Colorado State opens NCAA tourney against Missouri

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Colorado State men’s basketball team will continue its record-setting season in the 2013 NCAA Championships, as the Rams earned the No. 8 seed in the Midwest Region. The NCAA selection committee announced the bracket Sunday afternoon.

Colorado State (25-8), was selected as a recipient of one of 37 at-large bids, and will travel to Lexington, Ky., to play No. 9-seeded Missouri on Thursday. The game will be televised nationally on TBS, and will tip at approximately 9:20 p.m. ET/7:20 p.m. MT, following the conclusion of the game between No. 1 Louisville and either North Carolina A&T or Liberty. Ian Eagle will call the play-by-play along with color analyst Jim Spanarkel and sideline reporter Allie LaForce.

Colorado State is making its second straight NCAA tournament appearance, a feat accomplished twice before in program history, first in 1965 and 1966, and again in 1989 and 1990. It marks the Rams’ 10th overall appearance in the national tournament field.

The Rams’ No. 8 seed is the best for the program since the NCAA began seeding the tournament field in 1979. The field was unseeded during the Rams’ tournament runs in 1954, 1963, 1965, 1966 and 1969, and the team earned No. 10 seeds in both 1989 and 1990. The 2003 squad was a No. 12 seed, and last year’s team earned an 11 seed.

This marks first-year Head Coach Larry Eustachy’s fifth appearance in the NCAA Championships, and his second straight after guiding the Southern Miss Golden Eagles to a 2012 berth.

"We're excited about Sunday, obviously," said Eustachy. "We're not worried about who we are playing. It's always about us, not the opponent."

On playing Missouri, he said, "They like to pressure and they like to trap. We have to take care of the ball to have a chance.”

In addition to his run at USM, Eustachy previously led Utah State (1998) and Iowa State (2000 and 2001) to the tournament, guiding the 1999-2000 Cyclones all the way to the Elite Eight.

”“I’ve seen them play a lot this year. They have a real good point guard in Phil Pressey who makes a lot of plays for his teammates and they’re a really good rebounding team," said senior Greg Smith.  “We just have to go out there and play our game. As long as we do what coach has us doing, we’ll be fine.” 

“We’re just excited for the opportunity to get down to Kentucky again and play better than we did last year," said senior G Dorian Green.

Colorado State has won a school-record 25 games entering the tournament, and finished the 2012-13 regular-season alone in second place in the Mountain West standings.

Missouri is 23-10 entering tournament action, and is making its fourth consecutive – and 26th overall – appearance in the NCAA tournament. The Tigers finished tied for fifth in the SEC with a league mark of 11-7.

The matchup between the CSU and Missouri is just the third all-time. The team’s split the previous meetings, each winning at home. The Rams defeated the Tigers 64-52 at Moby Arena on Dec. 16, 1967. Missouri captured the 81-55 win in Columbia on Dec. 17, 1969.

Source: CSURams.com

Ticket Information: A limited number of tickets remain available for purchase by alumni, season-ticket holders and Ram Club members. Please call the CSU Rams ticket office at 970-491-RAMS (7267).

Louisville earned the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament Sunday, while Kansas, Indiana and Gonzaga also received No. 1s after a topsy-turvy regular season and another round of weekend upsets.

Print your own copy of the NCAA Tournament brackets, courtesy ESPN.

 

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