The only way a team from the Colonial Athletic Association was making the NCAA Tournament was by winning the conference tournament to secure the automatic bid.
Four teams – Northeastern, William & Mary, James Madison and UNC Wilmington – each finished the regular season 12-6 in conference play.
The Huskies claimed the third seed, but won the the three games necessary to punch their ticket to the Big Dance, their first trip to the party in almost 25 years. And now they’re looking to play the role of Cinderella.
Here’s what you need to know about Northeastern:
1. The Huskies Are Making Their 1st NCAA Appearance Since 1991
Northeastern is back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991, when they were the 16th seed and were blown out by No. 1 North Carolina 101-66.
This is the Huskies’ 8th Big Dance visit since 1980, and they own a 3-7 record. They have lost their past 5 games, though.
Northeastern made the NIT in 2005, 2010 and 2013, but fell in the first round each time.
2. Scott Eatherton Leads the Team in Scoring & Rebounding
Northeastern scores 68.6 points per game and allows 65.0.
For the team’s complete stats, click here.
3. The 23 Wins Is a Best For Head Coach Bill Coen
Bill Coen has compiled a 135-137 overall record in his 9 years at Northeastern. This year’s 23 wins marks a career high. Coen’s Huskies also won 20 games in 2009-10 and 2012-13.
A former assistant under Al Skinner at Boston College and Rhode Island, Coen, 53, played at Hamilton College in upstate New York. Between 1979 and 1983, his Hamilton teams won 3 ECAC championships.
4. Former Celtics Star Reggie Lewis Played at NU
The most notable basketball alum to come out of Northeastern was the late Reggie Lewis, who led the Huskies to 4 NCAA Tournament appearances in his college career. Lewis averaged 22.2 points and 7.9 rebounds per game during college.
Lewis was drafted by the Boston Celtics 22nd overall in the 1987 NBA Draft.
Lewis tragically died at 27 after suffering sudden cardiac arrest on July 27, 1993. His No. 35 is retired by both NU and Boston.
5. Northeastern Is Located in Boston
Northeastern University is located in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, and is a private research university.
Founded in 1898, NU often finds itself ranked highly in U.S. News & World Report‘s Top National Universities.
It has an enrollment of nearly 24,000, which includes 16,000 undergraduates.