By Gavin Davis, news correspondent
College basketball has made its return, to the delight of many. When talking about college basketball, one cannot forget to mention the loyal fan bases, which give their all to support their squads.
Student groups like Duke University’s Cameron Crazies or Michigan State University’s Izzone, named after long-time head coach Tom Izzo, are dedicated to supporting their teams. With the Northeastern University (NU) basketball season in full swing, NU’s own student section, the N Zone, sets its sights on a big year from the Huskies.
“We hope that everyone at the game considers themselves a member of the N Zone,” fourth-year journalism major Emily McCarthy, one of the leaders of the N Zone, said. “We all make up the N Zone.”
With the team coming off a Colonial American Association (CAA) title, McCarthy, along with her co-leader Michael Samaha, are looking to continue the N Zone’s support for Northeastern men’s basketball.
“After our victory in the CAA championship, the athletic department gave us the opportunity to cut down the other net, piece by piece, which I will be wearing in my head band for good luck every game this year,” Samaha said. “Hands down one of the coolest moments of my life.”
Both McCarthy and Samaha have been involved in the student section since their freshman year at Northeastern. Now, in their fourth year, they have been leading the crowd for three consecutive seasons.
Samaha has always had a passion for cheering on the teams he supports.
“Back in high school, my school had a pretty active student section for both football and basketball,” Samaha said. “Once I got here, I immediately wanted to be a part of the N Zone and what they accomplished.”
Since its inception at the start of the 2009-10 season, the N Zone has made its mark on the world of Northeastern basketball. This impact is seen not only by the Husky fans but by members of the team themselves.
“[The N Zone] plays a huge role in our success, especially in our home games,” senior guard Zach Stahl said. “We love it when they get rowdy. It hypes us up and gives us a surge of energy and momentum, which is so crucial.”
The student section calls the 525 seats encircling the court at Matthews Arena home and does everything it can to give Northeastern an advantage, using tactics of support and intimidation.
“If the fans need to know something, we’ll let them know,” Samaha said. “Whether it’s scandals on the other roster or one of our players is nearing some sort of achievement… we do plenty of research beforehand, so we remain well-informed with plenty of things to cheer and scream.”
Anyone interested in getting involved can contact the N Zone via Twitter at @TheRealNZone.
Photo by Brian Bae