Virginia in ‘First Four’ battle with Colorado State in Dayton

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: Colorado State Athletics

Virginia will face Colorado State in the NCAA Tournament’s “First Four” on Tuesday in Dayton, the annual site for the event’s opening games. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:10 p.m. Eastern on truTV.

The UVA-Colorado State winner will become the No. 10 seed in the Midwest Region and will take on No. 7 seed Texas in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday.

For ticket information to the First Four and NCAA first and second round games in Charlotte, see related story.

Virginia (23-10) was considered a bubble team for the past two weeks and its chances of making the 68-team field appeared dim once the Cavaliers lost to NC State in the ACC Tournament semifinals. State, of course, went on to win the tournament championship.

“To be in this moment and have an opportunity to earn an at-large is really awesome for us,” said Colorado State coach Niko Medved. “I’m not the expert but I think if you talked to the hundreds of people who do the bracketology, they really had all the Mountain West teams seeded higher. But you know what? That’s fine. They always disrespect our league. Now it’s time to go out and try and do something about it.”

CSU is in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons. The Rams played an aggressive schedule, including a 69-48 win over Creighton in the early season. They also defeated Colorado, Boston College, Saint Mary’s and Washington en route to a 12-1 start, even though the Rams’ had a roller-coaster ride in the Mountain West, losing to the top teams in the conference on the road.

Colorado State lost in the Mountain West semifinals in a 74-61 defeat by New Mexico, the eventual tourney champs. The Rams finished 24-10 overall and 10-8 in the league. They were 15-2 at home and only 4-7 on the road.

Check back, as this is a developing story.