By: Yossi Zimilover | News  | 

After Historic Season, Men's Basketball Loses in First Round of NCAA Division III Tournament

The Yeshiva University men’s basketball team lost 81-67 to the #11 nationally ranked York College (PA) Spartans in the first round of the NCAA Division III men’s basketball tournament on Friday, March 2. The game was the first NCAA tournament appearance for the team in YU History.

Early in the game, York took a large 31-12 lead, but the YU Maccabees rallied with a 15-2 run to bring the score to 33-27 with 4:53 remaining in the first half. This would be the closest the Macs would come to the Spartans for the duration of the game.

Sophomore Gabriel Leifer led the team in scoring with 18 points. The Maccabees played without Sophomore Bar Alluf, a usual starter for the team, due to allegations that were raised regarding his eligibility. In a statement on Friday, YU Athletics explained that they immediately reviewed eligibility rules. They wrote, “...while this review confirmed our belief that Mr. Alluf’s eligibility was properly certified based on the information that had been provided to Yeshiva, we – Yeshiva University and its community of students, faculty and alumni – take pride in holding ourselves to the highest possible standards on and off of the court. As such, we have decided that Mr. Alluf will not play in the tournament in order to avoid any possible impact these new allegations may have on our team’s participation.”

YU earned a berth into the tournament after winning the Skyline Conference Championship against Purchase College on February 25. The victory was the first in school history for the Macs. Yeshiva also set a program record for wins, with 18 victories in the 2017-2018 season.