The Colorado State men's basketball team opens play Wednesday at the 2013 Reese's Mountain West Championships at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
No. 2-seeded Colorado State opens the tournament with a quarterfinal matchup against No. 7-seeded Fresno State.
The 24-7 (11-5 MW) Rams, receiving votes in both national polls, enter the tournament with their highest seed as a member of the Mountain West, after finishing alone in second place in the league standings.
Fresno State (11-18, 5-11 MW) moved into seventh place in the league standings in the final week of action, and is coming off of two staight victories - vs. Air Force (56-41) and at UNLV (61-52 - entering the conference tournament.
Tipoff between the Rams and the Bulldogs is set for 3:30 p.m. MT/2:30 p.m. PT in the second quarterfinal matchup on Wednesday afternoon. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.
Colorado State swept two matchups with the Bulldogs during the 2013 Mountain West season. The Rams captured the first meeting of the season, at Fresno State's Save Mart Center, by a final score of 74-63. Colorado State then downed the Bulldogs at Moby Arena, securing the 74-67 victory.
Voice of the Rams Brian Roth will have the call on the Colorado State Sports Network - 560 AM KLZ (Denver), 600 AM KCOL (Fort Collins), 105.5 FM KJAC (Fort Collins), 1010 AM KSIR (Fort Morgan) and 1100 AM KNZZ (Grand Junction).
Streaming audio (free) is available via Rams All-Access and live statistics can be viewed online via GameTracker at CSURams.com.
Rams quick hits
The 2012-13 season marks the 110th in the history of the Colorado State men's basketball program. The Rams are 1,153-1,177 (.495) in 2,330 games all-time.
Colorado State enters the 2012-13 men's basketball season under the direction of new head coach Larry Eustachy, in his 22nd season as a head coach at the NCAA Division I level.
The Colorado State basketball program is looking for its fourth consecutive postseason appearance, and its second straight NCAA Tournament berth, in 2012-13.
The Rams return an experienced roster with seven letterwinners back form the 2011-12 season.
The Rams welcome a host of talented newcomers to the court this season, including Division I transfers Colton Iverson (Minnesota) and Daniel Bejarano (Arizona) who sat out 2011-12 per NCAA transfer rules.
In early August, the CSU basketball program spent five days together at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in Nassau, Bahamas. Per NCAA rules, the team was allotted 10 days of practice leading up to the trip, and then played an exhibition game against the Bahamas All-Stars, winning 95-80 behind a double-double (18 points, 14 rebounds) from Colton Iverson.
Colorado State enters Wednesday's game with a 24-7 record (11-5 MW), the program's second consecutive 20-win season and the eighth in program history.
Colorado State's 24 victories are a program record, surpassing the mark of 23 wins set byu the 1988-89 program that went 23-10.
The Rams opened the season 6-0, tying the program mark for best start established in 1970-71 and matched by the 2005-06 squad. CSU reached 13-2 to close non-conference play, tying the program's best 15-game mark, with the 1953-54 team.
From Nov. 21, 2011, an 85-75 win over UTSA, to Feb. 23, 2012, a 66-60 win over No. RV/22 San Diego State, Colorado State men's basketball won 27 consecutive home games at Moby Arena, a program record for consecutive home victories. The streak grew to be the third-longest active streak in the nation before the Rams' loss to then-No. 16/16 New Mexico (91-82) on Feb. 23.
Colorado State enters play this week ranked as the No. 4 rebounding team in the nation, pulling down 40.6 boards per game, leading the NCAA in rebounding margin with an average differential of 12.4 rebounds per game, and pulling down more defensive rebounds (28.3) per game than any team in the nation. The team has outrebounded its opponents in 29 of 31 contests this season.
The Rams were impressive at home in 2012-13, racking up a school-record mark of 16-1 at Moby Arena. The 16 home victories established a new mark for most home wins in a single-year, surpassing the 15 home wins by the 1987-88 squad.
