Tonight March 10, 2017 • 10:30 p.m. MT • Thomas & Mack Center - Las Vegas, Nev.
TV: CBS Sports Network
Last night, during the Mountain West quarterfinals, the Aztecs played the type of game fans have waited all season to see. They dismantled a very formidable Boise State Broncos team, winning 87-68. Meanwhile, the powerhouse Colorado State handily defeated Air Force 81-55 yesterday in the quarterfinals, with an outcome that surprised no one.
Now the No. 2 Rams will continue play in the 2017 Mountain West Men’s Basketball Championship in the semifinals tonight (tomorrow for east coast fans) against No. 6 San Diego State. Tip off at the Thomas & Mack Center is set for 9:30 p.m. PST.
The San Diego State Aztecs are 19-13 this season. San Diego State is averaging 68.3 points per game and they are shooting 41.2 percent from the floor and 31.8 percent from beyond the 3-point arc while defensively they are allowing 62.4 points and their opponents are shooting 38.8 percent. Trey Kell leads the Aztecs averaging 13.2 points per game. Jeremy Hemsley is also averaging 13 points for SDSU, Malik Pope is averaging 10.2 points and 6 rebounds, and Zylan Cheatham is averaging 9.1 points and 6.3 rebounds. San Diego State is 6-0 in neutral site games this season and 11-9 in the Mountain West.
However, Pope is a game-time decision according to head coach Steve Fisher. Pope suffered a knee injury late in Thursday’s win over Boise State.
The Colorado State Rams are 22-10 this season and they are averaging 71.6 points per game while shooting 42.2 percent from the floor and 34.6 percent from beyond the 3-point arc while defensively they are allowing 66.9 points and their opponents are shooting 40.2 percent. Gian Clavell leads the Rams averaging 19.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Emmanuel Omogbo is averaging 14.1 points and 10.7 rebounds for CSU, Prentiss Nixon is averaging 12.5 points, and Jeremiah Paige is averaging 9 points. Colorado State is 1-1 in neutral site games and 14-5 in the MWC this season.
X-Factor: last night Max Hoetzel was 5/6 behind the arc. During the past two games Malik Pope has hit back-to-back double-doubles (if he plays). The Rams are streaky. If Gian Clavell treats the Aztecs like Stephanie Bess, the Aztecs will be in big trouble.
The Line: Colorado State Rams +2 -- Over/Under: 122.5