When the regular season was winding down I kept a close eye on the standings. I looked at potential opening round match ups and thought of how they could potentially play out. One match up in particular I thought was the worst possible match up for that team. That match up was Colorado State vs Utah State, and I think its a horrible match up for Colorado State.
The Aggies won both meetings including a second meeting in which they dominated from start to finish on the road. Spencer Butterfield and Jarred Shaw scored 17 points a piece the first meeting and the Aggies shot 52 percent from three point range. The second meeting was more of a team effort with Shaw not being much of an offensive factor. He scored only 8 points with 10 rebounds and Butterfield scored 14 points and 8 rebounds doing much of his damage in the first half. Preston Medlin scored 18 points and the Aggies defense held the Rams to only 30% from the field. The worst part is they only shot 17% in the first half.
The Rams go through too many scoring droughts offensively, and that feeds into this Utah State team. The Aggies have a style of play that doesn't match up well with the Rams. Shaw in the middle is a problem for both Gerson Santo and JJ Avila. Their 3-point shooting defense allows for players like Butterfield to get hot. Daniel Bejarano and Jon Octeus were the only bright spots from the second game scoring 21 and 22 points respectively. Shot selection will be the most important factor in this game because the Rams are not a good rebounding team like last season. Utah State has bigs that will push around Avila and Santo on both ends on the floor. That's not good for the Rams. They'll need some extra possessions to win this game otherwise Utah State could run away with this one much like the previous one.
It's hard to beat a team three times in one season but this veteran Utah State team is capable of doing so. This is a match up nightmare for Colorado State, and it's going to take a good game from everyone to pull this one out. Whoever wins this game has a match up looming with San Diego State.