Colorado State is 6-6 on the road in 2012-13, the most road wins for the Rams since going 6-5 away from home in 2010-11.
Overall, the Rams are 8-6 away from Moby Arena, having captured a pair of neutral-court victories over Portland and Virginia Tech en route to the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic title, Dec. 22-23 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
Colorado State recorded a school-record 13 non-conference victories in 2012-13, besting the mark of 11 set in 1997-98 and matched in 2002-03, 2005-06 and 2011-12.
About Fresno State
The No. 7 seeded Bulldogs (11-18, 5-11 MW) enter the Mountain West tournament having won two straight over Air Force (56-41) and UNLV (61-52). The two-game winning streak stands as the longest in the conference.
Fresno State ranks fourth in the conference in field-goal defense (40.5 percent)and first in three-point field goal defense (28.3 percent). The Bulldogs held UNLV to just 33.3 percent shooting from the floor and 19 percent from beyond the arc in their win Saturday at the Thomas and Mack Center.
The Bulldogs also lead the conference in steals, swiping 6.6 per contest since the beginning of league play.
Junior guard Tyler Johnson leads the team in scoring, averaging 13.1 per outing, tied for the 10th highest total in the Mountain West.
On Sunday Johnson was named a fourth-team all-Mountain West selection by CollegeSportsMadness.com.
Senior forward Kevin Foster ranks in as the Mountain West's ninth-best rebounder through conference play. Foster has averaged 6.1 boards per game, while scoring 8.8 per contest.
The Bulldogs have faced 13 opponents who were ranked at one point during the season.
Head Coach Rodney Terry has compiled a 24-38 during his two years with the Bulldogs.
Series vs. Fresno State
Wednesday's first-round matchup between the Rams and Bulldogs marks the 23rd in the series between the two programs, dating back to the first meeting - an 84-66 CSU victory - on Dec. 30, 1964 in Fort Collins.
Each team has won 11 games in the series, with Fresno State having won the only neutral-court meeting 80-59 on March 2, 1999 in the Western Athletic Conference tournament.
The programs competed 11 times as WAC rivals from 1992-93 to 1998-99, with Fresno State holding an 8-3 advantage in those games. CSU is 2-0 in games played as MW foes after sweeping the 2012-13 season series.
Colorado State recorded a 74-63 victory at Fresno State on Jan. 26 followed by a 74-67 home win over the Bulldogs on Feb. 27.
CSU has won three straight over the Bulldogs dating back to the 2010-11 season.
A win over Fresno State will...
Improve CSU's record against Fresno State to 12-11 all-time and 2-0 in conference tournament games.
Mark four straight wins over the Bulldogs, the first time the Rams have tallied four consecutive victories in the series since CSU won the first four meetings between 1964-65 and 1972-73.
Move CSU to 3-0 all-time against Fresno State since the Bulldogs joined the Mountain West.
Extend the program record for wins in a season to 25, two more than the previous high of 23 set by the 1988-89 squad that totaled 23 wins en route to a Western Athletic Conference championship and trip to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Make the Rams 9-12 all-time in the Mountain West tournament.
Advance the Rams to the semifinal round of the MW tournament for the fifth time in program history and second consecutive year.
Eustachy makes history
Colorado State head coach Larry Eustachy not only led the Rams to a school-record 24th victory on Saturday against Nevada, but made NCAA history.
With a win, Eustachy became the first coach in NCAA Division I history to win at least 24 games in a single season with five different DI programs.
Eustachy was one of just three coaches - along with Tim Floyd and Cliff Ellis - to ever take four different DI programs to 24 or more wins in a single season.
Eustachy, who has 11 total 20-win seasons in his career, previously reached the 24-victory plateau in 1992-93 at Idaho (24-8), 1997-98 at Utah State (25-8), 2011-12 at Southern Miss (25-9) and twice at Iowa State in 1999-00 (32-5) and 2000-01 (25-6).
