The North­eastern Uni­ver­sity men’s bas­ket­ball team is only two wins away from reaching the NCAA Tour­na­ment for the first time in more than two decades.

But making pro­gram his­tory will not be easy. Earning their first auto­matic Tour­na­ment bid since 1991 will require the Huskies to win the Colo­nial Ath­letic Asso­ci­a­tion Cham­pi­onship, which begins on Sat­urday at the Rich­mond Col­i­seum in Rich­mond, Va.

The Huskies (19–11, 14–4 in CAA play) cap­tured the program’s first ever Colo­nial Ath­letic Asso­ci­a­tion regular-​​season title this year, locking up the cov­eted No. 1 seed in the con­fer­ence tour­na­ment and a first-​​round bye.

The bye gives the Huskies the edge over their con­fer­ence oppo­nents in making the Big Dance because it means they do not have to play in the quar­ter­fi­nals. Instead they auto­mat­i­cally advance to the semi­final round of the tour­na­ment and will play Sunday at 2 p.m. against the winner the George Mason-​​Drexel game. If the Huskies win, they would play in the final round on Monday at 7 p.m.

Both games will be tele­cast live on the NBC Sports Net­work. Fans can cheer on their Huskies at a watch party in after­HOURS during Sunday’s game. If the Huskies advance to the CAA cham­pi­onship game, there will be a watch party in the West Addi­tion of the Curry Stu­dent Center.

The Huskies were a com­bined 4–0 against Drexel and George Mason over the course of the reg­ular season, three wins of which were decided by 10 points or less. Their 63–58 over­time win against Drexel on Jan. 8 came amid an eight-​​game win­ning streak that solid­i­fied the Huskies as the conference’s top contenders.

Throughout a season in which jaw-​​dropping buzzer beaters and fre­netic come­backs have been the name of the game, sev­eral players have excelled. Senior guards Joel Smith and Jonathan Lee—co-captains of the club—led the Huskies in scoring, assists, and min­utes played. Six-​​foot-​​seven sopho­more for­ward Reggie Spencer led the team with 187 rebounds and 19 blocked shots. Sopho­more for­ward Quincy Ford was second on the team in steals with 37 and third in scoring with 12.9 points per game.

Lee has also been named one of 10 national final­ists for the Senior CLASS Award, which rec­og­nizes student-​​athletes who excel both on and off the court. To be eli­gible for the award, a student-​​athlete must be clas­si­fied as an NCAA Divi­sion I senior and have notable achieve­ments in four areas of excellence—community, class­room, char­acter, and com­pe­ti­tion. The award winner will be deter­mined by a com­bi­na­tion of voting among fans, media mem­bers, and Divi­sion 1 head coaches. Fan voting is open through March 25 via the Senior CLASS Award web­site or the Senior CLASS Award Face­book fan page.