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Selection Sunday: Why Colorado State has to make it in NCAA Tournament

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March 15, 2015

This year, Eustachy’s Rams ran off 14 straight wins to begin the season – a new school-record – and wound up in the Top-25 at that point, landing at No. 24 in the nation. The ranking was only the third such in CSU men’s basketball history, and the second time the green and gold have been ranked since Eustachy came to Fort Collins in 2012.

During that 14-0 start, the Rams defeated Georgia State (22-9), beat UC Santa Barbara to win the Great Alaska Shootout, upended UTEP (21-11) and beat Boise State (22-8). According to realtimerpi.com, when Colorado State’s 14-game winning streak was snapped by New Mexico at The Pit, it was the Rams’ one “bad loss” of the season. But, in late January with the win over San Diego State, they also earned a fifth “quality win.”

Including their victory over Fresno State in the Mountain West Tournament’s second round and the loss on Friday night in the third round to SDSU, Colorado State finished the year 27-6, 14-6 MW. 27 victories was another school-record for Eustachy’s team and their RPI is 28th-best in the land.

Simply, with those numbers, it would be a travesty if CSU missed out on March Madness.

Of course, what throws a wrench into things is the Wyoming Cowboys coming out of nowhere to win the MW Tournament. They’re now guaranteed to get in and SDSU (RPI: 24) will certainly be in, too. That leaves Boise State (RPI: 42) and Colorado State (RPI: 28) sitting on the edge of their seats when Selection Sunday is broadcasted on CBS this evening.

Of course, when Wyoming won, it turned those “bad losses” into just regular ol’ losses for CSU. In a way, it actually helped the Rams. Will the selection committee really take four Mountain West teams? Probably not. Boise will have to be left out if the committee see things clearly.

Still, there are “Selection Sunday horror stories,” as abcnews.com explained today. In 2006, Missouri State was snubbed with a 20-8 record and RPI of 21. In 2012, the Drexler Demons were left out despite their 27-6 (same as CSU’s) record but an RPI of 66. Combined, the Rams’ strong record and RPI has to be enough to get them in. Right?

For Colorado State, going dancing isn’t certain until their name flashes on the show tonight. You can watch it all on CBS starting at 4 pm MT.


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