The Rams advance on to the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., for third- and fourth-round matchups in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic.
The Rams’ third-round matchup is set for Saturday at 8:30 p.m. MT/7:30 p.m. PT against the Portland Pilots of the West Coast Conference.
The contest will mark the third in the series between the Rams’ and the Pilots.
CSU concludes the tournament the next day against either Virginia Tech or Bradley, with tip time - 7 p.m. MT or 9:30 p.m. MT - dependant on the outcome of the CSU-Portland contest.
The 8-2 Rams are coming off of a pair of victories in the preliminary rounds of the Las Vegas Classic. The Rams defeated North Florida (83-55) on Monday night, before downing CSU Bakersfield (78-58) on Wednesday.
Portland also defeated UNF and CSUB and heads to Las Vegas with a 6-6 mark on the season.
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), 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
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.
Colorado State enters Wednesday’s game with a 8-2 record. 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, and teams current mark is the best 10-game record since going 9-1 to open the 2005-06 season.
Colorado State ranks as one of the top rebounding teams in the nation, and entered play this week leading the NCAA in rebounding margin with an average differential of 16.1 boards per game. The team has yet to be outrebounded in a game this year.
Colorado State has opened the 2012-13 campaign with a 2-2 record on the road, picking up tough road wins at Denver and at Washington, before falling in their last two road outings at Colorado and UIC. The Rams were 3-9 on the road last year.
Colorado State’s two road loss (Colorado and UIC) have come at the hands of programs with a combined 17-4 (.810) record.
The Rams have been even more impressive at home, racking up six wins and extending a record win streak at Moby Arena to 19 games. The streak ranks fourth nationally entering the Rams’ tilt Dec. 29 vs. Adams State.
Senior C Colton Iverson racked up five consecutive double-doubles between Nov. 21 and Dec. 5. Entering play this week, Iverson was one of 23 players nationally to average a double-double through games played Dec. 17. Iverson enters the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic just shy of a double-double average with 14.8 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
Colorado State’s starting front court of Pierce Hornung (10.0), Colton Iverson (9.7) and Greg Smith (6.1 rpg) each rank in the top-10 in the Mountain West in rebounding.
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 contest against the Bahamas All-Stars, winning 95-80 behind a double-double effort (18 points, 14 rebounds) from Colton Iverson.
The 2012-13 season marks the 110th in the history of the Colorado State men’s basketball program. The Rams are 1,137-1,172 (.492) in 2,309 games all-time
The Pilots own a 6-6 record including a 2-0 mark in the preliminary rounds of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic with home wins against CSU Bakersfield (69-51) and North Florida (74-64).
Colorado State is the third Mountain West opponents the Pilots will face this season. UP suffered a loss at New Mexico (69-54) on Nov. 25, and dropped a home contest against UNLV (68-60) on Dec. 4.
The Pilots have yet to win away the Chiles Center this season, going 0-5 away from their home court.
UP has won three straight games entering Saturday’s contest, rolling past Portland Bible College (95-66) before collecting its wins over CSUB and UNF. • This Pilots squad features two players averaging double figures in scoring: Ryan Nicholas (13.6 ppg) and Kevin Bailey (13.2 ppg).
Nicholas also ranks as the Pilots’ leading rebounder, pulling down 9.7 boards per contest, and the junior F has posted three double-doubles to open this season.
Head Coach Eric Reveno is in his sixth season with the school. He has tallied an 84-87 record during that time.
Series vs. Portland
Saturday’s matchup marks the third meeting between the two schools, with the series knotted up at 1-1, but the teams have not met in more than 60 years.
Portland won the initial meeting 68-66 at home during the 1951-52 season. The Rams avenged the loss the following year in Fort Collins, winning 102-62.
The Rams and Pilots have never met in a neutral setting.
A win over Portland will...
Mark the Rams’ first neutral-court victory of the season. CSU enters play this week with a 6-0 home record and a 2-2 mark in road games.
Mark the Rams’ first victory away from Moby Arena this season. CSU previously captured road victories over Washington and Denver in November.
Give the Rams a 2-1 advantage in the series vs. Portland.
Mark the seventh consecutive victory for the Rams during regular-season tournaments. Since falling at Stanford in the second round of the 2011 Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off, the Rams have defeated Manhattan and UTSA as part of the same tourney, downed UTEP and Jacksonville State during the 2011 Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational, and picked up wins over North Florid and CSU Bakersfield in the preliminary rounds of the 2012 Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic.
Give Colorado State a 3-0 record in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic and push the Rams into the championship game against either Virginia Tech or Bradley.
Improve CSU’s overall record to 9-2, its best start through 12 games since the team opened the 1997-98 season with a 10-1 mark.
A winning era
CSU’s fourth-year seniors – Dorian Green, Pierce Hornung and Greg Smith – have been a part of 63 wins during their careers at Colorado State (entering Saturday’s game vs. Portland).
That total, 10 games into their senior season, is now tied for 18th in program history for wins in a four-year period, just outside of the top-15 (64 wins) recorded from 1999-00 to 2002-03, 1998-99 to 2001-02 and 1984-85 to 1987-88.
The school record for wins in a four-year period is 81 victories from 1987-88 to 1990-91. The team would need 26 wins in 2012-13 to tie that record, and entered this year 20 wins away from the top-5 on that list of most successful four-year periods in program history.
Following play at the 2012 Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic, Colorado State returns to the friendly confines of Moby Arena for a Dec. 29 tilt against the Adams State Grizzlies.
Tipoff between the Rams and the Grizzlies is set for 7 p.m. MT.
The contest opens up a three-game homestand to close out non-conference play for the Rams.