Aug. 25, 2011
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By Zach Balside
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The CSU Rams men's basketball team took huge strides forward in the 2010-11 season, posting 19 wins and earning a berth in the National Invitation Tournament. To try to make further improvements this season, the Rams will have to be prepared for a new slew of opponents.
Highlights of this season's schedule, released on Thursday, include hosting two in-state rivals (Colorado on Nov. 30, and Denver on Jan. 11), as well as a road trip to the storied Cameron Indoor Stadium to play Duke on Dec. 7. The Rams also play 13 teams that participated in postseason play last season, including four that made trips to the NCAA tournament.
CSU played host to both Colorado and Denver in December 2009, defeating each in front of boisterous Moby Arena crowds. The Rams also have recent history against Duke, when they met the Blue Devils in the 2003 NCAA tournament, nearly pulling off an upset, falling 67-57.
The regular season starts with a home contest on Nov. 11 against Montana, which won 21 games and participated in the College Basketball Invitational in 2011.
After the Montana contest, the Rams will head to Palo Alto, Calif., to participate in the NIT Season Tip-Off Regionals. CSU plays SMU in the opening round on Nov. 14, and then will play either Fresno State or Stanford after that. The Rams then play a home game against Southern Mississippi on Nov. 19 before continuing in the NIT. The Rams have the potential to play in Madison Square Garden in New York City if they reach at least the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Other non-conference games for the Rams include contests against Northern Iowa (as a part of the Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge), Texas Southern, Northern Colorado, and Nebraska-Omaha. In addition, the Rams will play in the Bank of the West Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, hosted by UTEP in El Paso, Texas. The Rams play UTEP on Dec. 29, and then will play either Jacksonville State or Arkansas-Pine Bluff the following day.
Conference play starts on Jan. 14 when the Rams play host to TCU. Three days later, CSU will host Boise State for the first time as a member of the Mountain West. CSU is 5-2 all-time against Boise State, including a spotless 4-0 record at home. CSU wraps up its regular season on March 3 at Air Force. The Mountain West championships will run March 8-10 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev.