CSU men’s basketball set for Rocky Mountain Showdown on Friday

Bailey Bassett

In recent years, the Colorado State University men’s basketball team has struggled to win the Rocky Mountain Showdown. This Friday, Dec. 13, the basketball team will face off against the University of Colorado Buffaloes in what will be one of the biggest matchups of the season.

The Rocky Mountain Showdown matchups are always exciting, as they bring in a large crowd with a strong atmosphere. The Rams face their in-state rival this year at home in Moby Arena.

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Heading into the matchup, the Rams have a slight edge when it comes to momentum. CSU is fresh off of a confidence-boosting, late-game comeback win against South Dakota State, with Adam Thistlewood hitting a late-game three to help seal the win. The shot came with 18 seconds left in the game and was from way behind the arc.

CU, on the other hand, is coming off a devastating loss to Northern Iowa. The 79-76 loss dropped the Buffs’ record to a still very impressive 7-2. The loss was their second in a row after starting the season off with seven-straight wins. They previously lost to Kansas on the road. CU is still ranked No. 24 in the nation and is one of the best teams in the country.

Man shoots basketball
Power forward Dischon Thomas (11) shoots the ball up against South Dakota State on Dec. 10. The Rams won the game 72-68. (Gregory James | The Collegian)

Thistlewood has been on fire lately, and the Rams should ride his hot hand. As a sharpshooter at 6 feet, 6 inches, Thistlewood’s size and spacing opens up the floor.

The Rams matched the Buffs’ win total so far this season with seven. However, CSU does have five marks in the loss column, including recent losses to conference opponents (5-3) Boise State and (10-0) San Diego State.

No matter the outcome, the game is sure to spark a turning point in the season. A loss means the Rams continue a trend toward mediocrity in the beginning part of the year, and a win can inspire the team to push forward and can potentially motivate CSU heading into the break.

For CSU, stopping the Buffs stars Tyler Bey and McKinley Wright IV will be key. Bey is a 6-foot-7-inch star who leads the team in both rebounds and points. Wright, a 6-foot guard, is the team leader in minutes and assists.

Colorado native D’Shawn Schwartz is also producing for CU. From Sand Creek High School in Colorado Springs, Schwartz is often getting over 10 points per game.

Tip-off is at 6 p.m. CSU will be debuting their throwback jerseys for the Moby Madness matchup that is sure to be an exciting game. CSU will have to play better than they have recently to keep it a close contest, but fans should be optimistic for a CSU upset in the making. The hometown crowd can make the difference for CSU.

Bailey Bassett can be reached at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @baileybassett_.

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