The CSU menâ€™s basketball team will celebrate Senior Night at Moby Arena on Saturday when the Rams face the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
And it will be the biggest game in the careers of the Ramsâ€™ four seniors.
CSU (18-7, 8-3 MWC) currently sits a game and a half ahead of UNLV (19-7, 7-5 MWC) in the conference standings and will be looking to sweep the Runninâ€™ Rebels after the Rams notched a 78-63 win in Las Vegas, Nev. in January.
The MWC is expected to get three bids to the NCAA Tournament, and San Diego State and Brigham Young, top-10 teams, have the first two locked up.
With a win, CSU would hold a two-and-a-half game lead in the race for third place in the conference, with only four regular season games remaining.
â€œYou canâ€™t ask for anything more than to control your own destiny,â€ senior Andy Ogide said. â€œWe beat them, and we will have the tiebreaker. If they beat us they will (have the tiebreaker) because they have a higher RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) than us. Itâ€™s definitely a huge game for us, and weâ€™ll have to be at our best.â€
UNLV will have the services of senior guard Treâ€™Von Willis, who missed the first meeting with an injury. Willis is second on the team in scoring and will help the Rebels run their stifling full-court press defense.
The senior is third in the conference in steals, averaging 1.6 steals per game.
The pressure defense of UNLV holds opponents to just under 62 points per game, but in the first meeting, the Rams were able to attack the press and limit its effectiveness.
â€œWe just have to be aggressive. That was a key in Vegas, just being aggressive,â€ senior guard Adam Nigon said. â€œWe canâ€™t let them dictate us throwing the ball where they want us to. If we attack the press and make them more of a half court team we will be good.â€
CSU is honoring the four seniors in the second to last home game of the season to better accommodate families coming in for the ceremonies. The final home game of the season is on Wednesday, March 2 against the University of Utah.
â€œThese (seniors) have really invested themselves in the program and helped build this thing from the ground up. Itâ€™s a special group of guys,â€ CSU coach Tim Miles said. â€œWeâ€™re having some success, but this isnâ€™t where we want to be. We want to be in the NCAA Tournament, and we want to win when we get there.â€
Saturdayâ€™s game is set for an early, 5 p.m. tipoff at Moby Arena and can be seen on The Mtn.
Menâ€™s basketball Beat Reporter Kevin Lytle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org._
Rams vs. UNLV
- When: Saturday at 5 p.m.
- Where: Moby Arena
- What: Senior Night
- Tickets: www.csurams.com/tickets or McGraw Athletics Ticket Office