LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 10: Greg Smith #44, Travis Franklin #1 and Will Bell #23 of the Colorado State Rams react on the bench late in their 67-61 loss to the New Mexico Lobos in a quarterfinal game of the Conoco Mountain West Conference Basketball tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center March 10, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Two days after taking down the Georgia Bulldogs in a down to the wire thriller at the Coors Event Center, the Colorado Buffaloes now take a short trip to Fort Collins to take on the Colorado St. Rams. The Buffs are sitting at 4-2 so far on the season after close victories over the Bulldogs and Air Force in Colorado Springs. In Monday's match-up Andre Roberson tied his career high with 15 points and 15 rebounds and the freshmen duo of Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker had their best combined game of the short season.
Now, Tad Boyle's team take on an in-state rival looking for an upset with little more than a day to prepare. The Rams also enter tonight's game at 4-2 with losses to Stanford and Southern Mississippi and the last win coming over Manhattan in overtime eight days ago. The team is lead by junior guard Wes Eikmeier, who is averaging 17 points per game and is shooting 40% from three point range. Dorian Green and Jesse Carr round out a back court for the Rams that has played well, but only averages 10 assists a game. Up front, CSU leans on junior Greg Smith, one of four Nebraksa natives on the squad.
The Buffaloes match-up well with this Ram team and should be able to control the pace of the game if Nate Tomlinson can deliver a performance similar to the one he delivered against Air Force. Andre Roberson should have no problem putting up another double-double if he can finish around the basket. Colorado State won't go down without a fight however. Last season the Buffs needed overtime to win, 90-83, and the they fell two years ago in Fort Collins.
If Colorado can get their second straight road win, the team will return home for eight straight games and won't have to leave Boulder until mid-January. Holding serve at home would allow the Buffs to have a good start on a tournament-worthy resume, but a loss tonight would put a major dent in any postseason plans.