2023 Mountain West Conference Tournament: #8 Colorado State vs #9 Fresno State
The Rams host their in-state foe
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Can the Rams play their game?
WHO: #9 Fresno State Bulldogs vs. #8 Colorado State Rams
WHEN: Wednesday, March 8th — 12 p.m. MST / 11 a.m. PST
WHERE: Thomas & Mack Center; Las Vegas, NV (18,000)
STREAMING: Mountain West Network
SERIES RECORD: This will be the 45th all time matchup between the two schools. CSU leads the series 25-19
LAST MEETING: Colorado State won 60-57 in Fresno earlier this season.
ODDS: Colorado State -1.5
The Mountain West tournament is here. And that means throw the regular season out of the window. Every team is 0-0 in each game in a do or die matchup. Anything can happen and since it’s in Vegas, something crazy is bound to happen.
The first matchup of this years tournament sees the Fresno State Bulldogs take on the Colorado State Rams. Both teams are coming in off of down years and both teams have a chance to take this game. Colorado State swept the season series, but Fresno State didn’t make it easy.
Players to Watch
G Anthony Holland – Fresno State
Held relatively quiet in their first matchup, Holland stepped up in the second matchup in the abscence of Isaih Moore. He finished with 14 points and five rebounds, while going 60% from deep. CSU has a tendency to let someone get hot from deep. If that guy is Holland, the Bulldogs could take this one.
G John Tonje – Colorado State
As Tonje goes, the Rams go. Isaiah Stevens is the leader of this team, but Tonje is the motor that keeps it running. When Tonje has a down overall game, so do the Rams. When he is all over the court, the Rams can run wild. If the Rams want to advance Tonje has to step up.
Things to Watch
Can the Rams move the ball? Can Colorado State hold the line on defense? Can the Bulldogs slow down the Rams? Can Fresno State gets anything going on offense? These are all questions that will determine the outcome of this game.
The Rams like to score, they haven’t done that well on the defensive end this year. If the Rams can play their game and hold the Bulldogs down they can advance. The Bulldogs slow it down and drag things out. If they can force the Rams into tough shots and make easier shots themselves, Fresno State will come out on top.
Neither Colorado State nor Fresno State has been exceptional this year. Fresno State scares San Diego State more, but the Bulldogs haven’t done well against the Rams this season. Expect the Rams to start fast and finish this game strong to salvage something from this season.
Final Score: Colorado State 70, Fresno State 62