March Madness 2012 Picks: Colorado State Rams vs. Murray State Racers

No. 11 Colorado State Rams vs. No. 6 Murray State Racers
Thursday, 3/15/12, 12:15 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Murray State -1.5
Current Betting Line:  Murray State -4.5
Opening Total:  136.5
Current Total:  135.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

College Football Sportsbook
The Murray State Racers will be playing close to home in facing the Colorado State Rams on Thursday

Colorado State returns to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2003 and the ninth time in program history.  The Rams were bounced out of the Mountain West Conference tournament by the San Diego State Aztecs, but rattled off wins in five of their last seven games.  “We were confident in our body of work this season,” stated Rams forward Pierce Hornung.  It’s important to note that the program hasn’t won a tournament game since beating Florida in 1989.  Colorado State is 8-4 ATS when playing on a neutral court the last two-plus seasons.

The Rams enter this matchup with a 20-11 overall record, becoming the seventh team in program history to reach the 20-win mark.  Colorado State finished conference play in fourth place in the league standings with an 8-6 record.  The team boasts the fourth-rated strength of schedule nationally, while also coming in with an RPI of 29.  In order to pull off the upset, the squad will need to hit shots from the perimeter, ranking 25th nationally in shooting 47.6 percent from the floor.

Murray State enters as the No. 6 seed in the West Region when opening up inside The KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY.  The Racers are making their 15th appearance in the Big Dance and have a 2-14 record since their first time in the event in 1964.  “If you really look at our body of work, you can make an argument for a two seed,” stated Racers head coach Steve Prohm.  The program won the Ohio Valley Conference regular season for the third straight campaign and was the only program in the country to go undefeated on the road.  Murray State is 11-11 ATS as a favorite this year.

The Racers and Rams have two common opponents from this season in Southern Mississippi and Jacksonville State.  Murray State picked up victories in both of those games, while Colorado earned a split in beating Jacksonville State and losing to Southern Mississippi.  There’s no doubt that the team will be playing in front of a partisan home crowd in playing in the state of Kentucky, which should have the locker room fired up.  “I’m glad we got in Louisville,” commented Racers senior Jewaun Long.

Bettors will likely back the Racers due to their 6-0 ATS mark as a favorite of 6.5 points or less, while the Rams are 6-7 ATS as an underdog.

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