The Rams' fate, with a record of 20-8, was left in the hands of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee. Saturday afternoon, the team received news that they not only obtained an at-large bid, but would also host the first and second rounds of the tournament.
No one on the team was more surprised and excited than senior Tess Rogers. After the semifinal loss to the Utes, Rogers fought back tears of disappointment.
"You go from thinking you're not going to be playing to this real big high," Rogers said.
The bid meant a lot to the team, but especially the seniors. The three have been playing along side one another for fours years.
"That would have been our last time playing together," Rogers said of her fellow seniors Dre Downs and Casey Bauer.
It was unsure whether the Rams would get a bid to the tournament considering key losses this season and the fact that two other Mountain West teams (BYU and Utah) would likely receive bids.
For the 11th straight year CSU will participate in the NCAA Tournament. For the second year in a row they will play host. But this year they will play host to in-state rival Colorado.
"It doesn't get much better than that," Rogers said.
While the two teams did not meet this season due to scheduling conflicts, they are very familiar with each other. The Buffs will make the short trip to Moby Arena for Friday night's match. The other teams joining them will be No. 3 ranked Washington and Sienna. The second round match will be played Saturday.