5 seed in NCAA Tournament
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Mar 13, 2017,
Mar 13, 2017, 1:57
A division one basketball team winning the conference with only seven players sounded more like the plot to a cheesy Disney basketball movie than a realistic goal, but after winning 12-of-14 contests and making it all the way to the Mountain West Tournament final, the Rams had the opportunity to do just that. For their efforts, each of the guards were named to the Mountain West All-Tournament team, along with a trio of Nevada players.
The Cyclones-Wolf Pack victor will meet the victor of No. 4 seed Purdue (25-7) and No. 13 seed Vermont (29-5) in the second round Saturday.
Colorado State's NCAA tournament hopes come to a close in the Mountain West title game after losing to Nevada 79-71 on Saturday evening.
Nevada (28-6) avoided sweating the Selection Sunday bubble by earning the conference's automatic NCAA Tournament bid while Colorado State (23-11) is likely headed to the NIT for the second time in three years.
Nevada used a quick start by Caroline, who was also the MVP of the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic back in December, and a strong finish by Marshall (21 points) to open a 44-32 halftime lead.
And again, the Rams clawed back - just not all the way. Certainly entertaining, just not quite efficient enough as he was 13 of 29 from the floor for a CSU team that shot 38 percent.
Nevada joined the MWC in 2012 and last made the NCAA Tournament in 2007.
"Regardless of whatever happened, I'm still proud of the guys", Omogbo said. Nevada kept drawing fouls and scored 11 of the next 16 points, nine on free throws, to take a 73-65 lead with 33.6 seconds left. "They battled. They never gave up".
Clavell (30) and Nixon (23) led the Rams in scoring, combining for 53 of CSU's 71 points. They fought through a lot of adversity that was happening out on that court. I don't know if we were nervous or what it was.