Cleveland State Vikings: Why They Could Ruin Your Bracket

Josh BAnalyst IMarch 16, 2009

I'm sure you've heard of Butler by now. But do you know what conference they're in? Or the name of one other team in their conference?

Well, I guess you can answer the second question from the headline, but realize that the Cleveland State Vikings are no scrubs.

They were the winners of the Horizon League, beating Butler 57-54. They had lost to Butler in the two previous meets, but only by two points in each of those games.

Butler and Cleveland State are similar teams. They both play great defense and are able to control the tempo by slowing it down, much like the San Antonio Spurs.

Both are so impressive at those aspects that they are always competitive against opponents from major conferences. The Vikings were just never ranked.

They will face Wake Forest in the first round. The Demon Deacons are the fourth seed, the Vikings the 13th.

Wake Forest has won games with an explosive offense that overpowers teams that can't keep up with them. They average 81.4 points per game.

However, they are vulnerable against a team that can stop the tempo. When held under 75 points, Wake Forest is just 5-4 this year.

That task isn't very unrealistic for Cleveland State, as they've gained experience from tough competition this season.

West Virginia averaged 72.4 points and Cleveland State held them to 53. Syracuse averaged 81.1 points and they were held to 69. Butler never scored more than 58 in their three games.

The Vikings are a team that can stop anyone's tempo. Perhaps they can do that to the Deacons.