Jan 232003
Authors: Jon Ackerman

I can’t think of a more welcome weekend. We’re done with the first week of classes, but it wasn’t a full week, meaning next week will be. And full of more headaches trying to override.

Good thing there’s a Super Bowl this Sunday. Gives us another excuse to put off school, and probably make it another week without Monday’s classes. That’s the way it’s looking for me.

Throw in the big game Saturday night, and it’s looking to be a rough weekend, which probably started last night for most. A lot’s on the line in that game. It should tell a lot about the teams playing.

What? A big game on a Saturday night? Football season’s over, kid. (Italicize)

Yeah, I know us Rammies aren’t accustomed to such excitement over sports in January, unless it’s the Super Bowl. And granted, that doesn’t generate much buzz unless the Broncos are playing.

But yes, CSU, we do have a big game to witness. In Moby Arena. And it’s the men’s hoops team, not the women’s.

We’ve got those guys taking on the ugly rivals to the north. Both teams are 2-0 in conference and CSU is protecting a 14-game home winning streak, a mark that tied a school record set in 1989-90. What better team to set a new school record against than Wyoming, which has topped CSU the last five meetings?

When CSU last won its first three conference games, our graduate students were crawling on all fours and the Nuggets won more games than the Broncos. A win Saturday could put the Rams on their way to a postseason for the first time this millennium.

Sorry if I’m getting a little ahead of myself, talking about postseason and all. You see, I’ve lived in Colorado my whole life, and basketball’s never been the big thing in this state. It’s always been football. And especially with the big colleges, it’s always been football.

But two weeks ago was the most anticipated CSU-CU basketball game in years. Sure, we didn’t post a good showing in Boulder, but we haven’t done so yet on the road.

See, the Rams thrive at home, as evidenced by responding to the Buff-drubbing by handling New Mexico and former CSU coach Ritchie McKay in front of a national ESPN audience. The Lobos were a team that had beaten the Rams 15 straight times.

Attendance at that game was rather impressive, considering students were still on break. So now that we are back in town, there’s no excuse for Saturday’s game to be like last year’s contest against the Pokes at Moby. In addition to CSU losing 72-69 in overtime, those UW hicks outnumbered CSU fans like guys do girls on ladies night at Washington’s.

As of today, less than 500 reserved seats remain for the game. Student tickets were exhausted by Wednesday at the Student Center.

Are you kidding me? A sell out at Moby? The last time that happened for a basketball game was in 1999 when the Rams took on CU in the second round of the NIT.

Wyoming coach Steve McClain recently said he wasn’t surprised the Rams are having the year they’re having, pointing out that CSU had five starters returning. He then said his team – the two-time defending Mountain West champs – isn’t what it could be since it lost star forward Marcus Bailey back in December.

Sound like McClain is setting himself up for an excuse if his Cowboys are upset? Probably not, huh? He just has tons of respect for the returning starters of a team that went 3-11 in league play last year, right?

Yeah, and I’m rooting for the Raiders on Sunday.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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