No. 7 Fresno State goes head to head against Colton Iverson and Colorado State in today’s conference championship quarterfinals. Dalton Runberg / The Collegian
2013 Mountain West Conference Basketball Championships
No. 7 Fresno State (11-18, 5-11 MWC) vs. No.2 Colorado State (24-7, 11-5 MWC)
Today at 2:30 p.m. at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas
TV: CBS Sports Network
Radio: KMJ 580 FM
Fresno State – which evaded having to play in Tuesday’s play-in game by winning its final two Mountain West Conference games of the season – still faces an upward climb to the conference crown and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Bulldogs play No. 2 Colorado State today in the quarterfinals as the seventh-seed, and will be without freshman Robert Upshaw, who was suspended from the team indefinitely on Monday for violation of team rules and the university’s athletics department policy.
Upshaw played a total of 28 minutes against Fresno State’s two losses to the Rams this season (74-63 in the teams’ first meeting at the Save Mart Center and 74-67 on the road in the second meeting).
Fresno State’s guards were able to get going against the Rams, though. Tyler Johnson scored 23 points off 7-of-16 shooting, and Kevin Olekaibe netted 18 off a perfect 6-of-6 from behind the 3-point arc.
Finding a viable solution to Rams senior center Colton Iverson – who literally broke the backboard at the Save Mart Center after a dunk – is something many teams haven’t found this season. Iverson is shooting 59.2 percent from the field (seventh among Division I players) and has had 13 double-doubles this season.
Johnson earns all-conference honorable mention
Bulldogs guard Tyler Johnson earned All-Mountain West honorable mention selection on Monday.
Johnson leads Fresno State in scoring with 12 points per game and finished the season shooting 45.9 percent from the field.