Coach: Bill Coen
Record: 23-11, 12-6 CAA
Rankings and ratings:
– Kenpom: 124
– RPI: 96
– AP/USA Today: Not ranked
Seeding: William & Mary, who Northeastern beat in the CAA title game, was projected as a No. 15 seed in our latest bracket.
Names you need to know: Scott Eatherton (14.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg), David Walker (13.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.5 apg)
Stats you need to know: Northeastern is almost always going to lose the turnover battle. They’re one of the worst teams in the country in both turnover percentage and defensive turnover percentage. But they shoot the ball very well, both inside and outside the arc, and they rarely foul or give up second chance opportunities — they’re 11th nationally in defensive rebounding percentage.
Tendencies: The Huskies are about what you would expect from a Bill Coen team. They play a disciplined brand of defense, forcing tough shots without gambling for steals, clearing the defense glass and avoiding fouls. They share the ball offensively, they can stroke it from the perimeter and they have some big bodies up front that can score in the lane.
Big wins, bad losses: Their best non-conference win this season came against Richmond, who is a top 50 team in KenPom. They also beat Manhattan, one of the MAAC favorites, in November, and own a win over Florida State, which came in Tallahassee.
How’d they get here: Northeastern finished in a four-way tie for first in the CAA, beating William & Mary in the conference title game.
Outlook: The Huskies are not a bad team. Like I said earlier, they’re disciplined defensively, well-coached and can shoot the ball. That’s the combination you need to be able to pull off an upset. The problem? They need to hope some underdogs win during the league tournaments so that they can get out out of the 15-16 seed range. The Huskies can beat a three seed. I don’t think they can beat any of the top two seeds.
How do I know you?: Northeastern hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1991, but they do have a pretty well known NBA player that they can count as an alum: point guard Jose Juan Barea. Also an alum: former Boston Celtic guard Reggie Lewis.