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Gameday Preview: NCAA First Round - #19 Yeshiva vs #10 Johns Hopkins

Two years ago fans were highly anticipating an NCAA tournament matchup between the Yeshiva University Maccabees and the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays. Hopkins was eliminated earlier than expected, while the Macs advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before the tournament was canceled. On Friday, March 4, fans will get the coveted matchup that never materialized.

The winners of the Centennial Conference, #10 Johns Hopkins (22-3) beat #20 Swarthmore (22-5) in the conference title game after falling to them twice earlier in the season. Hopkins has held opponents to just 60 points per game (the fourth best in D3), on just 39% shooting from the field.

Hopkins’ roster features the Centennial Conference Player of the Year in Conner Delaney and Defensive Player of the Year in Sydney Thybulle, the cousin of the Philadelphia 76ers defensive specialist Matisse Thybulle. Delaney excels around the hoop where he can finish with both hands, but he can also connect from the outside, where he shot 36% on the year.

The Macs are looking to win their 3rd consective NCAA tournament game (Photo Credits: Yeshiva Athletics)

Keys to the Game:

Paint Battle:

The Macs’ big men will have their hands full with the size of Hopkins on the interior. Thybulle stands at 6’8” and works primarily in the paint. The length of 6’6” Tom Quarry could prove difficult to contend with as well even though he does most of his damage on offense from the outside. Offensively, the Macs might have trouble getting anything going from the inside and on defense they should be prepared to help on bigs if needed.

3-Point Defense:

Although the Blue Jays can do damage with their size and driving, they have also shown the ability to knock down the three. Carson James and Delaney are both shooting at least 36% from three, while Quarry is shooting 44%. The Macs might need to help inside, but also must make sure not to allow open threes to the Hopkins shooters.

Stop Delaney:

The best player for Hopkins, Delaney, can beat the Macs in a number of ways, including driving to the hoop and from behind the arc, but the Macs need to do their best to slow him down. The Macs need to try and force somebody else on Hopkins to beat them.

How to Watch:

The game is being played in Galloway, NJ, at host school Stockton University. Tipoff is at 1:00pm and will be broadcast by Macslive here.


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