CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland State’s magical run will continue into the NCAA Tournament.
The top-seeded Vikings knocked off Oakland Tuesday night 80-69 to win the Horizon League tourney and clinch the league’s automatic bid.
Torrey Patton led CSU with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Tre Gomillion added 16 points and 13 boards.
The Vikings shot 56% in the first half and built a 40-28 lead at intermission.
CSU will find out its first NCAA tourney opponent on Sunday.
All NCAA tournament games will be held in Indianapolis due to COVID-19.
The Viking program also made the Big Dance in 2009 and 1986, when it advanced to the Sweet 16.
CSU is 3-2 all-time in NCAA tourney play.
The win improved the Vikings’ record to 19-7 this season, a remarkable turnaround from the 11-21 mark head coach Dennis Gates posted in his first season a year ago. Gates, 41, is the reigning Horizon League coach of the year.
Before he took over, CSU had suffered 5 straight losing seasons.
This is Gates’ first head coaching job after a successful run as an assistant at Florida State under his mentor, Leonard Hamilton.