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Colorado State Rams slow down, fall to Michigan

Wolverines get the ‘upset’ in the 11-6 game.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Round - Colorado State vs Michigan Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado State Rams average just over 21 attempts from deep per game, in 20 minutes in Indianapolis they shot 20. A game in which the Rams just couldn’t quite play their brand of basketball, they had to look for the deep ball.

Going into the ballgame it was talked about how Colorado State didn’t quite size up to the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan has one of the taller teams in the country with their leading scorer Hunter Dickinson standing at 7-foot-1. With only two guys above 6-foot-8, the Rams knew they needed to find their offense somewhere else.

But, despite a hot start, the Rams fell 75-63 to Michigan, ending their season. The loss moves CSU to 25-6, as they are expected return the majority of their roster for next season. Michigan plays the winner of Longwood-Tennessee.

The game started off strong for CSU, with four of their first five makes coming from deep. They shot out to a seven point lead before the first media timeout and didn’t look back.

In a game with a hostile crowd for the Rams, they were able to kill any momentum the Wolverines had early. Colorado State was able to have a very balanced attack, and a high shooting percentage. Good looks are only as good as the shooters and Colorado State had no issue knocking down shots in the opening half of the game.

Led by Dischon Thomas with 12 in the first half, the Rams went 8-10 from three point range, breaking their season average of made threes per game in just one half. They drew nine first half Michigan turnovers to just five turnovers of their own. They extended their lead all the way out to 15 points before finding themselves up by seven at the break. Then halftime hit.

The second half was like a tale of two games for the Rams. All the shots they were hitting with ease early just couldn’t quite find the bottom of the net in the second. Michigan had separate runs of six and seven points to open the half as Colorado State was only able to muster eight points in the first 7:30 of the half. Every time it looked like the Rams had a little bit of breathing room and a chance to make a run, Michigan would shut it down with a run of their own.

It took Michigan until the 12 minute mark in the second half to lead, the same time as Colorado took their first free throw of the game to take the lead for the final time. A Michigan 3-pointer with 10 minutes to play in the middle of an 8-0 run gave the Wolverines the lead and they never looked back. The physical presence of the Wolverines was just too much for Colorado State.

The Rams shot just 29% from the floor in the second half, and only had eight points in the paint. Thomas led the Rams in scoring with 15 but didn’t hit a field goal for the final 15:27 of the ballgame. David Roddy and Kendle Moore were both in double figures for Colorado State.