Colorado State tries cementing their claim for an at large bid.
Will Air Force play spoiler?
THE SERIES: Colorado State hits the road to face Air Force.
GAME ONE TIP TIME: Saturday, February 27th 1:00 PM PST
Game One Stream: MW Network
GAME TWO TIP TIME: Monday, March 1st 7:00 PM PST
GAME TWO TV: CBS Sports Network
GAME TWO STREAM: FuboTV – Get a free seven-day trial
ODDS: Colorado State favored by 18 via WilliamHill
Colorado State enters the game in good shape to garner a bid into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013. There’s a few small hurdles to jump prior to getting into the tournament with the Mountain West tournament also looming soon. This is the first hurdle, two must-wins against a scuffling Air Force team.
If you like three point shooing, you likely will enjoy watching the AFA/CSU series with the absolute flame throwing these two squads do.
Colorado State ranks 45th in the NET rankings currently sandwiched between North Carolina & Oregon, two teams in the thick of the bubble.
Niko Medved’s crew is led by Isaiah Stevens, a conference player of the year candidate due to his loaded stat line of 14.9 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 5.9 APG while stroking it at a 42% clip from deep.
And then you have big fella, David Roddy, a double-double machine. The sophomore forward could have a big series with AFA’s post defense struggles, and Roddy is a brutal matchup for most teams. AFA’s post defenders Nikc Jackson, Ameka Akaya & Abe Kinrade.
The key contributors for CSU are Kendle Moore, a shifty 5’10 guard with lights out shooting ability. Then you have John Tonje, a sophomore that only played eight minutes-per-game last season, but made his name known with one of the plays of the year–a four point play to cap off Colorado State’s 27 point comeback against San Diego State. Tonje’s been a significant piece all season long.
The overwhelming concern I have about Colorado State is the amount of turnovers. Part of that comes with the nature of playing a rampant pace, but to be great, turnovers have to be toned down.
Also worth noting, Colorado State hasn’t played a game in three weeks to the day. We saw Baylor, the #2 team in the country come out flat against a subpar Iowa State team. The Rams cannot afford that in this contest.
The Academy blew a massive losing streak the other day after winning game two of the series against New Mexico. It’s been a rough season for AFA after losing 11 consecutive games.
I’m not sure where the Academy would be had A.J. Walker stayed in the transfer portal. Walker removing his name was huge, because without their star, I’m not sure they have any conferences victories, Walker’s been nothing short of terrific. The junior guard can light it up for 30 any given night due to his lethal stroke from long-range shooting to the tune of 42% from deep.
Joe Scott runs the Princeton offense, resulting in many three’s being taken along with a plethora of back cuts trying to snare an easy layup catching the defense sleeping. Nikc Jackson controls the offense being the decision maker in the teeth of Scott’s Princeton style offense.
We saw freshman guard Joseph Octave cement his name as a potential scorer for Coach Scott with a 22 point outing in the Falcons most recent game. If you can add Octave into the fold with the scoring of Walker & senior Chris Joyce, doing the brunt of the scoring.
KEYS TO THE SERIES:
Colorado State cannot sleep on defense. Niko Medeved’s defense is vastly improved, but you have to pay attention the entire game against Air Force to not get caught sleeping, because a back-cut is coming.
The Academy has to try getting Colorado State in compromising positions to force turnovers. That’s their path to being competitive,
PREDICTION GAME ONE: Colorado State 86, Air Force 63
PREDICTION GAME TWO: Colorado State 83, Air Force 67