It has been 24 long years since the Northeastern Huskies have seen a NCAA Tournament game.
When the Huskies qualified for the 1991 tournament, it was the conclusion of a 10-year span that saw Northeastern qualify in seven of those seasons, mainly behind head coach Jim Calhoun.
Now, fast forward to 2015 and the Huskies are ready to be this year's cinderella. It is the first CAA Championship for Northeastern since they joined the conference in 2005, and first conference tournament title since that glorious year of 1991.
This Northeastern team has emerged as a duel threat, showing a deadly combination of outside scoring and an inside presence.
The Huskies are paced by redshirt senior Scott Eatherton, who led the team in regular season scoring at just under 15 points per game. Eatherton is a big man, standing at 6'9" and 235 pounds, and regularly imposes his will on smaller forwards in the CAA. He won't have that luxury in the NCAA Tournament, but he's a high percentage shooter that will be able to find a way to score in any situation.
Quincy Ford, the CAA Tournament's most outstanding player, has developed into both the Huskies' shooter and slasher, using his 6'8" frame to rise above defenders on a regular basis. Ford averaged over 15 points per contest in the tournament, including a 22-point game on 8-10 shooting in the championship. He shot a blistering 58 percent from three-point range in Northeastern's three tournament games.
The Huskies' guard duo of David Walker and T.J. Williams gives Northeastern a shooting threat from three-point range, both shooting over 35 percent for the regular season. Walker was a major contributor to the Huskies' run through the CAA Tournament, averaging 14 points and four assists.
You might not find a lot of glitz and glamor from this team, but they can wear you down as the game progresses, just ask William & Mary. The CAA title game hung in single digits for much of the night until Northeastern used a mid-second half run to extend their lead to 22, a deficit not even a sharp-shooting team like William & Mary could overcome.
This is head coach Bill Cohen's ninth year at Northeastern, leading the Huskies to a 20-win season after winning just 11 all of last season.
His Huskies lost the CAA Championship in 2013 to James Madison and have qualified for the NIT twice in 2010 and 2013. He had big dance experience, too, as the associate head coach at Boston College during the early 2000's, including when the Eagles advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2006.
Northeastern had the second best field goal percentage in the CAA at over 48 percent, but was last in the conference in field goal defense, giving up the highest percentage in the league. The Huskies do a good job on the boards, holding opposing teams to 28 rebounds per contest.
The Huskies are probably looking at a 14th or 15th seed in the NCAA Tournament, so they'll need to be firing at all cylinders if they want to pull off a monumental upset. Northeastern's last tournament win was the 1984 play-in round against LIU Brooklyn.
Northeastern is a school that has long been recognized for their hockey team, but don't look now, Coach Cohen and his upstart Huskies may be stealing some hockey thunder for the next few weeks.