20 and counting
Colorado State captured its 20th victory of the season Feb. 13 vs. San Diego State, marking the second-consecutive season with 20 victories, and the eighth overall in program history.
Five of the previous seven 20-win seasons have ended in NCAA tournament berths, while the 1996-97 Rams finished 20-9 and made a trip to the NIT. The 1997-98 squad also finished 20-9 but did not play in the postseason.
School-record win total
The Rams captured their school-record 24th victory on Saturday against Nevada (77-66), and enter the MW Championships with a chance to extend the mark.
The record was originally set during the 1988-89 season, when the program went 23-10 and made the first of two consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.
Rams' Award Winners
Several Colorado State players have begun to rack up postseason honors heading into play at the 2013 Reese's Mountain West Championships.
Senior center Colton Iverson earned first-team All-MW honors, and was selected as the league's Newcomer of the Year. He was named by the Denver Post as the Region's Player of the Yeaer, and also garnered USBWA All-District VIII honors.
Senior guard Dorian Green earned his second consecutive all-conference nod, pulling in second-team honors in 2013 after a third-team recognition as a junior in 2012.
Senior forward Pierce Hornung was named to the Mountain West all-defensive team for the second straight season, and also earned a second-consecutive third-team All-MW selection in 2013.
Senior guard Wes Eikmeier, a first-team All-Mountain West performer as a junior in 2012, as named to 2013 MW all-league honorable mention.
Sophomoer guard Daniel Bejarano has been tabbed as the conference's top reserve, taking home honors as the Mountain West Sixth Man of the Year. He is the second Ram to win the award in three seasons (Pierce Hornung in 2011).
Hornung nation's top O-rebounder
Colorado State senior F Pierce Hornung ranks as the No. 1 offensive rebounder in the nation entering Wednesday's game vs. Fresno State.
Hornung, a 6-5 product from Arvada, Colo. Pulls down an average of 4.38 offensive rebounds per game, well ahead of the MW's No. 2 performer on the offensive glass, Colorado State's Colton Iverson (3.3 per game).
Nationally, Hornung ranks ahead of UC-Santa Barbara's Alan Williams (4.23), North Carolina Wilmington's Keith Rendleman (4.2), Murray State's Ed Daniel (4.1) and Tulane's Josh Davis (4.1), who round out the top five.
Hornung's 127 offensive rebounds in 29 games, have accounted for 143 second-chance points, or 33 percent of the Rams' total second-chance points in those contests
More on offensive boards
In addition to Hornung's prowess of the offensive glass, senior frontcourt mate Colton Iverson (3.3) ranks tied for 33rd nationally and second in the MW.
As a team the Rams are averaging 14.0 offensive boards per contest, which is tied for 9th nationally and first in the MW.
Rams boast NCAA's top rebounding tandem
Colorado State's senior frontcourt of Pierce Hornung and Colton Iverson ranks as the No. 1 rebounding tandem in the country, combining to average 19.0 rebounds per game entering Wednesday's contest vs. Fresno State.
Iverson leads the Rams averaging 9.7 rebounds per game but Hornung is just behind him pulling down 9.3, making the duo the only teammates in the country averaging more than 9.0 boards per game apiece.
A winning era
Colorado State's fourth-year seniors - Dorian Green, Pierce Hornung and Greg Smith - have been a part of 79 wins during their careers at CSU (entering Wednesday's quarterfinal matchup with Fresno State).
That total is now tied for second in program history for wins in a four-year period, two wins behind the record mark of 81 set from 1987-88 to 1990-91.
The 2012-13 team has set a new school record for wins in a single season (24) surpassing the 23 victories by the 1988-89 squad.
Colorado State (24-7, 11-5 MW) looks to advance to the semifinal of the 2013 Mountain West Championships, where they would face off against winner of the matchup between No. 3 UNLV and No. 6 Air Force.
Should the Rams advance, the team's semifinal game would tip at 9:30 p.m. MT/8:30 p.m. PT. The game will be broadcast live nationally on CBS Sports Network.