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Sports December 4, 2003

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Fans suprised by the performance of Vikings

Although most fans were dressed in the light blue of the opposition, Cleveland State Univerity supporters were still impressed by the crowd turnout, and the aggressive performance at the recent CSU Vikings basketball game against the North Carolina Tar Heels.

More than 11,000 people attended the most anticipated game of the year for the Vikings.

Angela Basham and Jeremy Shadlok, both students at CSU, said they’ve come to a lot of games in the past and they were excited about the large turnout.

“It’s great. It’s usually pretty lonely out there, but it is kind of disappointing that most of the people here are North Carolina fans,” Basham said.

Jason Flinner of Wooster said that he’s been to a couple of games, and while he came to cheer on the Tar Heels, he was amazed at the number of people at the game. He wasn’t at all surprised that he saw more light blue than green on the fans though.

Most people, regardless of loyalty, felt that CSU had little chance before tip off.

Brian Andrasak said that while he does attend CSU, he came to see North Carolina play and was very confident that they would come out on top.

“CSU doesn’t have a chance, they’ll get waxed,” Andrasak said.

Elijah Hodge of Cleveland said that while he hoped CSU would be victorious, he didn’t think a win was likely against such a historically strong team.

CSU alumni, Ron John-son, disagreed and said he had confidence in the Vik-ings game.

“They’re a great team this year,” Johnson said. “I think they’ll do well. They’ve got a good chance.”

By half time, no one could disagree with Johnson.

At the end of the first half, CSU was leading the game 41-37, and the same crowd that had favored the visitors at tip off, began to stand behind their home team. Between periods, people were eager for the second half of the competitive game to begin.

Hodge admitted during the break that his doubt in the Vikings might have been wrong. “They’re actually pulling through! It’s been really exciting, they just might win.”

During the second half, the crowd roared as the scores rose neck to neck.

Mark Schulenburg of Dayton said he was very surprised at the competitiveness of the game.

“Whenever North Carolina answers, CSU comes right back with a three,” Stukenburg said. “This has been one amazing game.”

The close game ended as a loss for the Vikings, but no one could argue that it was not an exciting night.

After the game, Todd Wiltrot of Jeromesville said he could finally relax. A long-time Tar Heels fan, he was shocked at the performance of his favorite team, but admitted that when it came down to it, CSU had played an excellent game.

“I knew North Carolina would win, I just didn’t think it would be that close,” Wiltrot added.

“It looks like Cleveland State has a pretty strong team on its hands this year.”

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