Instead, CSU was left on the bubble, prompting a great hue and cry among Rams supporters, who felt the squad had been snubbed.
Today, that argument is tougher to make.
Why? Last night, CSU lost its first-round game in the National Invitational Tournament, or NIT — the consolation prize for college-hoops also-rans — despite being a number-one seed and playing at home.
The CSU Rams Facebook page hyped up the selection-show-watching party Sunday morning with this photo....
...and a post that reads:
Remember this selection show party? Only a couple hours until the Fuzzy's Selection Show Party! Make sure you're there starting at 3:30 pm to enjoy beverage specials and chips and salsa.Those positive vibes didn't last, and fans vented their spleen on the page after CSU was bumped despite an impressive 27-7 record. Some sample comments:
Good luck to Colorado State University Men's Basketball today! We're feeling good!
I'm so heartbroken. Our Rams deserved to be in. Period....The Facebook page's administrators wisely stayed positive, although the Facebook banner advertising the Rams' NIT game against South Dakota State Jackrabbits does seem slightly defensive:
Nuts and bolts!
The university also took the opportunity to introduce CSU's new athletic director, Joe Parker, posting the following video:
The Rams were seeded first, while the Jackrabbits earned an eighth seed — the lowest for NIT participants. Moreover, CSU hosted the game on its home court, Moby Arena — another difference between the NIT and the NCAA tourney, which holds games at neutral sites.
Nonetheless, the local ballers turned in a desultory performance, eventually falling 86-76.
Afterward, the CSU Facebook page overseers dubbed it a "tough night," but added, "We're still so incredibly proud of this Colorado State team and their record-breaking year. Thank you so much Rams fans for showing your support!"
Some loyalists posting on the page struck a similar note, with one message reading, "So proud of ours guys. Thank you for being so classy and true Rams!" But others took the loss harder, as evidenced by these responses:
They suck. No heart tonight....Then there was this: " I don't want to hear anyone complain about being snubbed.... Regretfully, I guess the committee was right."
Hurt to watch, more like disappointment. You play to win the game! Doesn't matter where or what it is!...
Just plain embarrassing....
Dammit, committee screwed us again with that draw....
Great job, ladies....
Look below to see highlights (make that lowlights) from the game, followed by the press conferences held afterward by Coach Larry Eustachy and CSU seniors.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.