CLEVELAND – Cleveland State has released its 2019-20 non-conference men's basketball schedule, highlighted by seven games against postseason teams, three games against in-state opponents and four home contests.
"Facing seven teams that advanced to the postseason last year presents us with a wealth of opportunities," said first-year head coach Dennis Gates. "Going on the road to face teams such as Minnesota, South Carolina, Kent State and East Tennessee State will be tremendous opportunities for team growth and improvement."
After opening the season with an exhibition home game against Notre Dame (Ohio) on Oct. 30, Gates, and the Vikings, will open the season on Nov. 5 at Minnesota. This will mark the first-ever meeting between the Vikings and the Gophers after Minnesota finished the 2018-19 season with a 22-14 overall record and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The Vikings will continue on the road with games at Missouri State (Nov. 12) and South Carolina (Nov. 15). Cleveland State and Missouri State (formerly Southwest Missouri State) will be meeting for the 18th time with the Vikings holding a 9-8 advantage, while the Vikings will face the Gamecocks for the second time ever and first since the 1980-81 season.
Cleveland State will open the regular season home portion of its schedule against Florida International on Nov. 19 as a part of the D.C. Classic. The Vikings and Panthers will be meeting for the fourth time, and Cleveland State owns a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series. FIU finished last season with a 20-14 overall record and was a participant in the Collegeinsider.com tourney.
"All four of the teams on our home non-conference schedule advanced to postseason play in 2018-19," Gates said. "Protecting our home floor in the Wolstein Center will be critical to our success this year and we expect our fans to come out and create a definitive home-court advantage."
The Vikings will then travel to the nation's capital for a pair of games in the D.C. Classic. Cleveland State will meet UNC Wilmington on Nov. 22 and conclude tournament play versus Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 23.
Cleveland State returns to the Wolstein Center for a pair of home games against Robert Morris and Toledo.
The Vikings and Colonials will square off for the 15th time on Nov. 30. Robert Morris finished the 2018-19 season with an 18-17 record and earned a spot in the Collegeinsider.com Tournament.
Toledo, which was 25-8 last season and participated in the NIT, visits the Wolstein Center on Dec. 4. This will mark the 17th all-time meeting between the two teams with the Rockets holding an 11-5 advantage.
In the middle game of three consecutive games versus Ohio teams, the Vikings will meet Kent State in the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center on Dec. 7. Kent State, which edged the Vikings 83-79 last season, was 22-11 overall last year and participated in the Collegeinsider.com Tournament. This will mark the 52nd all-time meeting between the Vikings and Golden Flashes and Kent State holds a 31-20 advantage.
Cleveland State concludes its three-game set against Mid-American Conference teams by playing the back end of a home-and-home series against Bowling Green on Dec. 15. The Vikings turned in one of their top performances of the 2018-19 season in defeating the Falcons 82-64 in the Wolstein Center. Bowling Green finished last season with a 22-12 overall and advanced to the MAC Tournament championship game.
The Vikings will then conclude a home-and-home series with DePaul as the Blue Demons visit the Wolstein Center on Dec. 18. DePaul defeated Cleveland State 83-73 last season in Chicago to even the all-time series at 1-1. The Blue Demons were a postseason team in 2018-19 and advanced to the finals of the CBI.
Cleveland State will close out the non-conference portion of its schedule on Dec. 21 with a visit to East Tennessee State. The Buccaneers posted a 24-10 record last season and earned a berth in the Collegeinsider.com Tournament. This will mark the first-ever meeting between Cleveland State and East Tennessee State.
Game times will be announced at a later date along with the complete 2019-20 schedule.
Fans can show their support for Cleveland State basketball by joining the Viking Fund, renewing season tickets or purchasing season tickets for the Vikings' upcoming 2019-20 campaign. More information is available online at csuvikings.com, or by calling 216-687-4848.
2019-20 Cleveland State Non-Conference Schedule
Oct. 30 – Notre Dame (Ohio) (Exhibition)
Nov. 5 – at Minnesota
Nov. 12 – at Missouri State
Nov. 15 – at South Carolina
Nov. 19 – Florida International
Nov. 22 – vs. UNC Wilmington (Washington, D.C.)
Nov. 23 – vs. Eastern Kentucky (Washington, D.C.)
Nov. 30 – Robert Morris
Dec. 4 – Toledo
Dec. 7 – at Kent State
Dec. 15 – at Bowling Green
Dec. 18 – DePaul
Dec. 21 – at East Tennessee State