March Madness: The 40 Greatest NCAA Cinderellas

csu-cinderella-banner

They enter the dance as dark horses, longshots, sleepers, and underdogs. But since the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament introduced its seeding system in 1979, the biggest overachievers in March have always wound up going by one name: “Cinderella.” Incidentally, that is also the name of a brand new, live-action Disney film which—if I

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Buckeyes in Rip City: One Alum’s Account of OSU-VCU

Ohio State

In an era of 72-inch TVs, couches that will rub your feet, and Roombas that bring you the remote control, it’s easy to watch NCAA Tournament games from afar. Despite all of the modern-day amenities in the world, there is still nothing like watching your team in person. On Thursday, I was lucky enough to see my

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Christmas has arrived with the start of March Madness

updated ncaa court

Live college basketball starting at noon and running for the entire day for four straight days. This four day period is like Christmas Day for me in late March. When you have your brackets all set and you think to yourself that these picks are correct (and most of the time they end up being

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The Top 50 MAC Basketball Players: 1990-2015

zeke-marshall-50-mac

Analysts can condescendingly call it “mid-major” all they want, but the Mid-American Conference has produced its fair share of first-rate basketball talent—particularly since the league’s early ’90s expansion. And so, with the MAC Tournament back in Cleveland this week, it seems a fitting time to go back and give these relatively local legends their due—by

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Cleveland State’s Quest for Big Dance Ends in Valparaiso

Cleveland State Vikings

It wasn’t a surprising result. They were playing on the road. They were playing on the second night of a back-to-back. They were playing the conference champions. They were playing against a bigger team, a stronger team, perhaps a more skilled team. So it is not much of a shocker that the Cleveland State Vikings’

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Charting the Vikings’ Course to the Big Dance

CSU Viking Ship

Their regular season ended with disappointment, and their path to the NCAA Tournament is much tougher than it would have been had they beaten Valparaiso last Friday, but the Cleveland State Vikings ain’t dead yet. They are the number four seed in the eight-team Horizon League tournament, and Friday night they play the Detroit Titans in

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Blinded by the Lights: Cleveland State Struggles on Big Stage

Cleveland State

For any team, those words hurt to say after a loss. They especially hurt for this Cleveland State team. For a team whose reputation is built around defense; for a team that led the conference in steals (officially) and floor burns (unofficially); for a team whose attitude embodies the nebulous but fierce Rust Belt identity;

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Breaking Down CSU’s Shot at the Conference Title

Lonnie Timmons III/The Plain Dealer

Despite a boneheaded headline suggesting the contrary―seriously, who writes this crap?―the Cleveland State Vikings will play Friday night for a share of the Horizon League regular season title and the top seed in the Horizon League tournament. It looked as though CSU’s loss to Milwaukee would take them out of the title picture, as all powerhouse Valparaiso (then

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CSU falls to Milwaukee, loses shot at regular season conference title

Lonnie Timmons III/The Plain Dealer

Cleveland State controlled their own destiny, and then they fumbled it away. The Vikings beat Green Bay in an overtime thriller Friday night, but fell to the Milwaukee Panthers 66-60 Sunday afternoon in the second leg of their two-game Wisconsin road trip. The loss ends CSU’s hopes for the regular season Horizon League title,1 though they can still get

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CSU hands Green Bay first home loss, controls own destiny in Horizon League

Lonnie Timmons III/The Plain Dealer

The Cleveland State Vikings completed a season sweep of Green Bay Friday night, winning 66-61 in overtime and handing the Phoenix their first home loss of the season. They did it all on national television, with the game broadcast on ESPN2. With the win, Cleveland State improves to 18-11, and 11-3 in Horizon League play. They

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Cleveland State Splits Weekend Games; In Second Place in Horizon League

Cleveland State Team Picture

Cleveland State split two games over the weekend, losing a half-game’s worth of ground in their pursuit of the top spot in the Horizon League. They lost a heartbreaker in the closing seconds at Detroit Friday night, but rebounded to defeat Illinois-Chicago Sunday behind a strong second half. The Vikings’ record now stands at 16-11, 10-3 in

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Diving into the Buckeye makeup heading down the stretch

Ohio State Buckeyes

After a heartbreaking loss in East Lansing this weekend, Thad Matta’s Ohio State Buckeyes sit at 19-7 and 8-5 in the conference. With five conference games remaining before the Big Ten tournament, the Bucks are out of discussion for the regular season crown with the Wisconsin Badgers cruising. However, there is plenty to play for,

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Cleveland State outshoots Wright State, back on top of Horizon League

CSU-Wright State

Head coach Gary Waters’ tenure at Cleveland State has been defined by his teams’ defense, and this year’s squad is no exception. The Vikings entered Saturday afternoon’s game against the Wright State Raiders allowing less than 62 points per game, a mark that puts CSU in the top 20 percent of the 347 NCAA Division I teams. They average

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A Beginner’s Guide to the Cleveland State Vikings

Cleveland State Team Picture

Let me let you in on a little secret, sports fans: I did not expect to take the Cleveland State Vikings all that seriously when I took on the task of covering them this season. We at WFNY were glad to have access to the team, but we understood that the Vikings are not the biggest needle-mover in

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Cleveland State sends Green Bay packing

CSU-Green Bay

Last season, a surging Cleveland State team hosted Green Bay in mid-February. The Vikings were on a seven-game winning streak, including five on the road. It didn’t matter. The Phoenix came into Cleveland and embarrassed CSU. They led by 13 at the half and won by 14. Green Bay bested Cleveland State in field goal

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Audience with the King: Cleveland State Loses Before LeBron

CSU-Oakland

LeBron James, in town for the Cavaliers’ game against the Detroit Pistons Tuesday, was in attendance as the Cleveland State Vikings took on the Oakland Golden Grizzlies in Rochester, Michigan Monday night. The young Vikings would have done well to play like LeBron’s Cavaliers as they looked to win their fourth straight game and sweep

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Dismember the Titans: Cleveland State beats Detroit to win third straight

CSU-Detroit

During the national anthem Friday night at the Wolstein Center, Cleveland State guard Charlie Lee stretched his ankles. He put his right foot behind him and then his left, rotating each to warm up his lower joints as he surveyed his teammates. With two Vikings dealing with ankle issues—Andre Yates missed the game with a high

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Psst: Cleveland State Beats Youngstown State to win five of last six

CSU-YSU

Don’t look now, but the Cleveland State Vikings have won five of their last six and are in first place in the Horizon League. The Vikes (11-9, 5-1 Horizon League) have come alive in conference play after an up-and-down first half of the season, and claimed their second straight road win by defeating the Youngstown

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Who’s Over .500? These Guys! Cleveland State beats Wright State

CSU-Wright State

Don’t despair, Cleveland basketball fans. There’s one team with a winning record in the Forest City. The Cleveland State Vikings (10-9, 4-1 in Horizon League) did not play outstanding basketball Wednesday night in Dayton, where they squared off with the Wright State Raiders (10-8, 2-2). They shot a cover-your-eyes bad 3-of-19 from the three-point line.

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A Case of the Runs: Cleveland State edges Oakland

CSU-Oakland

The Cleveland State Vikings (9-8) defeated the Oakland Golden Grizzlies (5-11) in a back-and-forth matchup Thursday night at the Wolstein Center. CSU hopped on the Grizz early in the first half and led by 17 after the first eight minutes. They found themselves up by just two points with two minutes left in the game, but

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