The Colorado State men’s and women’s basketball programs released their 2014-15 schedules Wednesday afternoon
and the only surprise came when it was announced that the Rams would only play Mountain West rival UNLV once this year due to the league’s unbalanced scheduling.
The men’s team, coming off a disappointing 16-16 campaign, will host 16 regular-season home games, beginning with an exhibition matchup against Division II Fort Lewis College before hosting Montana on Nov. 15, Georgia State on Nov. 21, and 2014 Atlantic Sun champion Mercer on Nov. 23.
The Rams will then travel north over the Thanksgiving holiday for the GCI Great Alaska Shootout hosted by the University of Alaska-Anchorage at the brand-new Alaska Airlines Center. CSU will open with Missouri Valley Conference power Missouri State in a matchup that will tip off at 10 pm local time Wednesday night (12 am Thursday MST).
Following the first game, it will be a single-elimination tournament that includes Washington State, Mercer, Rice, UC-Santa Barbara, Pacific, and the host Seawolves.
CSU will then return home to play former WAC rival Texas-El Paso on Dec. 3 before hosting former Ram guard Dwight Smith and his Northern Colorado Bears on Dec. 7. Likely the Rams’ biggest non-conference test will come when they travel south to play bitter rival Colorado on Dec. 10 at the Coors Event Center in Boulder.
Rounding out the Rams’ non-conference slate will be home matchups with Division II Arkansas-Fort Smith and Charleston Southern as well as a road tilt against rival Denver.
Seniors Daniel Bejarano, JJ Avila, and Co. will begin their run at a possible Mountain West regular-season title New Years’ Eve when they host fellow contender Boise State at Moby Arena. The Rams will then travel to The Pit in Albuquerque on Jan. 3 to take on last season’s conference tournament champions, New Mexico. The first leg of the 2015 Border War will take place four days later on Jan. 7 when the Rams host rival Wyoming before traveling to Clune Arena Jan. 10 to take on rival Air Force in Colorado Springs.
CSU will then host Nevada Jan. 14 and travel to San Jose State before hosting 2014 regular-season champions San Diego State on Jan. 24 in a game that will be televised on the ESPN family of networks. In all, eight of the Rams’ 18 conference matchups have been picked up by either CBS Sports Network or ESPN. The full schedule can be found at http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/csu/sports/m-baskbl/auto_pdf/2014-15/schedule/schedule.pdf.
Women’s team to face former league rivals, may miss out on matchup with rival Colorado
The women’s program, who won their first MW regular-season title in more than a decade last season, also
announced their slate Wednesday that includes matchups against two former league opponents.
Head Coach Ryun Williams and Co. will open the 2014-15 campaign with three home games, welcoming Hawaii (Nov. 14), Colorado Mines (Nov. 18), and Illinois State (Nov. 23). Following the Thanksgiving holiday, the Rams will take part in the Omni Hotels Classic in Boulder. Their first-round opponent will be a familiar one, former Mountain West rival TCU. The Rams will then face either Missouri State or rival Colorado on Nov. 29.
Colorado State’s only two non-conference road games will take place within the same week when they travel to face Drake on Dec. 3 before facing another former Mountain West foe in BYU on Dec. 6 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Due to scheduling conflicts, the Rams and Cougars will face off at Energy Solutions Arena, home of the NBA’s Utah Jazz. The Cougars advanced to the Sweet 16 of last season’s NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual national champion Connecticut 70-51.
Following its four-game road trip, CSU will close the non-conference portion of its schedule with home matchups against South Dakota Mines on Dec. 9, rival Denver on Dec. 11, Florida Atlantic on Dec. 14, and Cal Poly on Dec. 21.
The Rams will begin defense of their conference regular-season title New Years’ Eve at Boise State. Their home opener will take place Jan. 3 when they welcome New Mexico to Moby Arena. CSU will then complete the first round of rivalry matchups when they travel to Laramie to take on a Wyoming team they know all too well. The Rams and Cowgirls split the regular-season series before meeting in the MW conference tournament semifinals, a matchup the Rams held on to win 95-92 in triple overtime.
Following that meeting, the Rams will host league bottom-feeder Air Force on Jan. 10. All 18 conference matchups are scheduled to be streamed live on the Mountain West Network. The rest of the Rams schedule can be found at http://www.csurams.com/sports/w-baskbl/sched/csu-w-baskbl-sched.html.
Collegian Sports Editor Keegan Pope can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @kpopecollegian.