The Cleveland State Vikings will hope that a streaky season culminates with a winning streak that sends them through the Horizon League Tournament and back to the NCAA Tournament, where they last pulled off an upset of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons as No. 13 seed in 2009.
Winning 10 of their first 11 games of the season, the Vikings appeared primed to win the regular season conference title, but a five-game losing streak late in the season opened the door for the Valparaiso Crusaders to cruise to first place as Cleveland State settled into second place.
No matter, both Cleveland State and Valparaiso will have the luxury of double byes into the semifinals of the conference tournament. As such, the Vikings do not yet know their opponent, but they will be playing at home on March 3.
After two straight wins to close the regular season, hope is springing anew for the Vikings as we move into March Madness.
Check out the full 2012 Horizon League Tournament bracket and schedule. All times are Eastern.
First Round - Tuesday, Feb. 28 (at campus sites)
Game 1: No. 10 Loyola (IL) at No. 3 Detroit, 7 p.m.
Game 2: No. 7 Green Bay at No. 6 Youngstown State, 7:05 p.m.
Game 3: No. 9 UIC at No. 4 Milwaukee, 8 p.m.
Game 4: No. 8 Wright State at No. 5 Butler, 7 p.m.
Second Round - Friday, March 2 (at Valparaiso)
Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 6 p.m. (Horizon League Network, ESPN3)
Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 8:30 p.m. (Horizon League Network, ESPN3)
Semifinals - Saturday, March 3 (at Valparaiso)
Game 7: Game 5 winner vs. (2) Cleveland State, 6 p.m. (live on ESPN3, tape delayed on ESPNU at 10:30 p.m.)
Game 8: Game 6 winner at (1) Valparaiso, 8:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Championship - Tuesday, March 6 (at highest remaining seed)
Game 9: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, time TBD
You can also head over to SB Nation's main NCAA Basketball hub at SBNation.com/NCAA-Basketball.