CSU completes 2017-18 men’s hoops schedule

Justin Michael

Colorado State men’s basketball has completed its 2017-18 schedule, announcing the complete non-conference portion Thursday morning. In total, CSU will face 12 opponents that participated in postseason play last season, including a road game at Oregon on Dec. 8.

“This is definitely a challenging schedule for our program,” Head coach Larry Eustachy said in a release.

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“To play five NCAA Tournament teams in non-conference action will test our young squad and truly shows how relevant nationally our program has become in our five years here. It will also help us really prepare for the rigors of conference play. We will learn a lot about our team in the early stages of the season and see how they develop over the year.”

The Rams will first take the court this season with an exhibition game against Colorado Mesa on Nov. 3. The contest with the Mavericks will be the fourth different in-state opponent that the Rams have faced in an opening exhibition in as many years. Previous opponents included Regis, Fort Lewis and CSU-Pueblo. 

CSU will then kick off the regular season with a home game against Sacramento State on Friday, Nov. 10. The game will be the first of 16 to be played in Moby Arena this season. Following game with the Hornets, the Rams will take part in the inaugural Jamaica Classic.

As part of the tournament, the Rams will host defending Big South Conference champion Winthrop on Nov. 14. Then CSU will travel to Montego Bay to play Tulane on Nov. 17 and Florida State on Nov. 19. Florida State is one of six 2017 NCAA Tournament teams on the Rams schedule. 

After returning to the mainland, the Rams will face yet another 2017 postseason team, traveling to Las Cruces, NM. for a deceptively tough road game at New Mexico State on Nov. 22. The Rams defeated the Aggies 64-61 at Moby Arena last fall.

Finally, the Rams will host their second home game of the Jamaica Classic on Nov. 24, when Northwestern State (La.) makes its way to Fort Collins. 

Prentiss Nixon (11) with a pullup jump shot over a Wyoming defender in the 2nd half of the Rams 78-73 win. (Javon Harris | Collegian)

The annual Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge game for CSU will take place on Nov. 28, as the Rams travel to Springfield, Mo., to play Missouri State. In recent years, CSU has lost to Wichita State (2016) and beaten Northern Iowa (2015) in the inter-conference matchups.

Following the MWC-MVC Challenge, the Rams will square off with three-straight power five opponents. Colorado will play at Moby Arena on Dec. 3, before the Rams travel to both Arkansas (Dec. 5) and Oregon (Dec. 8). In the 2017 NCAA Tournament, the Ducks reached the Final Four and the Razorbacks advanced to the round of 32. CSU defeated CU in Boulder last November. 

CSU’s final three non-conference games will all be at home, as the Rams will wrap up the OOC portion by hosting Texas State on Dec. 17, Arkansas Fort Smith on Dec. 19 and closing out with a Dec. 23 matchup against Long Beach State.

In 2016 the Rams defeated Arkansas-Fort Smith easily, scoring a season-high 93 points in the process. However, CSU will look to redeem themselves against Long Beach State, who defeated the green and gold with a last second buzzer-beater last December.

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The game was part of a three-game losing streak that took place after it was announced that Che Bob, Devocio Butler and Kimani Jackson were all ruled ineligible and would be suspended for the second half of the season. Jackson transferred out of the program over the summer and Butler’s transfer was confirmed by CSU on Wednesday.

Following the conclusion of non-conference play, the Rams travel to Idaho to face Mountain West foe Boise State on Dec. 27.  CSU will play 18 total conference games this season, before taking part in the annual Mountain West Championship from March 7-10 in Las Vegas.

This schedule is subject to change based on the selection of games by the Mountain West national television partners. The national television selections are expected to be completed in the next several weeks.

Regional partner AT&T SportsNet/ROOT Sports – Northwest Region and Mountain West Network on STADIUM will begin their picks after the national television lineup has been announced.

2017-18 Colorado State Men’s Basketball Schedule

Fri., Nov. 3 – COLORADO MESA (Exh.)

Fri., Nov. 10 – SACRAMENTO STATE

Tue., Nov. 14 – WINTHROP ^

Fri., Nov. 17 – vs. Tulane ^

Sun., Nov. 19 – vs. Florida State ^

Wed., Nov. 22 – at New Mexico State

Fri., Nov. 24 – NORTHWESTERN STATE (LA.) ^

Tue., Nov. 28 – at Missouri State #

Sat., Dec. 2 – COLORADO

Tue., Dec. 5 – at Arkansas

Fri., Dec. 8 – at Oregon

Sun., Dec. 17 – TEXAS STATE

Tue., Dec. 19 – ARKANSAS FORT SMITH

Sat., Dec. 23 – LONG BEACH STATE

Wed., Dec. 27 – at Boise State*

Sat., Dec. 30 – at San Jose State*

Wed., Jan. 3 – SAN DIEGO STATE*

Sat., Jan. 6 – FRESNO STATE*

Wed., Jan. 10 – at Utah State*

Sat., Jan. 13 – at Wyoming*

Wed., Jan. 17 – AIR FORCE*

Sat., Jan. 20 – UNLV* (Orange Out)

Wed., Jan. 24 – at San Diego State*

Sat., Jan. 27 – at New Mexico*

Wed., Jan. 31 – WYOMING*

Sat., Feb. 3 – NEVADA* (White Out)

Wed., Feb. 7 – at Air Force*

Sat., Feb. 10 – SAN JOSE STATE*

Sat., Feb. 17 – at Fresno State*

Wed., Feb. 21 – BOISE STATE*

Sun., Feb. 25 – at Nevada*

Wed., Feb. 28 – NEW MEXICO*

Wed.-Sat., March 7-10 – at Mountain West Championship (Las Vegas, Nev.)

* Mountain West Conference games

^  Jamaica Classic (2 games home, 2 games in Montego Bay, Jamaica)

# Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge

Collegian sports director Justin Michael can be reached by email at jmichael@collegian.com or Twitter @JustinTMichael.