Aug. 28, 2012
By Danny Mattie
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Coming off of the program’s first NCAA tournament berth in nine seasons, and returning one of the most experienced rosters in the country, the 2012-13 men’s basketball season is one of the most anticipated in program history. Tuesday, new Head Coach Larry Eustachy released his inaugural slate, which includes at least nine nationally televised games.
“I think when you come down to scheduling, there are two things that you have to be aware of, and one is your team,” said Eustachy. “If you have an experienced team, like this year’s team, you try to get the best games possible.
“The other thing is RPI. The last thing you want to do is be told that you did not get into the NCAA tournament because of your RPI and strength of schedule. The great thing about Colorado State is that the Mountain West schedule basically takes care of that. Once you get into league, you see some really good opponents, and that is how Colorado State put together a tournament run last year with some great wins in conference. I think that will always be the case.”
The Rams fully restored Moby Madness in 2011-12, going 14-1 at home with conference victories over three Top-25 teams. This season, CSU will play 18 contests in front of the Moby faithful, including nine tilts against teams that participated in postseason play in 2011-12.
“It’s exciting that we have nine nationally televised games, but I’ll be happy when we have 16 or 24, added Eustachy. “It’s a good start, and it’s exciting for our fans.”
After an exhibition tune-up against NCAA Division II power Metro State (Oct. 26), the Rams officially tip off the Eustachy era at home against defending Big Sky champion, and 25-game winner, Montana on Nov. 9.
The Rams then host Chadron State in a Thursday night battle (Nov. 15), before two straight road contests, Nov. 21 at Denver, as well as a visit to Pac-12 foe Washington (Nov. 24), an NCAA tournament bubble team from last season that advanced to the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y., last March.
The Rams return to Moby Arena for a pair home game to close out November and begin December. CSU first hosts in-state rival Northern Colorado on Nov. 26, before welcoming Evansville as part of the Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge on Dec. 1. The Purple Aces were postseason players in 2011-12, participating in the same tournament that spurred the Rams’ current three-year run of postseason play, the College Basketball Invitational.
CSU then gears up for a battle against arch-rival Colorado on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at Coors Events Center in Boulder, Colo. It is the first matchup between the Rams and Buffs in which both teams are coming off of NCAA berths in nine years (2003-04).
The Rams’ last true road game of the non-conference schedule is set for Dec. 8, when the team travels to Chicago, Ill., to square off against the UIC Flames.
Colorado State then heads from the Windy City to Sin City, with a brief stop back at Moby Arena to open the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic. The tournament begins at on-campus sites, and the Rams will host North Florida and CSU Bakersfield at Moby, Dec. 17 and 19, respectively. CSU then plays two neutral-site games just a couple of miles off the famed “Las Vegas Strip” at the Orleans Arena. The first matchup is scheduled against Portland (Dec. 22). The team then closes the tournament against either Virginia Tech or Bradley on Dec. 23.
After a quick break for the holidays, the Rams return to the court Dec. 29, hosting the Adams State Grizzlies, the first of three straight home games to close out the team’s non-conference schedule.
CBS Sports Network broadcasts its first of six scheduled CSU games on Jan. 2, when Eustachy’s Rams square off against his close friend Tim Floyd and the UTEP Miners at Moby Arena.
The Rams final non-conference matchup comes just three days later when CSU hosts 2012 Atlantic 10 tournament champion, and 20-game winner, St. Bonaventure on Jan. 5.
Mountain West Schedule
The 2012-13 Mountain West race will be one of the most thrilling in the league’s 14-year history. With the additions of Nevada (2012 WAC regular-season champions) and Fresno State, no team in the league won fewer than 13 games in 2011-12, and six teams captured at least 20 victories and participated in postseason play: CSU (20 wins, NCAA second round); Nevada (28 wins, NIT quarterfinals); New Mexico (28 wins, NCAA third round); San Diego State (28 wins, NCAA second round); UNLV (26 wins, NCAA second round); and Wyoming (21 wins, CBI quarterfinals).
The Rams will play a total of eight nationally televised conference games; two each against the league’s other four projected title contenders. NBC Sports Network will broadcast three Rams’ games, beginning with the team’s conference opener at San Diego State on Jan. 12, while CBS Sports Network will broadcast the Aztecs’ return trip on Feb. 13 and five other games against MW foes.
The Rams host in-state rival Air Force on Jan. 16, and travel south on I-25 to Clune Arena on Feb. 16.
CSU then plays back-to-back games against perennial conference powers UNLV and New Mexico. The Rams host UNLV on Jan. 19 (NBC Sports Network) and travel to face New Mexico on Jan. 23 (CBS Sports Network). The second time through the league schedule the Rams travel to UNLV for a CBS Sports Network game on Feb. 20 just before UNM visits the Rams on Feb. 23. That game between the Rams and the Lobos will air on NBC Sports Network.
The Rams rehash an old rivalry with conference newcomer Fresno State on Jan. 26 at FSU’s Save Mart Center and the Bulldogs return to Moby on Feb. 27. Boise State, in its final season as a member of the Mountain West, travels to Moby Arena on Jan. 30, before hosting the Rams on March 2.
The Rams’ final two games of each round of MW action include the two installments of the “Border War” against rival Wyoming and key matchups against Nevada.
CSU and Wyoming renew their bitter rivalry, first at Moby Arena on Feb. 2. CSU then travels to the Arena-Auditorium on March 6.
The Rams’ matchups against Nevada, which are certain to have postseason implications for each program, will both air on CBS Sports Network and are scheduled for Feb. 6 (at Nevada) and March 9 (home).
Reese’s Mountain West Championships
The Reese’s Mountain West Championships will once again be hosted at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center. Men’s first-round action is slated for March 12. Men’s quarterfinal games will take place March 13, and after an off day, semifinal matchups are scheduled for March 15. The championship game is set for Saturday, March 16.
The Rams are locked into at least nine nationally broadcast games in 2012-13: Jan. 2 vs. UTEP (CBS Sports Network), Jan. 12 at San Diego State (NBC Sports Network), Jan. 19 vs. UNLV (NBC Sports Network), Jan. 23 at New Mexico (CBS Sports Network), Feb. 6 at Nevada (CBS Sports Network), Feb. 13 vs. San Diego State (CBS Sports Network), Feb. 20 at UNLV (CBS Sports Network), Feb. 23 vs. New Mexico (vs. NBC Sports Network), and March 9 vs. Nevada (CBS Sports Network).
Additional local and regional broadcasts may be added at a later time.
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