CSU’s tourney journey starts Thursday against Michigan

CSU makes the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013.

Game information

No. 6-seed Colorado State University (25-5) vs. No. 11-seed Michigan (17-14)

What: NCAA men’s basketball first round, South Region

When: 10:15 a.m. MT, Thursday, March 17; TV: CBS; Radio: 102.9 FM

Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis

Common foes: Michigan defeated UNLV 74-61 on Nov. 16 and San Diego State 72-58 on Dec. 4. CSU was swept by the Runnin’ Rebels and went 1-2 against the Aztecs.

Next: The CSU-Michigan winner plays the winner of Thursday’s game between third-seeded Tennessee vs. 14-seeded Longwood University. That second-round game will be at a time TBA Saturday, with the victor advancing to the South Regional in San Antonio.

By the Numbers


Coach Niko Medved’s first NCAA Tournament bid as a head coach in nine years of coaching. He turned around Furman and Drake before coming to Fort Collins. Medved was a CSU assistant when the Rams last made the NCAAs in 2012 and 2013.


High-profile Wolverines-Rams matchups: Aside from the basketball game, new CSU football coach Jay Norvell’s first game will be in Ann Arbor on Sept. 3, 2022.


Previous CSU-Michigan basketball games: The Wolverines won 56-37 in 1948 and 87-80 in 2000. CSU beat Michigan 70-66 in overtime in Moby Arena on Feb. 11, 2002.


Mountain West teams in the NCAA Tournament: Boise State and San Diego State earned No. 8 seeds; Wyoming received a 12-seed but was placed in a play-in game against Indiana.


Teams played who also made the NCAA: CSU defeated fellow tourney teams St. Mary’s and Creighton, swept Boise State, split with Wyoming and was 1-2 against San Diego State for a total of 6-3 against NCAA tourney teams.


CSU’s highest seed in NCAA Tournament: The Rams’ previous best seed was an 8-seed in 2013. That year, CSU defeated Missouri 84-72 before losing to top-seeded Louisville.


More seasons Medved is under contract: The Rams’ coach signed a contract extension on Selection Sunday and now has a contract with CSU through the 2028-29 season.


Seasons in which CSU has danced: The Rams are making their 11th NCAA Tourney trip.

Niko Medved
Isaiah Stevens jumper
Kendle Moore


Medved, Howard take much different paths to the same game: As a Roseville, Minnesota, native, CSU coach Niko Medved grew up in Big Ten country. The Golden Gophers alum was a student manager at about the same time Michigan coach Juwan Howard was part of the Fab Five team that was making back-to-back NCAA Tournaments. Howard, who is about six months older than Medved, played three years for the Wolverines and 19 years in the NBA, collecting two rings with the Miami Heat before staying in Miami as an assistant. Medved was a student manager for Minnesota coach Clem Haskins, who led the Gophers to the 1993 NIT title. Medved coached at Macalester College in St. Paul before working as an assistant at Furman, Minnesota and Colorado State. Medved then took head coaching jobs at Furman, Drake and CSU.

CSU AD Joe Parker is a Michigan man: Parker was a three-time All-American swimmer at Michigan before graduating in 1987. He also worked at Michigan from 2003 until 2011, when he helped make $400 million in improvements to “The Big House” football stadium.

Cooley destined to make this tournament: First-year basketball assistant Brian Cooley came to CSU after working with Scott Nagy at Wright State and South Dakota State. The Raiders won the Horizon League tourney and are in the play-in game against Bryant University. SDSU earned a 13 seed.

CSU vs. the Big Ten: The Rams are 11-25 against teams currently in the Big Ten. That includes 6-6 at home, 0-16 on the road and 5-3 in neutral site games. CSU has not played a Big Ten team in the NCAAs. The Rams did lose to Nebraska in the 1996 NIT and to Minnesota in the 1998 NIT.

Peeking ahead: If CSU can defeat Michigan, it would play Tennessee, unless the Volunteers were upset by Longwood. Coached by Rick Barnes, Tennessee won the SEC postseason tournament and were considered for an even higher seed. CSU and the Vols (twice) both beat Mississippi State.

CSU vs. the SEC: The Rams haven’t played Tennessee in men’s basketball. CSU is 11-8 against the SEC, including 1-0 this season with a game against Alabama that was canceled. That record includes 5-2 at home, 2-5 on the road and 4-1 in neutral-court games.

South region bracket: Arizona (1) vs. Wright State/Bryant (16); Seton Hall (8) vs. TCU (9); Houston (5) vs. UAB (12); Illinois (4) vs. Chattanooga (13); CSU (6) vs. Michigan (11); No. 6 Colorado Tennessee (3) vs. Longwood (14); Ohio State (7) vs. Loyola Chicago (10); Villanova (2) vs. Delaware (15)

More coverage on the Rams marching to IndianapolisCSU men's basketball team watching the Rams logo appear during Sunday's NCAA selection show.

  • Now we’re going dancing: Rams back in NCAA Tournament for first time since 2013. Story.
  • Scheduling up pays off with an NCAA ticket. Story.
  • Medved signs an extension: Coach inked a deal through 2028-29. Story.
  • All-American Roddy has an uncommon touch. Story.
  • Medved’s Moby flashbacks turn into reality. Story.
  • Point guard Stevens is a student of the game. Story.