Northeastern and Boston University will join the fun of BracketBuster weekend Saturday when they play in the 10th annual event. The Huskies will host America East Conference rival Stony Brook at 1 p.m EDT, while the Terriers head to Maryland to take on the second best team in the MAAC, the Loyola (MD) Greyhounds at Noon Sunday.
Bill Coen's Huntington Avenue crew is looking to move to 5-2 all-time in the event and will have a familiar opponent on the other bench. Stony Brook (17-8, 12-2) and Northeastern (12-14, 8-8 Colonial Athletic Association) played 10 times between January of 2010, when Stony Brook became a Division I program and part of the America East, to March 2005, the Huskies final season in the conference. Northeastern holds a 6-3 lead all-time in the series and have won five straight against the Seawolves. Already this season the Huskies have disposed of two of the top teams in the America East, Boston University and Vermont, and will look to add a third W against the elite teams in the conference.
One of the most interesting matchups will be in the backcourt; Northeastern's biggest strength has been their backcourt all season long, while Stony Brook's top two scorers are also guards. Junior co-captains Jonathan Lee and Joel Smith are the Huskies leading scorers and share point guard responsibilities. On the other side, Bryan Dougher is Stony Brook's point guard and deadliest player with his ability to hit shots from behind the arc, while sophomore guard Dave Coley is second on the team in scoring and is much more of a slasher and aggressor on the offensive end.
Boston University (14-14, 10-4 America East) will have the tougher task of the local teams, when they put their perfect BracketBuster record (4-0) to the test against Loyola (19-7, 12-4). The Greyhounds will be playing their Senior Day game on Saturday as they honor two seniors in their final home regular season game of the season. After a huge win over conference-leading Iona last Friday, Loyola has dropped two in a row to fall out of first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Terriers are coming off of a loss of their own, after they dropped a 56-54 contest Wednesday at home against New Hampshire.
This will be just the second time these teams have squared off, after the Terriers knocked off Loyola 71-51 in in the first round of the South Florida Holiday Tournament in December of 1996. While the Terriers are led by the nation's fifteenth leading scorer, Darryl Partin (19.9 ppg), the Greyhounds have five players averaging nine points or more on the year.
One interesting matchup will come between former Northeastern forward Erik Etherly and the Terriers banged up front court. With Patrick Hazel suffering from a knee injury that limited him to seven minutes Wednesday, Etherly and his 6'7" frame will likely be seeing a lot of Boston University sophomore forward Dom Morris. While both Etherly and Morris are listed at 6'7", Morris' use of his wide frame has keyed his success, while Etherly uses his length to be a force on both sides of the ball.
We'll have all the action for you when the BracketBuster hits Boston, right here on this stream.