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NCAA Basketball: Cleveland State Verses Milwaukee A Huge Game For The Horizon Lead

Cleveland State have their most important game of the year so far this weekend, facing conference leaders Milwaukee for the first time.

The Cleveland State Vikings have made a grand total of two NCAA Tournament appearances in their basketball history. With the most recent in 2009 and now a two year lull in between, the Vikings have got to be excited to see their team doing so well this season so far. They looked good enough outside of conference play to cause some excitement and won their first few in the Horizon conference as well. That was until the recent 72-66 loss to Valparaiso back on Sunday dampened their spirits a bit when it came to the Horizon standings.

Fortunately for the Vikings, they have a chance to put a claw back in their conference this week as they take on current leaders Milwaukee for the first of two meetings between the Vikings and Panthers remaining this year. It's sure to be a good pair of matchups, both teams average about 64 points per game with the Vikings playing a very team oriented game filled with assists and the Panthers preferring to dominate the boards. A win by Milwaukee would likely solidify them as the leaders of the conference, thus why this one is going to be so important a win for Cleveland State to covet.

Milwaukee currently leads the Horizon with a 6-1 conference record, and Cleveland State after the Valparaiso loss sit just behind at 5-2. Two wins against the Panthers and Cleveland State could be looking at their second March Madness appearance in three years and only their third in team history, dating back to their first appearance in 1986.

You can see more about NCAA hoops at the SBnation College Basketball hub.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.