Cleveland State basketball vs. Houston free live stream (3/19/21): How to watch TruTV, odds ...

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland State will play its first NCAA tournament game since 2009 on Friday night when it takes on Houston. Tipoff in Bloomington, Ind., is at 7:15 p.m. Eastern.

WATCH LIVE FOR FREE: Hulu Live TV (free trial). Also, Sling TVhas promotional offers.

Cleveland State won the Horizon League with an 80-69 win vs. Oakland on March 9. The Cougars routed Cincinnati, 91-54, to win the American Athletic Conference championship game.

Who: No. 15 Cleveland State (19-7) vs. No. 2 Houston (24-3).

When: Friday, March 19, 2021.

Time: 7:15 p.m. Eastern.

Where: Assembly Hall, Bloomington (17,742).

TV: truTV.

Cable channel finder: AT&T U-Verse, Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum/Charter, Optimum/Altice, Cox, DIRECTV, Dish, Verizon Fios, WOW.

Live streams: Sling TV(promotional offers) and Hulu + Live TV (FREE trial).

Latest line: Houston -20.

Announcers: Carter Blackburn, Debbie Antonelli and Evan Washburn.

Read some of what freelancer Robert Fenders wrote about CSU’s Tre Gomillion, who is the defensive stalwart that powers the Vikings.

When looking for the main ingredient that has led the Cleveland State Vikings to their first NCAA tournament berth in 12 years, look no further than the defensive grit of Tre Gomillion.

The 6-foot-4, 215 pound junior guard out of Augusta, Georgia has been the backbone of the Vikings’ Horizon League championship run, taking home Defensive Player of the Year and helping bolster the conference’s second-ranked team defense (68.0 PPG).

Cleveland State also ranks first in 3-point defense and turnovers forced. His running mate, Deante “Spida” Johnson, earned a spot on the Horizon’s first-team all-defensive unit.

“That reward really just tied into what we do as a team,” Gomillion said. “We pride ourselves on defense. It just prides on what we do all together. We play defense as a group. It’s not a one man award. It belongs to the team. But I was really honored to receive it, without a doubt.”

Head coach Dennis Gates has consistently said that any individual awards earned immediately go to the Vikings as a whole. That includes Gates’ back-to-back Horizon League Coach of the Year accolades.

The Vikings were picked to finish seventh in a preseason poll, something that continues to fuel them.

“Most of the drive came from we felt disrespected,” Gomillion said. “I think we spent most of the year and we are still spending time right now feeling disrespected. It didn’t really come from nothing else. It’s just coming from not even trying to earn respect but make people respect us.”

Gomillion’s defensive prowess began back in high school with a little tough love.

“My high school coach used to tell me that a lot of colleges didn’t want me because I was a liability on defense,” he said. That phrase lit the flame, which led to a state championship with Augusta’s Aquinas High School in 2017-18 and carried through the one-on-one style of JUCO right into Cleveland State in 2019.

“I learned that the biggest thing to staying on the floor is defending yours and that is going to be the key to getting the most playing time,” Gomillion said. “As long as you defend, the offense will come.”

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