Mar 102009
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

Three in a row against the Falcons —- that’s how many wins the CSU men’s basketball team is looking for against Air Force this afternoon at the Mountain West Conference Championships in Las Vegas.

This is the second year in a row that CSU (9-21, 4-12 MWC) has finished the regular season as one of the bottom two seeds in the conference, forcing them to face their Front Range foes in the tournament’s play-in game.

Last season, the Rams went winless during the regular season against conference opponents until the MWC Championships. They were able to upset Border War rival Wyoming, who beat CSU twice prior, 68-63, thanks to 22 points from Marcus Walker, before losing to BYU in the next round.

Now Air Force is trying to do to the Rams what CSU did to the Cowboys just one year ago. As if a case of deja vu struck the Centennial State, the Falcons (9-20, 0-16), who have lost to the Rams twice this season, will attempt to earn their first MWC win in the tournament.

CSU and Air Force have only met once in the history of the MWC Championships. In 2004, the Rams came in as the No. 8 seed and completely shocked the top-seeded Falcons 60-48 to advance to the semifinals.

Tonight’s key match up will be between Marcus Walker of CSU and Andrew Henke of Air Force. Both seniors lead their respective teams in scoring, both shoot over 35-percent from behind the arc, and both have over 20 steals on the season.

Today’s game tips off at 3 p.m. and can be seen televised on The Mtn. The CSU team was not available for comment Tuesday night.

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