The Cleveland State men's basketball team released its 2011-12 schedule on Wednesday, and the Vikings will be tested early with eight of their first 10 games on the road.
CSU will open the regular season in a nationally televised game at Vanderbilt (ESPNU) on Nov. 13 as part of the Ticket City Legends Classic. The Crusaders return all five starters from a team that lost to Richmond in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.
Two days later, CSU will have its home opener against Rio Grande and St. Bonaventure visits the Wolstein Center on Nov. 18.
Then CSU will play seven straight road games.
On Nov. 22, CSU travels to Kent State, who return four starters from a team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT.
Then CSU will conclude play in the Legends Classic in the Kingston subregional at Rhode Island during Thanksgiving weekend.
In Rhode Island, CSU will play Boston University on Nov. 25, Hofstra on Nov. 26 and Rhode Island on Nov. 27. All three teams that CSU will face in the Kingston subregional played in postseason play last season.
The Vikings will open the month of December back on the road at Wright State (Dec. 1) and at Detroit (Dec. 3) to start Horizon League play.
Then they will finish the long road trip at Robert Morris on Dec. 8.
The Vikings return home on Dec. 10 to face Akron, a NCAA tournament team a year ago.
Rounding out the rest of the non-conference schedule include a home game against Sam Houston State (Dec. 22), and road games at South Florida (Dec. 19), and at Toledo (Dec. 28).
Highlighting the conference schedule is a home-and-home with Butler, the national runners-up the past two years. The Vikings will travel to Butler on Jan. 13 and the Bulldogs will make the return trip to Cleveland on Feb. 11. Both games will be televised nationally on ESPN's family of networks.
The Vikings will close out the regular season playing five of their last seven games at the Wolstein Center, including hosting a BracketBusters game on Feb. 18. The BracketBusters opponent will be determined in early February.
CSU will have at least six TV games and will play as many as 13 games against teams that advanced to postseason play last year, including five against NCAA Tournament teams.
2011-12 Cleveland State men's basketball schedule
Nov. 9, JOHN CARROLL (exhibition), 7 p.m.Nov. 13, at Vanderbilt^, 3 p.m., ESPNUNov. 15, RIO GRANDE, 7 p.m.Nov. 18, ST. BONAVENTURE, 7 p.m.Nov. 22, at Kent State, 7 p.m.
Ticket City Legends Classic (at Rhode Island) Nov. 25, vs. Boston University^, 4:30 p.m.Nov. 26, vs. Hofstra^, 1:30 p.m.Nov. 27, at Rhode Island^, 2:30 p.m.
Dec. 1, at Wright State, TBADec. 3, at Detroit, TBADec. 8, at Robert Morris, 7 p.m.Dec. 10, AKRON, 2 p.m.Dec. 19, at South Florida, 7 p.m.Dec. 22, SAM HOUSTON STATE, 7 p.m.Dec. 28, at Toledo, 7 p.m.Dec. 31, YOUNGSTOWN STATE, 2 p.m.
Jan. 5, UIC, 7 p.m.Jan. 7, LOYOLA (IL), 2 p.m., HLN/GOTWJan. 13, at Butler, 7 p.m., ESPNUJan. 15, at Valparaiso, 2:35 p.m.Jan. 20, GREEN BAY, TBA, ESPNUJan. 22, MILWAUKEE, 2 p.m.Jan. 28, at Youngstown State, 7:05 p.m.
Feb. 3, at Loyola (IL), 9 p.m., ESPNUFeb. 5, at UIC, TBAFeb. 9, VALPARAISO, 7 p.m.Feb. 11 BUTLER, 11 a.m., ESPN/ESPN2Feb. 14, at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.Feb. 18, BRACKETBUSTERS, TBAFeb. 21, at Green Bay, 8 p.m.Feb. 23, DETROIT, 7 p.m.Feb. 25, WRIGHT STATE, 2 p.m.
2012 Horizon League ChampionshipFeb. 28, First Round at Campus Sites, 7:00 p.m.
March 2, Second Round, Site TBA, TBAMarch 3, Semifinals, Site TBA, TBAMarch. 6, Championship, Site TBA, TBA
^TicketCity Legends Classic
This article also appeared at the BleacherReport.com