June 18, 2009
Contact: Brian McCann
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Building on a 2008-09 season that saw Cleveland State win its first Horizon League men's basketball championship and advance to the second round of the NCAA Championships, the Vikings have been selected as one of four featured teams for this year's Cancun Challenge. The announcement was made by head coach Gary Waters on Thursday.
The eight-team Cancun Challenge will be played from Nov. 18-25 with each team playings it first two games at campus sites and the final two contests at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico
Cleveland State joins Kentucky, Stanford and Virginia as the featured squads in the tourney, with each of the four schools playing four games, two of which will be played at home. The Vikings will host Florida A&M on Thursday, Nov. 19 and Sam Houston State on Saturday, Nov. 21. CSU then continues play in Cancun against Kentucky on Tuesday, Nov. 24 before closing out tournament play against either Stanford or Virginia on Wednesday, Nov. 25. All times will be announced later in the fall.
"This will be a great test for our program," Waters said. "The field will be one of the toughest among the early season exempted tournaments this year and it will provide a challenge for our young team and allow it to get better.
"The best part of the tournament is that we will get to play two quality opponents at home as part of it," Waters added.
This is the second year that the Cancun Challenge will be held at the five-star all-inclusive Moon Palace Resort. The tournament is owned and operated by Triple Crown Sports, which is located in Fort Collins, Colo. Triple Crown Sports is also responsible for organizing the women's Preseason and Postseason NIT
Admission to the tournament is only available by booking fan packages with Triple Crown. There will be no public sale of tickets. Fan packages can be booked online at www.cancunchallenge.net or by calling Melissa Koza at (970) 672-05676.
The Vikings, who went 26-11, won the Horizon League Tournament Championship and defeated Wake Forest in the opening round of the NCAA Championship, will return two starters and seven lettermen for the 2009-10 season.