With 20 wins already on the season, the smart money is on the Colorado State Rams being a solid lock for the 2015 NCAA Tournament. As we’ve seen in the past, however, good teams from conferences considered on the weaker side often miss out on the Big Dance unless they can maintain that momentum throughout the season. The Rams cannot afford to lose many more games in the regular season.
Next up for Colorado State will be the New Mexico Lobos, who the Rams will face at home on Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 11 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
New Mexico is 14-9 on the season with little chance of making either the NIT or the NCAA Tournament. The Lobos have no bad losses, but they have lost several games to opposition that can be considered average at best. Their offense just hasn’t looked capable of carrying them through games, something that has killed them all season long.
However, there are some very good young players on this Lobos team who have made an impact. Leading scorer Cullen Neal is just a sophomore, so any positives over good opposition will only increase the chances that this team can jump back into the tournament next season.
Give this game to Colorado State, which is the better all-around team. The Lobos boast a fantastic defense, but the Rams’ offensive efficiency will be the key to winning this game. Expect a low scoring game, but nowhere near as low scoring as the Colorado State and Wyoming game from a few nights ago. Colorado State gets another positive check on their resume as they defeat a top 150 RPI opponent and continue to roll into the Big Dance.
Prediction: Colorado State 55, New Mexico 50