CSU Rams move on in NCAA Tournament with smothering defense

Mar 19, 2024, 9:33 PM | Updated: Mar 20, 2024, 10:32 am

The CSU Rams overwhelmed the Virginia Cavaliers on Tuesday night to win in the first-round of the men’s NCAA Tournament.

Battling in Dayton, Ohio, Colorado State never had to sweat in an easy 67-42 win. They held UVA to just 14 points at halftime and built a 27-14 lead at the break. They went on an 8-0 run to start the second half and didn’t look back.

Virginia went more than 14 minutes of game-time without a field goal spanning over the first and second half. In real time, it was 51 minutes in between buckets for the Cavaliers.

And while social media barked at the tournament selection committee for putting UVA in the big dance, you have to give CSU credit. They held Virginia to just 25 percent shooting from the field, and that number went up once the game was out of hand. The Rams led 42-21 with a little more than 12 minutes to go, and both sides seemed to know it was over.

On offense, forward Joel Scott led a balanced attack with 23 points. Nique Clifford added 17 and Patrick Cartier pitched in 12. It was a slow night for the Rams best player, as Isaiah Stevens only scored five points, but luckily Colorado State didn’t need him in the blowout.

Up next is a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina on Thursday where CSU will be the official No. 10 seed in the Midwest region and face No. 7 Texas. That game is scheduled for a 2:50 p.m. MT tipoff and will air on TNT.

For head coach Niko Medved, it’s his first NCAA Tournament victory with the Rams and just the fifth in program history. The last one came against Missouri back in 2013.

Now, CSU will try to make a run. They proved they belong, even though the committee had them as the last team in the field.

Perhaps it’s time to shock the college basketball world.


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