March 2, 2012
The CSU men's and women's basketball teams will try to lock up invitations to the NCAA Tournament this week at the Mountain West Conference Tournament in Las Vegas.
The four-day tournament, which includes all eight men’s and women’s teams, begins Wednesday with four quarterfinal women’s games at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center. The men’s quarterfinals are Thursday, with semifinals and championship games set for Friday and Saturday, respectively.
The CSU women enter the tournament as the No. 3 seed after finishing third in the MW standings. The Rams will play No. 6 seed Boise State at 9:30 p.m. MST Wednesday (TV: The Mtn.), with the winner advancing to play the winner of the UNLV-New Mexico game on Friday (TV: The Mtn.).
The Rams swept the season series with Boise State, winning 60-52 at Boise and 67-58 at Moby Arena. The Rams (13-16, 9-5 MWC) split the season series with both UNLV and New Mexico.
If the Rams can win the MWC Tournament title they will earn their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2002.
The men’s team will play TCU at 3:30 p.m. Thursday (TV: The Mtn.). The Rams split the season series with the Horned Frogs, winning 95-89 in double-overtime in Fort Collins and falling 75-71 in Fort Worth, Texas.
If the Rams (19-10) win their quarterfinal game they will play the winner of the San Diego State-Boise State game at 7 p.m. MST Friday (TV: CBS Sports Network). The Rams split season series with both the Aztecs and Broncos.
Several national writers have the Rams already in the 68-team NCAA Tournament field, while others say the Rams need to beat TCU to secure their first trip to the Big Dance since 2003. The only way the Rams can be absolutely sure they are invited is to win the MWC Tournament.
The women's championship game is at 2 p.m. MST Saturday (TV: NBC Sports Network), while the men's title game is at 5 p.m (TV: NBC Sports Network).