Colorado State vs Virginia Preview & Free Pick [3/19/24]

Colorado State (24-10) vs Virginia (23-10)
When: Tuesday, March 19th, 2024
Where: University of Dayton Arena,
Dayton, OH

Time: 9:10 ET | TV: TRUTV
Opening Odds: Colorado State -1/120.5

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Two programs who have never met on the basketball court will take center stage Tuesday night in Dayton, Ohio when the Colorado State Rams battle the Virginia Cavaliers in a First-Four NCAA Tournament game. Virginia has been here before but with not much success recently. The Cavaliers have been eliminated in the First Round in each of their last two appearances and haven’t won a tournament game since beating Texas Tech in the 2019 national championship.

The Rams are making their second NCAA Tournament in three years and have lost six of their past seven March Madness contests, with five of those defeats coming by double-digits. Colorado State also fell in the first round in their most recent appearance in the Big Dance in 2022 and haven’t won a tournament game since 2013. The Rams are one of six teams from the mid-major Mountain West Conference in this tournament, one more than Virginia’s ACC. The winner will play seventh-seeded Texas (20-12) on Thursday in Charlotte, N.C.


Under is 10-3 in Colorado State’s last 13 overall.
Under is 6-2 in Colorado State’s last 8 games as a favorite.
Under is 8-3 in Colorado State’s last 11 Tue. games.
Under is 9-0 in Virginia’s last 9 non-conference games.
Under is 57-26 in Virginia’s last 83 Tue. games.


The Rams had won four in a row, averaging 77.3 points per game during the run, but fell flat in last weekend’s 74-61 loss to New Mexico in the Mountain West tournament. Senior Isaiah Stevens led the team with 16.5 points per game, but has been the team’s top scorer in just one of the past five games. Senior Nique Clifford has averaged a team-high 7.5 rebounds and has recorded double-doubles in two of his past five contests. Colorado State received the final at-large bid, according to the selection committee.


Virginia is just 4-5 since having an eight-game winning streak snapped on Feb. 13. The Cavaliers lost 73-65 in overtime to eventual champion NC State in the ACC semifinals on Friday. Senior Reece Beekman leads the team with 14.3 points and 6.3 assists per game, while the defense does the rest. The Cavaliers rank third in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 59.5 points per game and have held five of their last eight opponents to 60 or less. Virginia was the lowest-rated team (69th) in the ratings to receive an at-large bid.


Both of these teams squeaked into the Big Dance and are out to prove they belong. Many people will probably take the ACC over the Mountain West in this one, but not me. Colorado State can score and are one of the best shooting teams in the country. Virginia’s defense will make it difficult but the Cavs just can’t score. Virginia really played poorly down the stretch, while the Rams got hot at the end before losing to a hot New Mexico team. I’ll lay the two points here.

Pick: Colorado State -2