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2017 CBI Preview: Wyoming vs. Coastal Carolina, in a winner take all game

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It’s do or die time. Just like how basketball should be

NCAA Basketball: San Jose State at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

First off, I’m a Rockies fan. Nothing infuriates me more than media ripping into players because they play in a high-altitude stadium.

But, dear god, does altitude matter in basketball.

The biggest lead that Coastal Carolina had game one was 15 points. Wyoming’s biggest lead in game two? 27. That’s a 42 point swing.

If you won’t take my word for it, take CCU’s coach, Cliff Ellis’ word.

“Well, I tell you what, it’s a lot different when you play at about 7,200 feet. It gets to a lot of people. I mean, this is a first for us. It’s definitely a home-court advantage, because our players haven’t gone through this. But it is what it is. It is what it is.

“When you’re gasping for air and you’re not used to it, I think it can affect your legs, and hopefully the fact that we’ve got a day (without travel will help). Both teams traveled yesterday, and I think it showed the effects in the first half. But I think in the second half it got to us. Legs make shots, and we didn’t ever seem to have the legs to make them (h/t Brandon Foster, Casper Star-Tribune).”

Anyway, that’s the last I’m gonna harp on that.

Wyoming managed to overcome 15 turnovers (10 in the first half), partially on the back of the Chants’ atrocious shooting night. CCU shot 31.3% from the field, including 19.2% from three.

Justin James led all scorers with 21 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks.

Unfortunately for Coastal Carolina, the Cowboys (who are the undisputed best team in the Mountain West due to their shiny new CBI trophy) will be, well, winning the CBI.

Game tips at 5 p.m. MT on ESPNU

Pokes by 12.

See you next time.