Macs Sit At Historic No. 1 National DIII Ranking As Win Streak Reaches 46
The YU Maccabees men’s basketball team ranked No. 1 in the national ranking for NCAA Division III teams for the first time in program history. As of Saturday, the Macs hold a 46-game win streak, the second-longest in DIII men's basketball history.
The ranking was released on Nov. 28 by d3hoops.com, which publishes its top 25 teams on a weekly basis. The d3hoops.com Top 25 is voted on by a panel of 25 coaches, sports information directors and media members from across the country. MacsLive Executive Producer Akiva Poppers (SSSB ‘22) is currently a member of the voting panel.
“Each voter fills out a ballot of their top 25 teams,” Poppers explained. “If a voter places a team at #1, that gives that team 25 points; if a voter places a team at #2, that gives that team 24 points…etc…if a voter places a team at #25, that gives that team 1 point.” The points from all the voters are tallied and the teams with the top points are ordered. The Macs earned 13 out of 25 first-place votes.
According to Poppers, some factors which may be crucial in determining how to rank each school are offensive and defensive capabilities, strength of schedule and big wins. With regards to his own methodology as a voter, Poppers shared, “I prioritize the eye test, take into account team mentality as justified by performance against both strong and weak competition, and am guided along by results.”
The Macs have been climbing rankings recently. Last season, they were ranked at No. 4, marking the first time in history that the team was ranked in the top five. This past October, the Macs rose to No. 2 on the national rankings. In January 2020, the Macs first broke the top 25 teams, placing No. 24. just ahead of Brandeis University.
The Nov. 28 poll was released a day after the Macs beat Manhattanville College by a score of 78-56. The team struggled in the first half of the game but “turned the tide in the second stanza,” d3hoops wrote.
Poppers expressed disappointment at this victory for the Macs. “I have been disappointed with many of YU’s recent first half performances and if the Macs keep playing like they have as of late I may drop YU from the 1 spot on my ballot,” he said.
Randolph-Macon College, the previous No. 1-ranked school, lost on that same day in a nail-biter against Christopher Newport University and has since dropped to No. 3 in the rankings.
Head Coach Elliot Steinmetz was unimpressed by the news of the Macs’ ranking, telling MacsLive, “Let me know what we are ranked on March 20,” the day of the DIII National Championship Game.
“It’s November and we are just trying to get better every day,” Steinmetz also said. “There are a lot of great teams out there and we hope we are good enough to compete with them when it matters in a couple of months.”
Photo Caption: The Macs hold a 46-game win streak.
Photo Credit: Yeshiva University Athletics