Column: Awaiting an opponent

As we enter February, the first thing most Boston sports fans usually have marked on their calendar is the annual Beanpot tournament, which crowns one of the local hockey schools as the best in college hockey in the city.
However, while the Huskies have played well and dominated Hockey East, another team that calls Matthews Arena home has been turning some heads of their own.
In case you somehow haven’t heard, the men’s basketball team is 10-1 in the Colonial Athletic Association and in first place.
With just seven conference games left to play, the Huskies have gotten hot at the right time and are moving toward the latter part of their schedule.
In addition to those conference games, the Huskies will play in the annual ESPNU Bracketbuster Saturday, Feb 21. The goal of the Bracketbuster is to pair mid-major conference teams up with each other according to Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) for enticing matchups that will be seen on the ESPN family of networks.
According to the website, RPI is a formula used by the NCAA to help determine which teams go to post-season tournaments and how they are seeded.
As of today, the Huskies’ RPI is at 57 in the nation and with the announcement of the Bracketbuster matchups coming Monday, Northeastern should be placed against another mid-major team that is on top of their conference.
The game should be on national television, which will only increase awareness of the team’s capabilities.
Fans who follow the team have looked into a couple possible matchup scenarios for teams that Northeastern might play. Teams like Siena and Creighton from the MAAC and MVC conferences have been thrown around as opponents that would fit what ESPN might be looking for.
If the team keeps this run going, they will have a chance to make one of the college basketball postseason tournaments that are so revered among the sports world.
Obviously, the goal would be to make the NCAA Tournament that crowns the champion of college basketball, but there are a few alternatives. Being that the Huskies haven’t been in a postseason tournament since 2005, NU is desperate to prove that they can hang with just about any team out there.
Others are starting to take notice of the success the Huskies have been having this season. This weekend, the team was featured in USA Today’s weekend college basketball preview column. The column explained how the team has been flying under the radar and said the team could stay atop the conference for a while due to good defense and ‘clutch guard Matt Janning.’
With wins against some other premier programs in college basketball like Providence and Indiana, could Northeastern extend their season with some postseason basketball?
Don’t be surprised if head coach Bill Coen and his boys prove all the critics wrong to show that Northeastern is the best in the city in two sports.

Check out 104.9 FM or at‘ to hear all the action of your Huskies. Beanpot coverage against Boston College is tonight starting at 7:45 with Keith Lavon and Pete Martin. Basketball coverage atWilliam & Mary is Wednesday night at 6:45 with Tom Giles and Jared Shafran.

‘- Jared Shafran can be reached’
at [email protected]

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