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Vikings Get Send-off to City of Brotherly Love for NCAA Tournament

Women's B-ball Vikings off to the Big DanceThe CHASE is ON! Vikings head to the City of Brotherly Love for a little dancin' at the NCAA Tournament

Cheers and enthusiasm echoed throughout the Wolstein Center atrium as fans and supporters clad in green and white gathered Thursday afternoon to show their support and admiration for the Cleveland State Women’s Basketball team as they departed for Philadelphia.

What’s all the fuss about? Oh, you know, just a Saturday afternoon date with the Villanova Wildcats in round one of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.

It's been 13 years since CSU has participated in the "big dance," and it was such a momentous occasion that even Rune (CSU therapy dog and, judging from the reception, de facto team good luck charm) got in on the action.

After defeating Green Bay on March 7 to capture the Horizon League championship, the women seeded 13, will look towards bigger and better things against a Wildcats squad that comes in with a 28-6 record. The matchup between the two schools will be the first-ever meeting in the NCAA Tournament. At 30-4, CSU set the program record for wins in a season and is led by Horizon League Player of the Year, Destiny Leo and Deja Williams, who won Horizon League Sixth Player of the Year.

Women's B-ball Vikings off to the Big Dance“I came here five years ago and envisioned this happening,” said fifth-year CSU coach Chris Kielsmeier of the tournament bid.

“I never wavered from it at any point in time in my head as long as I knew we had the continuing support of so many others... stuff like this doesn’t happen without the support of a lot of people. I really couldn’t be more proud of our players and our program.”

Note: For those unable able to make it to the game, it will be broadcast on ESPNU and on WTAM 1100 AM starting at 5:00 p.m. this Saturday, March 18.