The third time is a charm for Cleveland State. After losing their two regular season bouts with Butler, each by only two points, the Vikings were able to unite and conquer. We're sure that Horizon league Coach of the year, Gary Waters, would trade those two regular season losses any day for the automatic bid and league champion tagline. You can call the 57-54 victory a three point win literally and figuratively. Cleveland State won the game from beyond the arc, knocking down a season high of 10.
Cleveland State is a resilient team that will grind it out to the end. Just ask Syracuse, who lost at the buzzer to these Vikings. Did coach Gray sign them up to be test subjects?
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Location: Ahh, burn your bracket if you don't know this.
Record: 25-10 (12-6)
Leading Scorers: J'Nathan Bullock (15.3 ppg), Norris Cole (12.9 ppg), Cedric Jackson (10.5 ppg)
What to know:
- The Vikings do their dirty work on the defensive end, only giving up 58.9 points per game, good for 10th in the nation. They are athletic so they will "slow the game down and grind it out." -Coincidentally R. Kelly's next single.
- Cleveland State has played a handful of tournament bound teams; Butler (3), Syracuse (w), West Virginia (L, 53-43) and Washington (L, 78-63). They will not be intimidated, unless they make a miracle run to the Sweet Sixteen.
- Cedric Jackson is the Vikings best player. A stat sheet filler, this 6'3" swingman hauls down over 5 rebounds, dishes out 5 and commits larceny three times a game.
Projection: The always dangerous 12 seed.