Lexington, KY – Once the thousands of Louisville fans filed out of Rupp Arena with their red wave filling the streets of the home of the Kentucky Wildcats, one of only three SEC teams to make the tournament was run off the court by Colorado State. The Rams are one of the only teams with two top 100 players in www.valueaddbasketball.com in dominant rebounders Pierce Hornung (pictured) and Colton Iverson, but it was injured guard Dorian Green who came back from an ankle injury to score 26 points in the route.
If Green’s ankle is that well healed, the Rams have the killer trio and senior experience are a deadly combination, which Missouri learned first hand after finishing second place in a very weak SEC.
Hornung and Iverson have led Colorado as the top rebounding team in the country, and Thursday they combined for 21 rebounds. Missouri is an excellent team, and had added Alex Oriakhi from the UConn championship team to beef up their muscle inside, but he grabbed only two rebounds Thursday. Colorado State also won the loose balls throughout the game to thoroughly dominate and win their first tournament game in more than two decades.
Overall, Colorado State doubled Missouri 36-18 on the boards.
More important in looking ahead, they only turned the ball over five times in the entire game. Their next opponent will be the No. 1 overall seed Louisville, which forced 25 steals in the game before.
If Louisville rattles Colorado State’s guards with their full court pressure, then Saturday’s game could be another lopsided Louisville win. However if not, Colorado State does have the kind of team that could be a real threat to Louisville – a team that can outmuscle them inside.