Yeshiva University heads to NCAA Division III Tournament for 1st time in school history

NEW YORK (WABC) -- March Madness is almost here -- but for Manhattan's own Yeshiva University, they've already punched their ticket to the Big Dance.

The Maccabees made history on Sunday, winning their first-ever Skyline Conference Championship, and are now off to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time in the 85-year history of the men's basketball program.

The win was the Maccabees' 18th of the season, setting another program record in a season that has broken them again and again.

"I am so proud of these fine young men who represent our department, our university and our people," said Athletics Director Joe Bednarsh. "Coach Elliot Steinmetz has molded a bunch of individuals into a team who know how to lead and how to work together. Their success, while still being a product of their hard work, is also a product of all the coaches and administrators, past and present."

The Macs will face York College of Pennsylvania on Friday afternoon, but for the Jewish university, there are obstacles this week.

Purim begins Wednesday night, which impacts travel and practice time. Shabbat is Friday evening to Saturday evening, so they received special permission to play their game Friday afternoon.

When they take the court, they will have fans from around the world cheering them on.

"People have been reaching out to me about this team, from Thailand, South Africa, Argentina, Israel, England, and more," Bednarsh said. "The Maccabees are truly the pride of the Jewish people."

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