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Colorado State’s Road to the Sweet 16

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CSU kept it rolling, winning the Paradise Jam tournament this weekend in the Virgin Islands

Resilient.

That’s the word to describe this Colorado State men’s basketball team after securing a victory in the Paradise Jam championship game against the Huskies of Northeastern on Monday night.

Down 16 points at halftime, CSU needed a perfect second half to come out champions in the Virgin Islands.

And that’s exactly what happened.

Down 20 points with with just over 17 minutes left to play, the Rams went on a ridiculous 36-8 run over the next 14:08 and ended up winning the game by 10 points, 71 - 61.

I mean look at this ridiculous Win Probability chart:

It was a remarkable comeback for Colorado State, who with this win, became just the 4th Mountain West team (BYU 2002/03, UNM 2012/13, and Nevada 2019/20) to win the Paradise Jam.

The story of the tournament was David Roddy.

In the three games CSU won, Roddy went for 30, 36, and 27, and was named Paradise Jam MVP. It was a breakout performance from someone already getting national recognition as not only one of the best players in the Mountain West, but as one of the best players in the country. Along with Isaiah Stevens, who had 26 assists and just four turnovers in three games, you can see why CSU is such a handful for opposing defenses.

And the Rams weren’t afraid to have a little fun afterwards.

I love this scene from the locker room after the game. These players are together. They have grown up in this program that Niko Medved has recruited them into, and have bought in 100%. They’re finally getting the chance to reap the rewards of all that hard work.

Unfortunately for the rest of the Mountain West, this team is looking more and more dangerous as they continue on their road to the Sweet 16.

Sitting at 6-0, and on the precipice of a Top 25 ranking, CSU is striding confidently into the toughest part of their schedule. After a couple of tune up games against Northern Colorado and Little Rock, the Rams finish off a four game home stand against Saint Mary’s and Mississippi State.

The Gaels out of Saint Mary’s remain a tough matchup, looking like one of the best teams coming out of the West Coast Conference. Colorado State will be looking for revenge in that game as they produced a dud last year against the Gaels, scoring only 33 points in that matchup.

Mississippi State has looked solid this year, coming to Fort Collins from the SEC, and providing a great opportunity for the Rams to get a solid out-of-conference win at home.

Finishing the out of conference slate, CSU will first be traveling to Tulsa, Oklahoma to face a Golden Hurricanes team that already has a win against Oregon State, an Elite 8 team from last year.

Finally, Colorado State will have its toughest test yet, going down to Tuscaloosa to match up against the #10 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. This final out-of-conference game has the opportunity to be a great resume booster come March, but more importantly will be an excellent barometer for the Rams to see how good they actually are.

It’s an exciting time to be a Colorado State basketball fan. Sit back and enjoy the ride.