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NCAA Tournament Predictions: Colorado State Rams vs Murray State Racers

by Mike Stewart

Isaiah Canaan - NCAA Tournament Predictions: Colorado State Rams vs Murray State Racers

Murray State Racers begins its NCAA tournament journey in its home state on Thursday when the sixth-seeded Racers meet Colorado State Rams in the South Regional round of 64 in Louisville, Ky.

Murray State, the last Division-I team to lose this season after its school record 23-0 start, begins postseason play with the best record in the nation and is making its 15th NCAA tourney appearance.

The Racers are back in the the Big Dance for the second time in three years. Colorado State, the No. 11 seed, finished fourth in the Mountain West Conference and is making its first NCAA appearance since 2003.

- Colorado State Rams @ Murray State Racers
When: 12:15 PM ET, Thursday, March 15, 2012
Where: KFC Yum Center, Louisville, Kentucky

The Racers have opened as 4-point favorites on SBG Global Sportsbook’s Live NCAA Basketball Odds.

Murray State Racers (30-1): The Racers knocked off Vanderbilt in the first round in 2010 before losing to eventual national runner-up Butler in the round of 32. Murray State is led by All-America candidate Isaiah Canaan, who averages 19.2 points and 3.7 assists, and is among the nation's leaders with 3.1 3-pointers per game while shooting better than 47 percent from behind the arc. Canaan, the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year, is a finalist for the major national awards, including the Wooden, Robertson, and Cousy honors. Donte Poole, a first-team All-OVC selection, averages 14.2 points and a team-high 2.0 steals. Murray State shoots almost 48 percent from the field, 41 from 3-point range and 73 percent from the free-throw line. The Racers, guided by first-year coach Steve Prohm, are 17-0 away from home, including 4-0 on neutral courts.

Colorado State Rams (20-11): Like Murray State, the Rams shoot almost 48 percent from the field and 41 from 3-point range. Colorado State is one of the top free-throw shooting teams in the nation at 77 percent. The Rams are 5-6 vs. teams in this year's NCAA tourney. They start four juniors and a sophomore, led by guard Wes Eikmeier, a first-team All-Mountain West selection who transferred two years ago from Iowa State. Eikmeier averages 15.6 points and shoots 88 percent from the free-throw line. Dorian Green and Pierce Hornung were third-team All-MWC picks. Green is second in scoring (13.5) while Hornung, who missed six games early this season with a concussion, leads the team in rebounding (8.4) and shoots 64 percent from the field. Fifth-year coach Tim Miles has the Rams in the postseason for the third straight year.

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colorado state rams - donte poole - dorian green - isaiah canaan - kfc yum center - murray state racers - pierce hornung - steve prohm - wes eikmeier

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