Skip to content

The Huskies’ history in the NCAA tournament

The Northeastern men’s basketball team is returning to the NCAA tournament for the first time in more than two decades. But did you know the Huskies have made seven previous appearances in the Big Dance, including four straight trips from 1984 to 1987? Join the team on Sunday at 5 p.m. in Cabot for a special NCAA Selection Show event and find out who the Huskies will play in the first round of the 2015 tournament.

Here’s how the Huskies faired in each previous appearance:


Northeastern’s first trip to the NCAA tournament, as an 11 seed, included the team’s first tournament win: a 55-53 first-round upset of No. 6 Fresno State at the Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas.

Northeastern punched its ticket with a dramatic 81-79 overtime win against Holy Cross in the ECAC North title game. Perry Moss hit a half-court buzzer beater to force the overtime against the Crusaders. Moss also assisted on Chip Rucker’s game-winning layup against Fresno State with four seconds remaining.

The Huskies lost 94-69 to No. 3 Utah in the NCAA second round. Pete Harris and Moss combined for 44 points for Northeastern, which finished the season 24-6, but could not keep pace with a 62-percent shooting effort from the Utes.


The team returned to the NCAA tournament the following year after a dominating 82-59 victory over Niagara in the conference championship game. The Huskies again received a No. 11 seed and again upset the No. 6 seed, St. Joseph’s, 63-62 in the first round. Northeastern trailed the Hawks by six late in the game but mounted a dramatic 13-4 run in the closing minutes to secure the upset.

In the Huskies’ second-round matchup against No. 3 Villanova, it took three overtimes before the Wildcats claimed a 76-72 victory in a game that remains one of the longest in NCAA history. The Huskies finished the 1981-82 season with a 23-7 record.


This year marked the beginning of four straight NCAA tournament appearances for the Huskies, thanks in part to Northeastern Hall of Famer Reggie Lewis. Behind Lewis and a 20-point effort from Mark Halsel, the Huskies defeated Canisius 85-75 in the conference title game at Matthews Arena.

As an 11 seed, Northeastern played in the preliminary round against No. 11 Long Island University–Brooklyn, winning 90-87. Wes Fuller scored 22 points and Lewis, the league Rookie of the Year, poured in 21 and blocked a late LIU shot to preserve the win. This triumph represents the Huskies’ most recent NCAA tournament victory.

They met No. 6 Virginia Commonwealth University in the first round at the Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey, losing 70-69 on a 20-foot buzzer-beater by Rolando Lamb. The Huskies lost despite shooting a remarkable 75 percent from the field, which at the time was a tournament record and still stands as the fourth-best mark in tournament history.


Lewis, the league Player of the Year, led Northeastern back to the tournament by scoring 29 points and hitting his final six shots in a 68-67 championship game victory over rival Boston University.

As a No. 14 seed, Northeastern lost 76-57 to No. 3 Illinois at The Omni in Atlanta, Georgia. Lewis, the nation’s highest-scoring sophomore that season, poured in 22 points in the loss.


Lewis and Andre LaFleur combined for 30 points as Northeastern again defeated Boston University to claim the league championship and earn a return trip to the Big Dance.

No. 4 Oklahoma was the No. 13 Huskies’ first-round matchup this year at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina. Lewis scored 35 points and pulled down 15 rebounds, but the foul-plagued Huskies lost 80-74.


Lewis netted 27 points and LaFleur broke the NCAA’s all-time assist record as Northeastern earned its fourth straight NCAA berth by defeating Boston University in the league title game for the third consecutive year.

In what would ultimately be Lewis’ final game in a Northeastern uniform before he was drafted by the Boston Celtics, No. 14 Northeastern lost 104-95 to No. 3 Purdue at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York. Lewis scored a team-high 23 points.


Ron Lacey scored 17 points and Dexter Jenkins added 16 as Northeastern defeated Maine at Matthews Arena to earn its first NCAA berth since the Reggie Lewis era.

The Huskies most recent NCAA tournament game, also played at the Carrier Dome, was a 101-66 loss to No. 1 North Carolina. UNC made it to the Final Four that year.

Cookies on Northeastern sites

This website uses cookies and similar technologies to understand your use of our website and give you a better experience. By continuing to use the site or closing this banner without changing your cookie settings, you agree to our use of cookies and other technologies. To find out more about our use of cookies and how to change your settings, please go to our Privacy Statement.