CLEVELAND – Road games at Minnesota and South Carolina, plus a 15-game home schedule, highlight the 2019-20 Cleveland State men's basketball schedule.
The Vikings 15 home games includes nine Horizon League contests and games versus Florida International, Toledo and DePaul.
Cleveland State will face seven teams that advanced to postseason play in 2018-19, including Minnesota and Northern Kentucky, which each qualified for the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
"I'm confident that our players, and fans, want high caliber, competitive basketball," Gates said. "And our schedule delivers exactly that."
After opening the season with an exhibition home game against Notre Dame (Ohio) on Oct. 30, Gates, and the Vikings, will open the non-conference season on Nov. 5 at Minnesota. This will mark the first-ever meeting between the Vikings and the Gophers. The Vikings will take on a Minnesota squad which finished the 2018-19 season with a 22-14 overall record and an NCAA Tournament appearance.
Cleveland State will open the home portion of its schedule against Edinboro on Nov. 9 at 3:30 p.m. in the Wolstein Center. The Nov. 9 contest is Fan Appreciation Day and fans will be admitted free of charge to the home contest against the Fighting Scots. Tickets will be available while supplies last, and must be claimed in advance online. All seats will be general admission, while season ticket holder seats will be reserved.
"Cleveland State University and the city of Cleveland have been so welcoming to me and my family since our arrival," said Gates. "As an expression of our gratitude the basketball program would like to invite all of our fans to our regular season home opener free of charge. We look forward to creating an intimidating environment in the Wolstein Center and know that fans who attend on Nov. 9 will appreciate our style of play and enthusiasm and will return for future contests throughout the season."
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 the first game since the 1980-81 season.
The D.C. Classic will also include a home contest against Florida International on Nov. 19, before the Vikings travel to the nation's capital for a pair of games vs. UNC Wilmington on Nov. 22 and Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 23. 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.
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.
The Vikings will open Horizon League play with a pair of road games. Cleveland State will face UIC on Dec. 28 in the league opener and then travel to Indianapolis for a meeting with IUPUI on Dec. 30.
Cleveland State will meet Youngstown State on Jan. 4 in the Wolstein Center in its Horizon League home opener, which kicks off a three-game homestand.
The Vikings will also face Detroit Mercy on Jan. 9 and Oakland on Jan. 11 as a part of the three-game stretch.
Following road games at Wright State on Jan. 16 and Northern Kentucky on Jan. 18, Cleveland State will return to the Wolstein Center for its longest homestand of the season.
The Vikings will face Green Bay on Jan. 23 to open the stretch of four consecutive home contests. Cleveland State will also meet Milwaukee (Jan. 25), IUPUI (Jan. 30) and UIC (Feb. 1) during the homestand.
Cleveland State returns to the road for three consecutive Horizon League games against Youngstown State (Feb. 8), Oakland (Feb. 13) and Detroit Mercy (Feb. 15).
The Vikings will conclude the home portion of their schedule against Northern Kentucky (Feb. 20) and Wright State (Feb. 22).
Cleveland State will finish the regular season on the road at Milwaukee (Feb. 27) and Green Bay (Feb. 29).
Fans will have their first opportunity to see Cleveland State on Oct. 5 at the Viking Basketball Showcase. The event will feature player introductions, skill competitions, a interview with Gates and an autograph session. The Viking Basketball Showcase will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Woodling Gymnasium and fans will be admitted free.
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, or by calling the ticket office at 216-687-4848. Single-game tickets will be available for purchase on October 1, while a full promotional calendar with ticket package details will be released in late September.
2019-20 Cleveland State Schedule (All Times EST)
Oct. 30 – Notre Dame (Ohio), 7 p.m. (Exhibition)
Nov. 5 – at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Nov. 9 – Edinboro, 3:30 p.m. (Free Admission)
Nov. 12 – at Missouri State, 8 p.m.
Nov. 15 – at South Carolina, TBA
Nov. 19 – Florida International, 7 p.m.
Nov. 22 – vs. UNC Wilmington, TBA (Washington, D.C.)
Nov. 23 – vs. Eastern Kentucky, TBA (Washington, D.C.)
Nov. 30 – Robert Morris, 6 p.m.
Dec. 4 – Toledo, 7 p.m.
Dec. 7 – at Kent State, TBA
Dec. 15 – at Bowling Green, TBA
Dec. 18 – DePaul, 7 p.m.
Dec. 21 – at East Tennessee State, TBA
Dec. 28 – at UIC, 3 p.m.
Dec. 30 – at IUPUI, 7 p.m.
Jan. 4 – Youngstown State, 3 p.m.
Jan. 9 – Detroit Mercy, 7 p.m.
Jan. 11 – Oakland, 3 p.m.
Jan. 16 – at Wright State, TBA
Jan. 18 – at Northern Kentucky, 7 p.m.
Jan. 23 – Green Bay, 7 p.m.
Jan. 25 – Milwaukee, 3 p.m.
Jan. 30 – IUPUI, 7 p.m.
Feb. 1 – UIC, 3 p.m.
Feb. 8 – at Youngstown State, TBA
Feb. 13 – at Oakland, 7 p.m.
Feb. 15 – at Detroit Mercy, TBA
Feb. 20 – Northern Kentucky, 7 p.m.
Feb. 22 – Wright State, 3 p.m.
Feb. 27 – at Milwaukee, TBA
Feb. 29 – at Green Bay, 8 p.m.
March 3 – Horizon League Tournament, TBA
March 5 – Horizon League Tournament, TBA
March 9 – Horizon League Tournament, TBA (Indianapolis, Ind.)
March 10 – Horizon League Tournament, TBA (Indianapolis, Ind.)