Hofstra
AP Photo/Nick Wass

The Hofstra Pride men’s basketball program will appear in their first NCAA Tournament since 2001 after winning the CAA.

For the first time since 2001, Hempstead is dancing in March.

 

Desure Buie put up 20 points, complimenting a 15-rebound output from Isaac Kante. Their performances were the deciding factors in the Hofstra Pride returning to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Pride captured their first Colonial Athletic Association championship with a 70-61 win over the Northeastern Huskies at Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C.

Hofstra (26-8) will partake in their first NCAA Tournament since 2001, the latter of back-to-back tournament appearances under future Villanova head coach Jay Wright. The win also secures the Pride’s first CAA title in program history. Previous conference titles were won in the America East Conference along with the East Coast Conference.

The Pride had secured at least a bid to a second straight NIT by winning the CAA’s regular-season title. Needless to say, ending a nearly two-decade March Madness drought is far sweeter.

The Huskies (17-16) were worthy adversaries, jumping out to an early 14-6 lead. Hofstra fought back, but Northeastern held a slim halftime lead at 30-28. Eight consecutive points from Hofstra early in the latter frame, capped off by a Tareq Coburn dunk, began a historic second half.

Hofstra would take the lead for good via consecutive triples from Jalen Ray just prior to the six-minute mark. What was a 48-46 Northeastern lead became a Hofstra title. A 15-4 run helped the Pride go up by as many as 11. By then, there was enough to let the clock run out en route to the final margin.

The Pride now wait to see who they’ll play in their first NCAA Tournament game since falling to UCLA in 2001’s Round of 64. The 68-team bracket will be unveiled on Sunday night (6:00 p.m ET, CBS).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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