Sarachek 2012 Field As Deep As Ever
Well, the Sarachek field just got a whole lot more interesting.
For those of you who haven't heard, Sarachek's #3 seed, the Frisch Cougars defeated the top-ranked SAR Sting 45-28 in the Yeshiva League championship on Sunday afternoon. Though the score makes it seem like a blowout, Frisch led by just four points with under 3 minutes to play. The two teams are very evenly matched.
Following the results of the game, our friends at Jewish Hoops America swapped the two teams in their newest rankings released today, with Frisch now ranked #1 nationally and SAR falling below YULA to #3.
When this year's teams were first announced, all anyone wanted to talk about was the potential rematch of last year's Sarachek championship when SAR upset YULA. The new rivalry was revisited earlier this season when SAR beat YULA in overtime in Los Angeles, and it was assumed that since they were ranked as the top two seeds for Sarachek this season, getting to the championship would be a mere formality for both sides.
I'll admit it, I fell prey to this line of thinking as well. I guess I owe Frisch a thank you for waking me up to the fact that this year's tournament could boast the most open field we've had in years. Not only did Frisch add themselves to the discussion, but upon further research, I think you could make a case for 2 more teams who could shock the world by getting hot and coming away with Sarachek gold.
First, let's talk about the 4th-ranked North Shore Stars, who finished 11-2 in the Yeshiva League. One of their two losses was to Frisch, but much like the Frisch-SAR game, that contest was a 1-point game with under 4 minutes to play. With a go-to scorer like Jeremy Zborowski who puts up 19 points per game, North Shore definitely has the juice to knock off other top teams.
Next are the 5th-ranked MTA Lions. Though they lost superstar Yisrael Feld from last year's squad, some think this squad is Coach Daniel Gibber's most balanced squad since the legendary 2004 and 2005 teams. Having an absolute giant like Zev Senter inside to give the Lions easy buckets and clean up the defensive boards certainly doesn't hurt their cause. One must also remember that, fairly or unfairly, this tournament takes place on MTA's home court. They beat SAR at home earlier this year, and every single MTA game will bring out the entire MTA student body in support of their beloved Lions.
Essentially, the seeds are a good guide for what to expect, but when you have five teams so closely matched, somebody has to be number one and somebody has to be number five. I honestly expect tomorrow to begin one of the most exciting Sarachek tournaments of all time, and I could not be more excited to watch all the action from Israel with the new HD video feeds here at MacsLive!
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