Cleveland State Paired With Wake Forest in NCAA Tournament
Vikings Will Clash With Demon Deacons in Miami on Friday
The NCAA didn't do any favors for Cleveland State today pairing them with a heavyweight out of the ACC in their first round match-up in the NCAA Tournament. The Vikings will tip-off against Wake Forest on Friday in Miami. The Vikings were given a #13 seed which is truly perplexing when looking at the brackets. The NCAA seeded the Arizona Wildcats in the same region at number #12 despite losing the last 5 out of 6 contests and having an RPI of 62 compared to 54 for the Vikings. The NCAA Tournament Committee is suppose to look at both those things when pairing teams. Many observers believe that NCAA does everything in their power to give a harder road to the final four for smaller conferences like Cleveland State's Horizon League and these types of decisions only will add to that type of talk.
Gary Waters said that he was expecting to get a 11 or 12 seed in the tournament and noted that they had a higher RPI than 16 teams in the tournament. The Vikings head coach noted that the Vikings have had success in the state of Florida the past two seasons going 3-0 this season and upsetting the Florida State Seminoles last season. When asked about Wake Forest, Waters state:
They are tough. They are really tough. They are talented. They are athletic and have great size. They can shoot the ball. The one negative is that they are young.
Waters noted that the Demon Deacons play 10 men and have great depth. He added that he has closely followed them all season long and watch the team four times this season. Waters said that the Vikings staff was beginning to prepare tape right way on the team.
If the Vikings can get past the former #1 ranked team in the nation from earlier in the year, Cleveland area basketball fans may have a treat in store for them in the sweet sixteen. If the Vikings and Ohio State Buckeyes were to win their first games in the tournament, they would face off in Indianapolis.