2021 NIT: Memphis vs Colorado State Preview, TV Schedule, Livestream, and More
The Rams face the Tigers in the NIT Semifinals
Can the young Rams pull of the upset?
WHO: No. 1 Memphis Tigers (18-8, 11-4 AAC) vs. No. 1 Colorado State Rams (20-6, 14-4 Mountain West)
WHEN: Saturday, March 27th 12:00 PM ET/10:00 AM MT
WHERE: Comerica Center, Frisco, TX
TV/Stream: This matchup can be seen on ESPN and streamed on WatchESPN. FuboTV — Get a free seven-day trial
SERIES RECORD: This will be the first-ever matchup between these two schools.
ODDS via BETMGM: Memphis -4
The Colorado State Rams face the Memphis Tigers in a semifinal matchup of the National Invitation Tournament. The Rams are coming off a close victory over the NC State Wolfpack. While the Tigers are coming off of a last second win over Boise State.
This is going to be a second straight, first time matchup for the Rams. Memphis is the top defensive team in the country according to KenPom. Colorado State isn’t bad themselves, ranking 46th in those same defensive rankings. Memphis likes to use that defense to pressure the ball, force turnovers, and run the court on fast breaks. Colorado State isn’t afraid to play the same way, but is also comfortable in a half-court set.
𝘾𝙤𝙢𝙥𝙚𝙩𝙚 𝙃𝙖𝙧𝙙𝙚𝙧. 💥
— Colorado State Men’s Basketball (@CSUMBasketball) March 26, 2021
The Rams love the three point shot. But also aren’t afraid to take the ball to the rim. CSU ranks seventh in the nation in free throw percentage at 79.5% from the line. Memphis meanwhile, shoots just under 61% from the stripe. So look for the Rams to play aggressively on both ends of the court.
David Roddy leads the way for Colorado State with 16.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. Isaiah Stevens (15.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 5.4 assists) and Kendle Moore (10.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.6 assists) are the other Rams in double figures. James Moors and Dischon Thomas are going to play key roles for the Rams against the Tigers.
— Memphis Basketball (@Memphis_MBB) March 26, 2021
Memphis has a decent rotation of players with no one, stand out player. Penny Hardaway has this team playing together with 5 players averaging between 9.3 and 12.7 points per game. Landers Nolley II is the leading scorer at 12.7 points. DeAndre Williams is next at 11.2 points per game and AAC sixth man of the year Boogie Ellis just misses out on double digits at 9.9 points per game.
Memphis plays a pressure defense to try to force a team into turnovers, which the Rams have shown a tendency to do this year. However, the Tigers turn the ball over just as much. Memphis ranks 316th in the nation in turnover percentage at 22%.
Besides turnovers, AAC Rookie of the Year Moussa Cisse is a player to watch on the inside for the Rams. The freshman from Guinea only contributes 6.3 points per game, but he also chips in 6.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in just 18.8 minutes of action per game.
Memphis is the Vegas favorite here. It opened at -4.5, but has come down half a point. Colorado State isn’t a team to be taken lightly as they showed in a gritty win over NC State. But the Tigers aren’t going to just lie down either. This is going to be a dogfight between two scrappy squads.
Prediction: Colorado State 76, NC State 73