Larry Ness' 10* CB Game of the Year: the "BIG ONE": Larry enters the weekend 30-12-1 with all BKB releases the last 14 days, including 24-8 the last 11 days. This 28-year vet is 33-15 with all CBB reports in Feb & going back to Jan 1, he's 28-15 with top-rated CBB 10*s. Join Larry as his 'ASSAULT' on the CBB pointspread continues, led by his 10* CBB Game of the Year!
Game: Colorado State at San Diego State Feb 25 2012 10:00PM
Prediction: San Diego State
Grade: Winner (100)
Reason: My 10* CBB Game of the Year is on San Diego St at 10:00 ET.
San Diego State had won 13 of 14 two weeks ago and was atop the Mountain West standings. However, the Aztecs lost 65-63 at then-No. 14 UNLV on Feb 11 and four days later fell 77-67 to current league leader New Mexico. The Aztecs made it THREE straight losses last Saturday, falling 58-56 at Air Force, a team which had just two previous conference wins. San Diego State, which had fallen from No.11 to No. 24 in last Monday’s AP poll, hosted Wyoming on Wednesday, looking to avoid losing four in a row for the first time since a six-game slide back in 2005. The Aztecs ended their three-game slide vs the Cowboys, winning 67-58 in OT. Steve Fisher lost a ‘TON’ of talent off last year’s 34-win team in forwards Leonard (15.5-10.6), Thomas (11.4-8.1) and White (10.3-4.4) plus PG Gay (11.1-3.1 APG). Guard Tapley (15.6-4.3) is the lone returning starter from LY but he’s joined by a number of returnees who are now getting their chance plus a pair of transfers who have done very well. Thames (10.1-3.1-4.8) is from Wash St and has stepped in at point guard while the 6-11 Green (6.6-4.9) has come from LSU to bolster the frontcourt. Returnees who have made the most of additional minutes are guards Franklin (15.8-7.3) and Rahon (8.9) plus frontcourt players like the 6-8 Stephens (5.6-4.9) and the 6-7 Shelton (5.2-5.0). Franklin, who had been held out of last Saturday's 58-56 loss at Air Force with a sprained ankle, returned to score 12 points, including the first five of overtime. Garrett Green also came up big, scoring a game-high 14 points and showing no ill effects from a sprained ankle suffered against Air Force. Tim Miles’ team collapsed down the stretch last year (lost four of its final five regular season games, its 1st MVC tourney game and its first NIT game) but still finished 19-13. However, the Rams have fashioned a solid season this year (17-9, 6-5 in the MWC) and cling to hopes that an at-large bid to the “Big Dance” is still possible. CSU is not big up front and misses the 6-9 Ogide (17.2-7.7) from last year. Greg Smith (9.8-5.2) and Bell (8.6-3.9) are both 6-6 up front and Pierce Hornung (8.6-8.5) is just 6-5 but most consider him the second-most important player to guard Eikmeier. Eikmeier transferred from Iowa St and last year averaged a modest 9.1 PPG for the Rams but TY, he leads the team with 16.0 PPG. He’s joined in the starting backcourt by Green (13.2-3.5-2.6) and Sabas (5.0) with Carr (6.8-2.8-2.6) and Dwight Smith (4.9) contributing off the bench. These teams met back on Jan 28, with CSU ending SDSU’s 11-game winning streak, 77-60. San Diego State shot a season low-tying 31.3 percent from the floor in that game while allowing Colorado St to shoot 49.0 percent. It was Colorado State's first home win over a ranked team in more than eight years (since the 2003-04 season) and for San Diego St, it marked the Aztecs first loss to an unranked opponent for the first time in 59 games! The Aztecs not only have revenge from that game on their minds but with CSU’s upset over New Mexico on Tuesday (more in a minute), SDSU is 7-4 (tied with UNLV), just one game back of the 8-3 Lobos in the MWC (all teams have thee games remaining). Will Bell was sidelined due to a swollen left knee in the game vs New Mexico (is questionable here) and head coach Tim Miles started reserve Dwight Smith along with Kaipo Sabas, giving the Rams a four-guard lineup. That smaller unit helped Colorado State force 17 turnovers and go 5-of-11 from three-point range. "I really like our guards," Miles told the school's official website. "They know they can put it on the deck, create for somebody else, move it, move it, move it, we're going to get a better shot later. I thought that we did that a lot (Tuesday)." However, this is a BRUTAL three-game stretch for the Rams, winning at home vs New Mexico, playing at SDSU here and then hosting UNLV next Wednesday. I see this as a great spot for the Aztecs to not only avenge the team's terrible performance at Fort Collins on Jan 28 (team shot 31.2%, including 3-of-21 on threes with Tapley, Thames and Rahon combining to shoot an abysmal 6-of-36 overall) but for SDSU to take advantage of the Rams, who have been just PATHETIC on the road, especially against quality opponents. Colorado State has dropped EIGHT straight on the road in conference play (including five this season by an average of 15.2 PPG) plus since joining the MWC in 1999-00, the Rams have been outscored by 17.0 PPG in going 0-11 against top-25 foes on the road. Note that the Rams lost at UNLV 82-63 (plus-14) and 85-52 at New Mexico (plus-11 1/2). The number is much ‘cheaper’ here for SDSU and just why won’t the Aztecs win in a rout? The answer is, “THEY WILL!” Lay it.