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2013 NCAA Tournament: Colorado State Must Defend Missouri’s Guard Play in 8/9 Match-Up

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Steven Bisig-USA Today Sports

Here’s an interesting stat: Colorado State was 4-7 this season against teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament.

Okay, maybe it’s not that interesting. The Rams can still certainly come out on top of their 8/9 match-up against Missouri. We know the defensive assignments and battle down low is going to be interesting with Colton Iverson facing off against the efficient Laurence Bowers and his front court teammate Alex Oriakhi.

The key to this match-up however, is the play on the perimeter.

Aside from both Bowers and Oriakhi, the Tigers feature an additional four players that average in double-figures. Now, that’s balance and firepower on offense. In addition to that number, the other four scorers who score 10+ points per game all play on the perimeter. Bottom line is this: Colorado State is going to have its hands full in the back court on Thursday.

Senior guard Dorian Green will be crucial for the Rams in this match-up, but others are going to need to step up, especially if, Iverson cannot win the battle in the paint. Earnest Ross, Jabari Brown and Keion Bell can all score the basketball from the wing position, but the catalyst for Missouri is of course Phil Pressey.

This is the type of game and the type of stage in which Pressey can shine. If the Tigers are going to not only hope to make a run, but at least advance past Colorado State, they need Pressey to shine. The Rams have no choice, but to figure out a prolific game plan to slow these Tiger guards down.

Tip-off between No. 8 Colorado State and No. 9 Missouri is scheduled for 9:20pm (EST).


Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS


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