Up and Down Rams Head into MWC Play

Remember the game show, The $25,000 Pyramid, hosted by Dick Clark? Try this category: A pogo stick. The stock market. A yo-yo. An elevator. Colorado State Men's basketball. <p>Answer: Things that go up and down.

Dale Layer's Colorado State Rams have been up: Check out their victories over Purdue and Pepperdine. Against the Boilermakers at Moby Arena, CSU won in dramatic fashion when Micheal Morris hit not one, but two 3-pointers in the final second for an unbelievable 71-69 win. In a game at the Pepsi Center, the Rams blew out an athletic Pepperdine team 91-65. The game was over 10-minutes in when CSU raced out to a 25-5 advantage.

However, the Rams have had their share of downs: During a visit to Denver University, Colorado State held a 9-point halftime edge over the Pioneers, only to have the wheels come off. DU outscored the Rams by 26 in the second half for a 71-49 win. CSU also faltered in a trip to Montana State, falling 82-75.

Still searching for a answer, the Rams will head into Monday night's Mountain West Conference opener at Moby Arena against Air Force with an 8-5 mark. Normally, you can mark down a win in a game against Air Force. Not so fast - this is not a typical Air Force squad.

The Falcons have won 7 in a row, and at 8-2 are off to the best start in the 48-year history of the program. Granted, Air Force has not played the most dynamic schedule, but they do have a road win over California (49-44) and a home victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee (71-49), a team that went to the NCAA tournament last season. Joe Scott's "Princeton" style offense has resulted in low scores but, more importantly, wins. In the last 6 games, Air Force has not allowed an opponent to reach 50-points.

Not only will the Rams face a much-improved team in the Falcons, they will likely begin the conference slate without Junior Center Matt Nelson. Nelson, who is averaging close to 15-points per game, but who is out indefinitely with a sprained right knee suffered early in the loss to Montana State.

As Mountain West Conference play opens, it should be noted that all eight schools have winning records in non-conference play.

You can be pretty sure the Falcons will come to play. Which CSU team will show up? Tip time for Air Force-CSU is slated for 7 p.m.


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