Friday March 24th at YU:
8:00 AM-Farber vs. Ida Crown Jewish Academy
Ari Schopf (AS): Ida Crown bounces back after a tough loss. Farber plays a strong first half but ultimately can’t pull off the upset. Aces by 17
Akiva Poppers (AP): Ida Crown is too big for Farber to handle and the 1-3-1 will cause a bunch of turnovers. Aces by 25.
Oren Glickman (OG): We learned Ida Crown were definitely seeded too high. Could contend for a Tier 2 title now. Farber won’t give them much trouble and they cruise by at least 30.
9:30 AM-SAR vs. Frisch
AS: These early matchups are always tricky. I see a low scoring affair with Frisch coming away with a 4 point win.
AP: SAR has to be exhausted from their game against YMC. It is tough to beat a team three times in a season, but that is what Frisch will do. Zakheim scores 22. Frisch by 6.
OG: As my friend Poppers astutely points out, it’s very hard to knock off a team three times in one season. However I think Frisch goes 3 for 3 after shutting me up against Berman (I heard your postgame interview, Schiffman). Zakheim outduels Schanzer in a scorefest with Frisch winning by 8.
11:00 AM-YULA vs. Northshore Hebrew Academy
AS: YULA will shock North Shore with their physicality. This game will be a battle and will be won at the free throw line. North Shore will have that advantage and win this one by 8.
AP: YULA will be one of the most physical teams North Shore has played this year, but the Lions’ length will cause major issues for the Panthers. NSHA by 11.
OG: YULA proved me wrong on day one. Clearly a lot stronger than last year. However, North Shore is not Maimo. Could be a close game at halftime. Lions then pull away in the 2nd like the Fuchs game and win by 15.
12:30 PM-Shalhevet vs. Magen David
AS: Shalhevet shook off the early cobwebs against MTA and they will bounce back and remind us why they are the number one seed. Magen David won’t go down easily but the Firehawks come away with this one by 11.
AP: There is upset potential in this one. Magen David’s press will cause issues for the Firehawks in the first half, and the Warriors will go into the locker room up 7. But the Firehawks come back, just like against MTA, and take the lead. This time, though, MDY fights back and retakes the lead late, but Shalhevet pulls it out by 4.
OG: I expect every higher seed to hold serve in these Tier 1 quarterfinals but if there’s any potential for an upset it’s this one between Magen David and Shalhevet. Shalhevet looked slow coming out of the gate against MTA but people shouldn’t read too much into it. While Magen will pose a different type of test with their athleticism, Coleman should have the Firehawks locked in. Shalhevet by 5.
2:00 PM-Valley Torah vs. Katz Yeshiva HS
AS: Valley Torah’s defense will be too much for Katz. Katz will have some success early behind some excellent perimeter shooting, but Valley Torah will settle in and win this one by 13.
AP: Another one with upset potential if shots are falling for Katz like they did against ICJA. They won’t though. Wolfpack by 10. Just like last year, seeds 1-4 advance to the semifinals.
OG: Was beyond impressed with Ashi Rosen and Zack Izyaguev in their opening round game against Ida Crown. They really showed me up because I didn’t know too much about them. While I’m willing to give credit to them, I don’t believe lightning will strike twice. I think Valley Torah is too tough a challenge for them to prove me wrong again. Wolfpack by 11+.
Friday March 24th TABC GYM ONE:
9:00 AM-Fasman Yeshiva HS vs. Maimonides
AS: Maimo has a bit of a letdown to start the first half of this one. In the second half, Maimo dominates and gets the win by 16.
AP: Skokie Yeshiva will be excited to show that they were underseeded and will come out of the gates firing, but Maimo is simply the better team. Maimo shoots 35% from 3 and wins by 16.
OG: Maimo bounce back here. Should win by at least 10.
10:30 AM-Kohelet vs. Berman
AS: I will abstain since I am a Berman alum.
AP: Falk scores 23, Berman wins by 23.
OG: Curious to see Wallace and Benjamini for the Kings. But Falk and Berman bounce back here and win by 15+.
12:00 PM-Or Chaim vs. Mekor Chaim
AS: Jon Rosen has a quiet performance in this game as he only makes 6 threes. Or Chaim puts up a fight but Mekor Chaim wins by 22 behind a dominant defensive performance.
AP: Abstaining as I’ll be on the YMC sideline.
OG: Conflict of interest. Jon Rosen is a sniper though!
1:30 PM-Mesivta of Philly vs. TABC
AS: Mesivta has talked the talk and now it is time for them to walk the walk. I believe they will answer the bell and come out the game strong and build a big lead. TABC will rally, but it won’t be enough. Mesivta by 7.
AP: Mesivta thinks they belonged in a Tier I Qualifier. The first half will look like that, but the Storm will rally behind their home crowd and escape with a 5 point win.
OG: Could actually be the game of the day offsite. Mesivta feel they were cheated and should come in very motivated. Came in as the lowest seed last year and turned some heads so let’s see if it happens again through Mogyoros. TABC get the home game after getting walloped by Valley Torah. I think this is honestly a toss up. I’ll lean towards the Storm by 3 with some late game heroics from Benloulou or Luber.
Friday March 24th TABC GYM TWO:
9:00 AM-Hebrew Academy of Miami (RASG) vs. YUHSB (MTA)
AS: MTA shocked many with how close their game with Shalhevet was. That being said, RASG is fresh and ready to go and behind Ben Farkas, RASG gets the win by 10.
AP: Playing with house money on Thursday, the Lions took it to Shalhevet. It is difficult to replicate such an effort two days in a row. A rested RASG team and star Ben Farkas win by 9.
OG: Ben Farkas is the most hyped up player outside of Tier 1. MTA should be proud of the way they played against Shalhevet. Not sure you’ll see that same fight again vs. the Warriors. RASG by 7.
10:30-AM JEC vs. Fuchs Mizrachi
AP: JEC has nice length and shooters, but Fuchs is not the 14th best team in this tournament; they are a legit Tier II contender. The Mayhem win by 13.
OG: Two teams with abundance of size. I think this is another good game to watch. YL teams have had a solid start to the tournament and I’ll take JEC here by 2 in maybe a mini upset.
AS: I see this game coming down to the wire. The three point shooting from Fuchs is what will put them over the top in a 4 point win.
12:00-PM Cooper Yeshiva High School for Boys vs. DRS
AP: Cooper is not the worst team in the tournament. But DRS is not the type of team which you want to face if you want to pull an upset. The Wildcats win--not by as much as they are expected by most to do so by, but by 18.
OG: As I told Poppers, this is uncharted territory for DRS. I can’t remember the last time they were out of Tier I contention this early in the tournament. Because of that, I’m not sure how all in they’ll be with their starters. Despite that, Cooper shouldn’t even pose a test to their reserves. Wildcats by 20+.
AS: Last year we saw a 9 seed lose to a 24 seed. I don’t think that will happen again, but DRS must be careful. DRS by 21.
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