Following the addition of Manhattanville College to the Skyline Conference, two divisions were created, with six teams in each. However, the conference still needed to figure out how many teams would make the playoffs, and what the format of such a playoff would be. This decision has now been reached. MacsLive reached out to Assistant Commissioner Tom Emberley, who provided us with the following information:
“At a recent Presidents Council meeting, it was determined that our men's basketball championship, effective for the 2019-20 season, will consist of eight teams. The top three teams from each division are in (winners -- 1 and 2; second place -- 3 and 4; third place -- 5 and 6), as are the next two teams with the best records, regardless of division (at 7 and 8, respectively). From there, it's a traditional eight-team bracket without reseeding (1v8; 4v5; 2v7; 3v6 ... 1-8 vs. 4-5; 2-7 vs. 3-6 in semis... semifinal winners in the championship final). Higher seeds host throughout all rounds, as has always been the case.”
What impact will this have on the Macs?
With the way that the Macs have been playing this season, it’s hard to see them failing to finish first in the South Division. While both Farmingdale State and Old Westbury, the 1 and 3 seeds last year, respectively, are in the Macs’ division, YU has played on another level this month, and are better on paper than any team in the south. Therefore, this change would almost certainly lead to Yeshiva playing a quarterfinal game as a 1 or 2 seed, which would have resulted in a bye last season. This could lead to players getting tired or hurt, and in any game there is the potential for an upset.
“It could hurt us this year if we have the year we expect, said Coach Elliot Steinmetz. “It can help us another year when we don’t.” In other words, should the Macs finish first in their division this year, they will have to play an extra game which they would not have had to last season. Yet in future years, this could help the Macs, both in the case that they finish as a wild card team, and in the scenario that a different team which finishes first in their division falls in the quarterfinals to an inferior squad.
When asked why the change was implemented, Steinmetz said that “The coaches wanted it. I don’t have an issue with it at all.”
Want updates on the Skyline Conference playoff picture? Head to the Men’s Basketball page. We now have tabs on the Men’s Basketball Scoreboard for YU & Skyline Scores, YU’s Schedule, Overall Playoff Standings, Standings for both divisions, and a look at the Wild Card race. On your computer, all of these tabs can be seen when you head to the page. On your phone, tap the ‘>’ arrow to see hidden tabs, and the ‘<’ arrow to go back to normal view. To scroll through each sheet on your phone, drag your finger sideways across the screen. The red lines on each of the standings-related tabs indicate which teams are currently in a playoff spot; all teams to the left are in as of now, while all teams to the right are out. Any questions? Email us.