Feb 152011
 
Authors: Cris Tiller

It’s not March, but let the madness begin.

Only six games remain for CSU men’s basketball before the Mountain West Conference Tournament, and four are on the road.

At this point in the season, every game for the Rams (17-7, 7-3 MWC) is critical as they compete for a spot in the field of 68 teams that will go to the NCAA Tournament this year.

Just two years removed from not winning a single conference game, the players are being rewarded for their hard work.

“It’s a great feeling. That’s why I came here,” senior Andy Ogide said. “People come to schools like this thinking that they’ll change the program, and we’re doing it.”

The road to Houston begins in nearby Fort Worth, Texas against the Texas Christian Horned Frogs.

TCU (10-16, 1-10 MWC) has lost eight straight games, and the only conference victory for the Horned Frogs was over the University of Wyoming.

“They have nothing to lose, and we got a lot to lose,” Ogide said. “It won’t make or break our season if we lose, but we definitely have to be focused.”

The Rams’ latest victory at home over New Mexico provided a cushion in the standings for third place, but another important home game with UNLV is a tempting distraction.

“We’re not good enough to look past anybody,” CSU coach Tim Miles said. “We’ve never won at TCU … since I’ve been here. We’ve got to go out and compete and be at our best.”

CSU defeated the Horned Frogs, 79-69, at Moby Arena Jan. 15 thanks to a double-double performance from Ogide. He finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Sophomore guard Dorian Green does not prepare for the team’s second meeting based on the previous outcome.

“It’s a different game and we are on the road,” Green said. “It’s kind of unique stuff they run, so we have to be focused and crisp defensively.”

TCU’s offense is run primarily through guard Ronnie Moss, the fourth leading scorer in the conference, at 15.7 points per game. Moss tallied 17 points and 6 rebounds in January’s contest.

Moss has missed the last five games due to an indefinite suspension, and it is unclear whether he will be available.

“We are going into this game expecting (Moss) to play,” Green said. “He gives them another weapon that they use in multiple ways.”

With UNLV hot on the Rams’ heels for third place, CSU needs wins against the lower echelon teams in the conference.

Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. and will be televised on The Mtn.

Assistant Sports Editor Cris Tiller can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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