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Sunday Panel Predictions

Standings Update: YS 17-3, AS 15-2, MA 16-5, AP 16-5, OG 15-3

Tier III Semifinals

Cooper vs Kushner

Yosef Silver: Cooper lost a close one to MTA after blowing a double digit lead, while Kushner fell to DRS in a game that was never close. Despite the reinforcements from the hockey team, I predict Cooper wins this one to move to the Tier III finals in a low scoring affair. Cooper 38-28.

Ari Schopf: Cooper lost a late lead to MTA to fall into Tier III while Kushner got blown out. I believe Cooper is the better team and they win this game. Cooper 44-34.

Marvin Azrak: Want to pick against the grain being I’m behind but can’t see this upset happening. Copper wins big 45-26.

Akiva Poppers: Dub for Coop 48-31.

Oren Glickman: I’ll be honest. I find it very funny that one loss on Friday puts you in a semifinal game for Championship Monday at the MSAC. Cooper lost a brutal one to tournament hosts MTA while Kushner got steamrolled against DRS. The Macs get on the board here at Sarachek. Cooper 32 Kushner 19 

Kohelet vs Ohr HaTorah

YS: Kohelet lost a tough one to Montreal in what was a really close game on Friday. They also surprised many by putting up a strong fight against YULA on Thursday. In my opinion, they are by far the best team left in this part of the bracket. Ohr Hatorah will look to Tier 3 consolation to pick up their first win, after Kohelet wins a scrappy one. Kohelet 45 Ohr Hatorah 28.

AS: This will be the best game of the tournament for Kohelet. They will score over 50 points and win big against the Ohr HaTorah team trying to get its first win in Sarachek. Kohelet 54-39

MA:  Kohelet will be rewarded for their feisty play against YULA and Montreal with a win against the new kids on the block from south beach. Kohelet 52 Ohr Hatorah 36

AP: Kohelet is the new Tier III favorite. They’ll win this one 61-47.

OG: Kohelet has performed admirably despite being 0-2 in Sarachek thus far. Ohr HaTorah were the newbies that everyone expected going in. The Kings will get their first win here with ease. Kohelet 40 Ohr HaTorah 20 

Tier I Semifinals

Magen David vs TABC

YS: TABC has played extremely well in this tournament. On Friday, they maintained their composure and came back from a double digit deficit to force overtime and ultimately pull off the upset over Shalhevet. Kinderleher has made his case for an All-Sarachek team while Mandel is coming off of a great game as well. However, now they have to face Magen David. The Warriors have steamrolled past both teams they have faced in this tournament. While the Storm will force Magen to play a bit more conservative with their full court press, the Warriors combination of skill and depth will get them through. Magen 55-46.

AS: TABC has impressed me with two big wins against Berman and Shalhevet. This is a game where Gurin will get going from the three, but it will not be enough against the best team in the Yeshiva League. Magen David is just too dominant and too deep. Magen David will advance to the Tier I championship game on Monday. Magen David 51-42

MA: TABC storms out of the gates but as things settle down, these Warriors will show what they’re made of why  they’re the best team in the nation. Mark Sardar, Joshua Chabbott and Jack Haber erupt as they win 60-45.

AP: TABC can’t hang with Magen David for 32 minutes. Warriors 58-46.

OG: Unable to pick due to a conflict of interest. 

Flatbush may be the 3 seed, but most of our panelists think they will defeat 2 YULA and set up an all-Brooklyn final. (Photo Credit: Eidan Horn)

YULA vs Flatbush

YS: YULA has looked off all tournament, yet still find themselves in the semis, thanks to a strong finish to Friday’s quarterfinal vs Ida Crown. Flatbush has put up two dominant performances, defeating Fuchs in the opener before downing Beth Tfiloh on Friday. Their intense defense has given teams serious issues and Beni Keda has been unstoppable inside. YULA will be unable to find their groove having to contest with the energy, tempo and aggressive defense of the Falcons. Give me Flatbush in this one as we get a Yeshiva League final rematch on Monday. Flatbush 57-49

AS: It is no secret that YULA has not played its best basketball so far in this tournament and yet they are still playing in the Tier I semifinals. This will be the game where it all clicks for YULA. The trio of Gabbay, Rosenblatt, and Holender will combine to score 45+ points against this excellent Flatbush defense. I think YULA will put together a strong second half to secure the win. 

