CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A December 15 road game at Syracuse, a site change for the Thanksgiving week CBE Classic and a shakeup of dates for four home games are among the changes in the final 2008-09 Viking men's basketball schedule, which was released on Monday.
"It took a little while to put this all together, but I think our fans will be happy with our schedule," CSU head coach Gary Waters said. "The changes that we made ensure that we will play as challenging a schedule as possible and I believe that we have accomplished this.
"Adding Syracuse to the schedule not only gives us a road game against another NCAA Tournament caliber opponent, but it moves the Oakland game to the season opener. Oakland is the favorite to win their league this season and the newspapers are referring to them as the best team in Michigan this year."
The changes to the schedule consist of:
Moving the season-opening home game against John Carroll from Nov. 14 to Nov. 10 and making it the lone exhibition game that CSU will play;
Moving the home game against Oakland, originally scheduled for Dec. 16, to Saturday, Nov. 15 where it will serve as the regular season opener;
Moving the site of the three games at the CBE Classic from Ft. Myers, FL (Forida Gulf Coast) to Miami, FL (Florida International). CSU will now play FIU, Toledo and Tennessee Tech from Nov. 24-26 with the dates and times to be determined in the next two weeks;
Adding home games against La Roche College (Dec. 20) and Notre Dame College (Dec. 27) to complete the home slate for the year.
The changes made gives Cleveland State 15 home games on the calendar, 14 regular season contests and the Nov. 10 preseason match-up against John Carroll.
The addition of Syracuse to the schedule may have a special meaning for the Vikings as CSU will visit The Carrier Dome for the first time since defeating Indiana and St. Joseph's as part of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship during the 1985-86 season.
The Vikings will play nine games against teams that went to postseason play last season, five against NCAA teams, one vs. an NIT squad (Syracuse) and three against CBI participants (Washington, twice vs. Valparaiso). The five NCAA teams include Kansas State (Nov. 22 ) and Kent State (Dec. 23) at home, a home-and-home series with Butler (Dec. 4 at CSU, Feb. 28 at Butler) and a road game at West Virginia (Dec. 6).