Impressive Yeshiva U basketball team eliminated from NCAA tournament

“This team changed the world,” Yeshiva University head coach Elliot Steinmetz said after the loss. “I am very proud of them.”

Yeshiva University Maccabees in the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball tournament (photo credit: YU ATHLETICS)
Yeshiva University Maccabees in the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball tournament
(photo credit: YU ATHLETICS)

After a promising season marked by a record-breaking winning streak, the Yeshiva University men’s basketball team has been eliminated from the NCAA Division III tournament.

The No. 19 ranked Maccabees (25-4) lost 63-59 to No. 10 Johns Hopkins (23-3) on Friday, March 4, failing to complete a comeback in the game’s final minutes.

Trailing by eight points with 1:27 left to play, Y.U. star Ryan Turell exploded for six points in 47 seconds — nailing a trio of free throws and a three-pointer. Despite his heroic effort, the nation’s top scorer missed a potential game-tying shot with 15 seconds to go.

The Blue Jays then hit a pair of free throws to secure the victory, knocking Yeshiva out of the tournament in the first round. Turell led all players with 28 points in what was likely the senior’s last game for the Maccabees. 

“This team changed the world,” Yeshiva University head coach Elliot Steinmetz said after the loss. “I am very proud of them.”

Yeshiva University's Wilf Campus where the Emil A. and Jenny Fish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies will be based. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)Yeshiva University's Wilf Campus where the Emil A. and Jenny Fish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies will be based. (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Though the Maccabees’ March Madness hopes were dashed, the team put together an impressive season that garnered national attention. Y.U. won its second consecutive Skyline Conference Championship, earned a No. 1 national DIII ranking and enjoyed a 50-game winning streak that extended back to 2019. Illinois Wesleyan University snapped the streak — at the time, the longest active winning streak in American college basketball — Dec. 30.

The team’s successful run galvanized the Washington Heights campus — and Jewish sports fans around the country — as many students and fans grew accustomed to winning. 

“Within these two or three blocks of the Heights, I think it’s very special,” Elazar Abrahams, Y.U.’s student council president, told The New York Jewish Week in December. “Jews all over the country feel represented.”

The 2022-2023 season begins in November.