YULA 58-54

MA: YULA has not looked like a legit two seed while Flatbush has dismantled their last two opponents with ease. They’ll use a second half surge to overtake these guys and set up the Syrian final I’ve been craving since the epic Yeshiva League final we saw between MDY and the Falcons two weeks ago. Flatbush 65 YULA 52

AP: I don’t know. I’m just not sold on YULA. Have they looked off, or were they not the second-best team to begin with? Flatbush felt snubbed at #3 and are hungry to prove it and set up the Battle for Brooklyn part 6. Falcons 54-49.

OG: YULA just escaped Ida Crown while Flatbush cruised to another victory after being evenly matched through one half with Beth Tfiloh. YULA will certainly have the crowd advantage but I think Flatbush has the talent advantage. This is going to be a seesaw affair with Keda, Gadeh, and Cooper being the difference makers over Holender, Gabbay, and Rosenblatt. Flatbush 52 YULA 47 

Tier II Semifinals

HAFTR vs Fuchs

YS: This is a tough one. I really like how Fuchs have performed thus far in the tournament, having put together two strong performances after the opening loss to Flatbush. HAFTR looked a bit shaky at times in the opener vs Maimo but rebounded nicely last night in a dominant 82-60 victory over HA Montreal. I expect Fuchs to jump out to an early lead, killing HAFTR in transition. However, as the game progresses, the Hawks will settle in the and Fuchs will have no answers for the size and shooting of HAFTR. HAFTR 56-48.

AS: Fuchs has figured it out. The brutal loss against Flatbush seems to have motivated this Fuchs team as they have won the last two games in decisive fashion. The HAFTR duo of Siri and Levy are excellent and they will have another great game, but Fuchs is too good offensively and they will knock down 10+ threes to get the win. Nate Jacobs will be the best player on the floor in this game.

Fuchs 62-51.

MA: The Jacobs duo and Fuchs have admirably  played their way here, and are playing a team I think they can beat in HAFTR. The Hawks are inconsistent which plays right into the Mayhem’s hands. They’ll jump out to an early lead and weather the comeback attempt by HAFTR and advance to the finals to defend their Tier Ii crown. Fuchs wins 59-49

AP: The Jacobs duo is ridiculously good. However, they just kind of need them both to be firing in order to win, whereas HAFTR has numerous options to go to if Levy or Siri or anyone else has an off night. This is a very winnable game for the reigning Tier II Champions, but I think we’ll be looking at a new title-holder come Monday. HAFTR 65-59.

OG: Fuchs deserves credit for a big win over Ramaz (making me wrong). HAFTR gained some confidence back, beating Montreal on Saturday night. I think the Hawks will get to Championship Monday here and deny the Mayhem of back to back Tier II titles. HAFTR 48 Fuchs 31 

Valley Torah vs DRS

YS: This will be the game of the day. Valley Torah dominated MTA last night while DRS mounted a fourth quarter comeback to knock out Berman. This one will go down to the wire with each team needing their best players to step up. With The Greenhouse in full effect, I think Joe Aaron rebounds after a tough shooting performance last night. DRS ekes out a close victory, setting the stage for a Battle of Brooklyn Tier I final and a Battle of the Five Towns for Tier II. DRS 48-45.

AS: This will be the closest game of the day and will come down to the final few possessions. I believe Valley Torah will make the bigger plays down the stretch of this game to pull off the win. Valley Torah will have a lot of success if they shoot the ball well from three and in this game they will do just that. Aaron and Buchbinder will have great games especially getting to the rim, but ultimately Valley Torah will win this game.

Valley Torah 51-49

MA:  This is a coin flip but I’m going with Valley Torah. The one problem with DRS has been their three point shooting and it starts with Joe Aaron, who  went scoreless from downtown in Saturday’s win over Berman. The  Wolfpack narrowly advance to the Tier Ii final 53-47.

AP: Rematch of the 2022 Championship Game. I think DRS will struggle to defend inside, and the Wolfpack’s length will disrupt DRS’ paint attack. The Wildcats can’t hit enough threes to counter that issue. In their fifth game in five days, they will bow out of trophy contention. Valley Torah 58-51.

OG: This is probably the third best game of the day after the Tier I semifinals. Valley are in unfamiliar territory playing for a Tier II title but it seems they’ve totally embraced the opportunity. DRS has been fantastic this weekend with a loss to Shalhevet being their only blemish. I like the Wildcats in this one, setting up a Five Towns affair on Monday for Tier II glory. DRS 40 Valley Torah 35

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