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Cleveland State to face Houston in first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday

The Cleveland State Vikings will face the Houston Cougars in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Friday night.

CLEVELAND — On Friday, the No. 15 seeded Cleveland State Vikings will face the No. 2 seed Houston Cougars in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

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What follows is everything you need to know about the Midwest Region's opening round matchup:

Game info, how to watch on TV, betting line:

Date: Friday, March 19, 2021

Time: 7:15 p.m. ET

Location: Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana 

TV channel: truTV

Live Stream:  March Madness Live

Betting line: Houston -20

Over-under point total: 134.5

Game preview

Laying claim to a 19-7 record and coming off a Horizon League Tournament championship, Cleveland State finds itself in the "Big Dance" for the first time since 2009. Led by Horizon League Coach of the Year Dennis Gates, the Vikings -- despite a shortened season -- have posted their highest win total since the 2014-15 season and their highest winning percentage since the 2010-11 campaign.

Yet despite their memorable regular season and conference tournament run, CSU has its work cut out for itself in Houston, which enters the tournament ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press Top 25. Led by head coach Kelvin Sampson, the Cougars lay claim to a 24-3 record and are coming off a 76-74 victory over Memphis in the AAC Conference Tournament.

Houston is paced by guard Quentin Grimes, who is averaging 18 points and six rebounds per game. Cleveland State, meanwhile, is led by guard and Horizon League Tournament MVP Torrey Patton, who has averaged 14.9 points and eight rebounds per game this season.