By Avior Hazan, Features Editor
What a time to be a fan of the Yeshiva University Maccabees! Now reigning as the #1 ranked NCAA Division III men’s basketball team in the country, the Macs also boast the longest active winning streak in all of college basketball with a blazing 50 consecutive wins.
After their ‘slimmer than usual’ victory of 93-86 versus New Jersey City University on December 15, 2021, the Macs extended their streak to an unprecedented 50 straight wins, which began in November 2019 with a 77-58 win against Caltech, according to yumacs.com. “What’s crazy in my mind – is that they haven’t lost since before COVID,” says MacsLive segment producer Dovid Price (SSSB ‘24). “I have been stopped in the streets multiple times with people asking me if I went to YU,” continued Price, “it’s not just YU hock, or even Jewish hock, it’s Heights hock, too.” The excitement on campus is tangible, as the juggernaut Macs continue to prove themselves through all types of adversity.
The record-breaking #1 rank was released on November 28, 2021 by a website cited on the official ncaa.org website as d3hoops.com. The most recent ranking was released a day after the Macs dominated Medgar Evers College, with a final score of 104-59, on December 12, 2021.
Yeshiva University first broke the the top 25 teams for men’s basketball in January 2020, placing #24 ahead of Brandeis University. Ranked at #4 last season, the Macs have been on an impressive streak, slowly but steadily establishing their command over the Skyline Conference. This past October, the Macs rose to #2 in the national rankings, and finally #1 after eclipsing Randolph-Macon College (now ranked #2) as of December 12, 2021.
One springboard after another, the Macs continue to feed off of performances such as Ryan Turell’s 51 point game, which had students calling him “Jewish Jordan.” During the game, Turell shot 21-for-30 from the field, an astounding 70.0%, and an impressive 8-for-15 (53.3%) from 3-point range. For reference, the average 3 point completion percentage in the 2020-2021 NBA season was 39.2%. “Watching Ryan is extremely exciting. Whenever he’s on the floor, he puts on a show and is dominant on both ends of the floor” says Yehoshua Segal (YC ‘21), lead Play-By-Play announcer for MacsLive. “NBA? Who knows?! But given his trajectory and what his improvement has been from year to year, it wouldn’t surprise me at all!”
On December 30, 2021 the Macs will encounter perhaps one of the biggest hurdles they have yet to face: #4 ranked Illinois Wesleyan University. The game is set to take place at 8:00pm in the Max Stern Athletic Center, and it is bound to be a big one.
Photo Credit: Danielle Lane