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Gameday Preview, Skyline Championship: #2 Yeshiva @ #1 Farmingdale State

Ric Flair birthed it at WrestleWar '89: “To be the man, you gotta beat the man." It's what Yeshiva University men’s basketball will endure on Sunday in pursuit of their fourth Skyline Conference title. A championship here would be their most remarkable yet, but they've got one hurdle left: the reigning conference champions, the Farmingdale State Rams, in their barn.

Unlike their previous triumphs in the Ryan Turell-era, this season has thrown some tough challenges Yeshiva’s wayinjuries to key players and a rare four-game losing streak in conference play. However, they managed to claim the gold division title and second seed in the Skyline playoffs. Since returning to total health, they’ve powered through the postseason. Last week, they took care of the feisty Mount Saint Vincent Dolphins and the red-hot Manhattanville Valiants. Now, they face their ultimate test: the top-seeded Rams.

It won't be easy, with Farmingdale boasting a program-record 15-1 conference mark and a tight-knit, veteran squad which features several high school teammates. Yet, if Yeshiva can win on their farm, it'll be the first title won for this new core and a significant milestone for the program. Even being here is a testament to the resilience of these players and coaches while rewarding those loyal blue and white supporters who’ve been there all season long.

In his maiden Conference final on Sunday, Zevi Samet will look to lead Yeshiva to the program's fourth Skyline title. (Photo Credit: Akiva Poppers/MacsLive)

Early Pressure: 

The Rams have been dominant early in games, only trailing once at halftime all season. The Macs need to disrupt their rhythm and make it challenging for them to settle in. Falling behind quickly, especially on the road, could spell trouble, so the Macs must come out strong from the jump.

Defensive Focus: 

Farmingdale State boasts multiple scoring threats, so shutting down just one player won't cut it. However, they must closely monitor Nick Hurowitz, 21/37 from the floor in his career against YU. He pounded them inside for 22 points and 10 rebounds in Farmingdale’s 76-57 win over a shorthanded Macs bunch on February 3rd. He’s historically been a thorn in Yeshiva's side. Preventing him from taking over will be crucial to success.

Soak It In:

Amidst all the pressure and excitement of the championship game, it's important for the Macs to just take a breath and enjoy the moment. This is what they've been working towards all season, so why not savor it a bit? Playing relaxed could allow them to execute their game plan freely and stay calm in the game's crucial moments.

How To Watch: 

The game will be broadcasted by MacsLive in a limited capacity. You can watch the game here.


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