Cleveland State was disappointed to be seeded third in the Horizon League Tournament after spending so much of the season in the driver’s seat. Now, with a first round BYE gone, the Vikings would have to win three games to get the League’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. That voyage started tonight with the 73-61 home win over Illinois-Chicago at the Wolstein Center.
Norris Cole scored 26 points for the Vikings, who broke a school record with 16 home wins on the season. Cleveland State raced to a 40-23 halftime lead and never looked back in moving to 25-7 on the season.
Up next, the Vikings will play No. 6 seed Wright State who defeated Green Bay 60-50 in their first round match.
In the other two Horizon League games, Detroit got past Loyola (IL) 90-69 while Valparaiso beat Youngstown State 80-71.
Cleveland State has defeated Wright State twice this season, beating them at home 65-46 on January 22, then winning the road rematch 74-72 on February 16.