the divisional crown.

We’ll start with the easy finishes and build to the crazier scenarios. A TABC win clinches the division for the Storm, regardless of any other outcomes, and the second seed will go to the winner of SAR-Ramaz. A TABC loss means that they will either finish second or third, but can only finish in second in a messy scenario that will be detailed later. SAR can clinch the top seed with a win over Ramaz and a TABC loss, can clinch at least the second seed with a win or TABC win, and at least the third seed with a Ramaz or Frisch loss.

The messy scenarios at the top come with a Frisch win over TABC. Frisch, by itself, cannot clinch the #1 seed. It needs a situation where Frisch defeats TABC and Ramaz defeats SAR, but has lost to MTA. This will create a three-way tie between TABC, SAR and Frisch at 8-2, where none of the set tiebreak criteria will distinguish a winner. In that respect, the possibility still remains that a yet undetermined criteria could still place either TABC, SAR or Frisch into any of the one, two or three spots in the West.

In an amusing turn, taking the scenario above, but flipping the Ramaz-MTA result to a win for Ramaz, it creates a four-way tie that actually has a cleaner finish, where TABC would win the division, but Ramaz would slip in the #2 seed, while SAR and Frisch would finish #3 and #4. Additionally, the result would also clean up the fifth and sixth seeds as Hillel and MTA would wind up in that order regardless of the results of the other games played.

Even more intriguing, even a loss won’t necessarily keep Frisch from a messy situation. Should Frisch lose to TABC, Hillel defeat Kushner and MTA defeat JEC, there will be a three-way tie no matter who wins in the MTA-Ramaz contest. Should MTA be that winner, it will be a clean finish as Frisch holds the three-way head to head, with Hillel and MTA finishing behind them in that order. But, should Ramaz wins, the Rams, Cougars and Heat will all be deadlocked at 7-3 with no true tiebreaker.

For Hillel, the only guarantee for hosting a first-round home game is to defeat Kushner, have MTA lose to JEC and Ramaz lose their final two remaining games. For MTA, the only guarantee for that first-round home game is to defeat Ramaz and JEC, have Hillel lose to Kushner and Ramaz lose to SAR.

For the sake of completion, a scenario still remains where Ramaz could fall all the way to sixth, with two losses, a Hillel win and an MTA win over JEC. They are the only team that could cleanly find itself with a first-round bye or wind up traveling in the first-round (Frisch can as well, but it would need the result of the messy tiebreak with Hillel and Ramaz above to wind up on the road).

Girls Varsity Basketball

The girls’ varsity playoff format remains the same with the top four teams in each division earning playoff spots and crossing over in a traditional Olympic tournament format.

Out West, the playoff picture comes down to the race for seeds #1-3 and the race for #4. At the top, Ma’ayanot (9-1), SAR (9-2) and Frisch (8-1) will battle for home games, with one team being forced to head East in the quarterfinals. Frisch and Ma’ayanot have the ability to write their own destiny with two matchups against each other (1/29, 2/4). Should Ma’ayanot win both games, they will clinch the division with SAR taking the second seed no matter what happens in their remaining game against Hillel (2/2), while Frisch will drop to third. Should Frisch win both contests, Frisch could win the division if it has defeated Heschel (1/28) or SAR has lost to Hillel (2/2), with the second seed depending on the SAR result. If the two games are split, the possibility remains, that a Frisch win over Hillel could force a three-way tie at 10-2. In that case, Ma’ayanot currently holds the edge in strength of schedule, with SAR in second and Frisch in third. Any situation that would see any of the teams finish in a tie would require a strength of schedule, which would need to take into account the results of several remaining East games leading up to the final night of the regular season.

The fourth spot will come down to Hillel (5-6) and Heschel (4-6). Although they are currently behind in the standings, Heschel currently has the advantage, but the hardest climb to get there. The two teams split the regular season schedule, meaning that should the teams end up tied, Heschel would advance based on strength of schedule. The hard part for Heschel is that they need to defeat Frisch and East Champion HAFTR (2/4) or win one and hope that Hillel falls to SAR in the process.

Girls JV Basketball

The girls’ JV playoff format takes the top six teams in the league with the top two seeds earning a first-round bye. All six playoff spots have been locked in with four seeds set in stone. SAR (7-3) will take the third seed and host the sixth seed HAFTR (3-6) and the fourth seed Flatbush (6-3) will host #5 Ramaz (4-6). The only spots to be decided will be the top two spots. Both Frisch (8-0) and North Shore (8-1) have earned the byes, but the division crown is still up for grabs. Frisch will have the advantage having defeated North Shore earlier on in the season, therefore all the Cougars need is at least one win in their final two games against Ma’ayanot (2/4) or HAFTR (TBD), or a North Shore loss to Central (2/3) to clinch the #1 seed. Any other result will see North Shore take the top spot.

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

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