Last night we saw Boise State and San Diego State do battle with the Broncos emerging victorious by a point. The win means that Wyoming needs to win tonight keep pace with Boise State and maintain a realistic shot at taking the Mountain West title this season.
There are so few games left to make up ground.
Wyoming and Colorado State are the other teams that round out the top four in the MWC. In my opinion all of these programs deserve to be invited to the NCAA Tournament, though admittedly SDSU did take a little hit with a second close loss to Boise State. A season sweep is never a good look.
Unlike last night where we had two of the top defensive teams in the country competing, this game will feature strong offenses. Colorado State is 17th nationally in offensive efficiency and Wyoming 26th. If you look at just conference results, Wyoming has the edge of being the top offense though, with the Rams second.
This game should look a lot different than last night but is likely just as close.
Wyoming Cowboys vs. Colorado State Rams College Basketball Matchup Info and Betting Odds
- Game Matchup: Wyoming Cowboys (22-4, 11-2 Mountain West, 2nd in the Mountain West) vs. Colorado State Rams (21-4, 11-4 Mountain West, 3rd in the Mountain West)
- Venue & Location: Moby Arena (Fort Collins, Colorado
- Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2022
- Time: 9:00 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS Sports Network
- Spread: Wyoming +6.5 (-110), Colorado State -6.5 (-110)
- Total: OVER 144.5 (-110), UNDER 144.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: Wyoming +230, Colorado State -300
Odds are via BetMGM.
Is Wyoming Underrated?
Even if you are big fan of college hoops, you can be forgiven for not knowing a ton about the Wyoming Cowboys. They have just two NCAA Tournament appearances this century, never making it past the second round, and are usually an afterthought in the Mountain West.
This season they have found success thanks to the frontcourt duo of Graham Ike and Hunter Maldonado.
Maldonado came into the season as the much more established player. This is his fifth season with the Cowboys, and he has averaged 12+ points in each of the last three seasons. The 19 points per game he is posting this season is a nice improvement but that alone would not have been enough to really push the program forward.
That is where the development of big man Graham Ike has come in. The six-foot-nine, 252-pound forward is averaging 21 points per game and leading the nation in possessions used. He is also leading the nation in fouls drawn, as he has become an unstoppable force for Wyoming.
The combination of these two offensive players is what led to Wyoming’s win over Colorado State in Laramie earlier this season. That game went to overtime and the Rams had no answer for the duo which scored 51 of the teams 84 points, led by Maldonado’s 35.
Colorado State’s NCAA Tournament Resume Has Questions
Colorado State started the season 11-0. There were some decent wins from their nonconference schedule with the best being a 16-point win over St. Mary’s. They also banked wins over Creighton and Mississippi State.
In the Mountain West, they have been good as well. But they have also been swept by UNLV, including a home loss to the Runnin’ Rebels by 14 points and a road loss to UNLV by 21 points in their last game.
UNLV is not an NCAA Tournament team and Colorado State has to be concerned as a result. I can’t recall many teams getting an at-large bid who were swept by a team that didn’t make the field.
That means there is probably more pressure on them to finish strong than they might want to admit. They have games against Top 50 KenPom teams to close the year including a date with Boise State in their regular season finale.
Hopefully they make it, because burly forward David Roddy is one of the best players in the country that nobody talks about.
Wyoming Cowboys vs. Colorado State Rams Prediction
Colorado State 79, Wyoming 73 (Wyoming +7 & Over 144)
When these teams met in Laramie, the score was tied at 70 at the end of regulation. I am looking for another game played in the 70s in the rematch so the over is the best bet.
Maldonado probably cools from what we saw in the last game, but that is what makes Wyoming so dangerous. The development of Ike gives the Cowboys a way to avoid scoring lulls because he is so good at drawing fouls. Wyoming has been winning because they are very consistent offensively.
Colorado State leans on their offense too, but it has been much more sporadic. Their 51 points in their last game were a season low. By nature, that is an outlier result, but it is still causing some concern.
On Wednesday night, the Rams should be a lot more comfortable at Moby Arena and the Cowboys' defense is not as highly rated as UNLV’s.
Look for both teams to develop a nice rhythm offensively tonight. I think siding with the home team makes sense but the spread is just too big in this spot. The Rams are not reliable like that. They are 5-7 ATS as a home favorite this season.
Also, Wyoming has been one of the best underdog teams in the country, especially on the road. They are 5-2 SU and 6-1 ATS when getting points away from Laramie this season.