Finish Strong: Final Regular Season Outlook for Colorado State

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

The Rams with seven games left need to finish strong to make a push for a postseason tournament.

The Colorado State men's basketball team has survived the storm. After playing a less than stellar non conference schedule they have played well enough to push for a postseason tournament bid to possibly the NIT. For the most part their only conference losses have come to the top guns of the conference. A tough road losses to Utah State and Nevada are the only head scratching conference losses for the Rams. The Spectrum is a tough place to play for any opposing team and Nevada is a much improved team. This team has showed signs of growth by hanging tough with New Mexico and San Diego State despite losing both meetings with each team. The Rams have seven games left to boost their resumes and here's the outlook for each opponent.

Utah State - February 11th: This was a highly competitive game when these two played back on January 15th. It was fairly back and forth with Utah State having the biggest lead which was 10 points. The Spectrum is a tough place to win for opposing teams but now CSU has the home court advantage. In order for the Rams to win this game its going to take a team effort. JJ Avila and Daniel Bejarano can't be doing all the scoring which is what happened the previous meeting.  On the defensive end limiting Spencer Butterfield and Jarrett Shaw will also need to happen to win this game. Utah State shot 52% from three point range if that occurs again CSU will not win this game.

@ Fresno State - February 15th: This is going to be a tough game despite the 20 point win for CSU earlier in the season. The Bulldogs have won three straight and have played teams tough in conference despite a 4-7 record. Guard play will determine who wins this game. Limit Tyler Johnson and Marvelle Harris will determine whether the Rams can steal one on the road.

Boise State - February 18th: Boise has been disappointing to some because they were a favorite to win the conference in the preseason. This will not be an easy match up because the way Boise can shoot the ball.The Broncos can score a lot of points and with the Rams at times struggling with their outside shooting could spell doom if this becomes a high scoring game. Perimeter defense will determine the winner of this match up.

Wyoming - February 22nd and March 8th: This is a rivalry game and both venues will be full of energy. Colorado State swept the season series last season and Wyoming will be looking for revenge. Especially with the Rams going in to the Arena-Auditorium last march and thumping the Cowboys. Wyoming is all about gritty defense and they want to keep it to under 70 points If that happens they have the potential to steal both meetings. Patience on the offensive end will play a big part in how the Rams perform.

@ UNLV February 26th - The Running Rebels are a very inconsistent team, but they are very good at home. This is a tough environment to play in and the Rebels are playing for their NCAA tournament lives. They will also be fired up to play the Rams since they were blown out at Moby on February 5th.The Rams need to bring that same energy otherwise it could get ugly at Thomas & Mack.

San Jose State March 5th - The Spartans are 0-11 in conference but nearly upset the Rams on January 8th. They could either mentally check out or they could potentially play spoiler for teams looking to make a move. This is a comfortable win for CSU and it needs to be in order to impress committees for postseason tournaments.

The Rams to me need to win 5 of 7 and make some noise in the MWC tournament in order to possibly steal an NIT bid. They're capable of doing it but they can't afford lose games they don't have any business losing. Getting to the NIT will bring a huge amount of confidence going into next season. Expectations will be high because of the transfers coming in and the talent that is coming back. Take it one game at a time and finish strong Rams.

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