Brutal offensive half dooms CSU, Rams exit NCAA Tournament

Mar 21, 2024, 6:57 PM | Updated: 6:57 pm

CSU Rams basketball...

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

The CSU Rams men’s basketball team won’t play Cinderella in the NCAA Tournament this year.

The last team in the field on Selection Sunday, Colorado State saw its season end on Thursday night in a loss to the University of Texas.

A brutal offensive effort doomed the Rams from the start, as they scored just 11 points in the first half and trailed 27-11 at the break. Things got a little better after the intermission, but CSU still fell by a final score of 56-44.

Earning a No. 10 seed in the Midwest region, the Rams just couldn’t cut the gap on the No. 7 Longhorns. They got as close as six points in the second half, but never closer.

Overall, Colorado State shot just 29.8 percent from the field and couldn’t find their mojo that saw them put up more than 76 points per game during the regular season.

Star Isaiah Stevens had just 10 points, Joel Scott had 10 and Nique Clifford had only seven. It’s a bitter end to a special season that saw the Rams win 25 games and finish at 25-11.

Head coach Niko Medved won his first ever NCAA Tournament game when CSU beat Virginia in Dayton on Tuesday night, but the run didn’t go any further. National media folks gave UVA flack for only scoring 14 in the first half that evening, but the Rams scored even fewer during their first 20 minutes in Charlotte.

With a starting lineup full of seniors, Colorado State will look much different next year. Still, Medved has proved he can build a program, and will need to hit the recruiting trail hard.

Overall, the CSU Rams still won their first NCAA Tournament game since 2013. That’s a step forward, but not nearly as far as many had hoped when they were ranked No. 13 in the country earlier this year.


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