The Horizon League Champion Cleveland State University Vikings will take on the Cougars of University of Houston in the NCAA Tournament's first round Friday evening. Tipoff is at 7:15 p.m. and will be aired on TruTV.
Cleveland State, after emerging victorious in the thrilling Horizon League tournament, was named a 15-seed at the selection Saturday ceremony over the weekend. Houston, the winner of the American Athletic Conference, is a 2-seed. They are ranked No. 7 nationwide.
The game will be played at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana, one of several venues in and around Indianapolis, where the entire NCAA tournament is being staged this year due to Coronavirus precautions.
The Vikings are no stranger to being underdogs. In their two prior NCAA Tournament appearances, they were seeded 14 and 13, respectively, and defeated their first round opponents.
But Houston will be a tough matchup and would represent the Vikings' most dramatic upset yet. Coached by Kelvin Sampson, the Cougars boast one of the best defenses and the best long-distance shooting teams in the country. Sampson, since taking the reins in 2014, has revived the basketball program and taken the team to the NCAA tournament in 2018 and 2019.
The Vikings and head coach Dennis Gates will be riding high on their Horizon League performance and ready to show off their grit and bench enthusiasm to a national audience once again.
Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.