DENVER — The Colorado State Rams are NCAA Tournament bound.
The selection committee announced Sunday that the Rams have received a 6-seed and will face the 11-seeded Michigan Wolverines in the opening round on Thursday. Tip-off is slated for 10:15 a.m. MT in Indianapolis, Ind., and the matchup will be televised on CBS.
— Colorado State Men’s Basketball (@CSUMBasketball) March 13, 2022
For a Rams team that came up just short of winning a conference championship this season, being one of the top 25 teams in the field is a showing of respect for a group that always had the mindset of March Madness or bust.
After not hearing their name called on Selection Sunday in March, 2021, the 2021-22 Rams came into the year determined not to feel the same heartbreak once again.
“We decided going into this season that we were going to go for it. We were going to schedule up and play as tough of a schedule as we could,” Niko Medved said postgame in Las Vegas Friday night.
Although they lost a couple of games due to COVID-19, like the matchups with Alabama and Tulsa, the Rams opened the year with a blowout of last season’s Sweet 16 darling Oral Roberts, had neutral site victories over Creighton and Mississippi State, and they beat an experienced Saint Mary’s team that is now ranked in the top 25 by 16 back in December.
Factoring in their 10-0 start, as well as a 14-4 regular season record against league opponents, including victories over each of the top four teams, CSU went into the Mountain West having already locked up a bid to March Madness — which is something that Medved hoped for all along.
“My goal for the regular season, maybe more than anything was, I wanted to show up here in Vegas at this tournament and feel like we were in, you know, and we did that,” Medved said.
“That’s hard to do. That’s really hard to do. And so our guys had a phenomenal season.”
The Rams are one of four teams to qualify for the NCAA Tournament out of the Mountain West Conference.
In addition to CSU, Boise State received an 8-seed and will play Memphis in the 8-9 matchup of the West region on Thursday. The winner will likely face Gonzaga in the second round. San Diego State is also an 8-seed and will play Creighton in the Midwest region. And Wyoming will face Indiana in a play-in game in Dayton, Ohio on Tuesday night.