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Most people are going with the team they know in this game. Let's not forget Colorado State is the higher seed for a reason (although not by much). Currently Missouri is favored by -3 at 5 Dimes Sportsbook.
Neither one of these teams has won a meaningful game away from home in a while which throws that factor out the window. Missouri's non-conference schedule surpasses CSU's by far though as they have wins over VCU and Illinois, but losses against Louisville (23 points) and UCLA. The Rams toughest out-of-conference game was at Colorado where they lost. Their best win happened to be on the road at Denver which isn't saying much. Because of those reasons alone, the Tigers look like the popular choice.
Both teams can score the ball which shouldn't be a problem in this game although Colorado State's defense is rated a little better. The Rams will look to utilize Colton Iverson in the post as much as possible. At 6-10 and 260, he's a handful for anyone on the defensive end. While his shot isn't the greatest, he has the ability to back down anyone in the paint. He'll match up with Alex Oriakhi which should prove to be a good matchup. Interestingly, a similar player to Iverson is Mike Muscala of Bucknell who dominated Missouri in their game earlier this season so that is something to look at.
CSU's point guard, Dorian Green, who's dealing with a sprained ankle, said he should be good-to-go for this game which is a good sign. He's the Rams second-leading scorer and leads the team in assists. With Green out lately, Wes Eikmeier has taken up a bigger scoring role in the back court. He has the ability to pull up from long range or drive to the hoop. Rounding out the starters is super active Pierce Hornung who averages 9.2 rebounds per game as a 6-5 forward and power forward Greg Smith who will be a good matchup with Lawrence Bowers of Missouri. Smith and Bowers are very similar players that are athletic for their size. Colorado State's entire starting lineup is seniors so you know they will be giving it all in their final collegiate run. Players like Daniel Bejarano and Jon Octeus can also be difference makers off the bench.
Missouri has a very similar lineup although less experienced and more prone to turnovers. Phil Pressey is the main reason for those turnovers as he's averaging 3.6 per game. The kid has loads of talent and quickness, but makes a lot of dumb decisions at the point which could prove vital against the Rams. Pressey isn't a great shooter which hasn't helped his game, but he does know how to dish the ball which is where he succeeds. Bowers in the post is their best scorer, but transfer Jabari Brown is their main scoring threat in the back court. Again, he doesn't shoot that well either, but works a solid one-two game with Pressey.
Neither team is very deep, but Missouri has a better-rounded lineup with six players scoring in double-digits which is something you don't see too often. The Tigers are also one of the best rebounding teams in the nation, but will likely have trouble with Iverson and the more physical Rams. If Missouri can get Iverson into foul trouble, this game will be much easier for them to win. If that doesn't happen, the experience and defense of Colorado State might be too much for the Tigers.
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