This is college basketball.
The massive matchup at Moby was a great game through and through.
It was a battle between two of the best basketball teams in the country, as Colorado State hosted San Diego State in a wild Mountain West affair.
The game was extremely close throughout – the teams found themselves tied at 35 at halftime and neither squad led by more than three points in the second half – until the Rams' clutch play stole the game in the final seconds.
CSU found themselves down 58-60 with 1:29 remaining; a loss to their nemesis SDSU seemed inescapable.
But the Rams found a way to win.
Dorian Green missed a jumper, but Pierce Hornung was there to rebound the ball, which got kicked around to Green, who drained the deep three. Xavier Thames missed a three for the Aztecs, which Colton Iverson grabbed, and following the timeout, Green took the ball to the hoop with strength, drawing the foul while making a big-time layup. His free throw following the SDSU timeout was clutch – it put CSU up four points – and when Greg Smith stole the ball, throwing it ahead to Jon Octeus for a thunderous throw down and an 8-0 run, the game was over.
Colorado State could have folded down the stretch – as they have many times over the last four years – but tonight, the Rams were resilient.
“If that's not an exciting college basketball game, I don't know what is,” head coach Larry Eustachy said after the win.
“We just made plays down at the end, so the game could have gone either way,” he continued. “It was an unbelievable atmosphere. As good as I've been in and we all know I was at Iowa State, which was supposed to be one of the five toughest places to play and this thing was louder than any game I've seen at [James H.] Hilton [Coliseum].
“Hats off to the fans. We don't get that thing done at the end; that's hard for a team to come down and make the plays, meaning San Diego State, when that place is going nuts in the last two minutes. It's just, it's the difference maker. We don't win without the crowd,” he finished.
Without a doubt, it was the loudest crowd at Moby in the last two seasons and CBS4's Vic Lombardi recorded a high decibel mark at 125, which is astonishing and actually causes hearing loss.
The win is CSU's 20th on the season, but more amazingly, it's their 27th straight at home; the third-longest current streak in college basketball.
Moby Madness is alive and well, in fact, tonight's 8,753 fans brought it to a brand new level of craziness; Colorado State has become one of the most difficult places to win for traveling teams.
Green finished with a game-high 16 points, while Smith scored 15 and Colton Iverson snagged 11 rebounds. For the Aztecs, Jamaal Franklin had only 11 points after going 0-6 in the second half, and Chase Tapley scored 16 of his own. CSU, the best boarding team in the nation, out-rebounded San Diego State 43-31 and 20 of their points came on second chances.
The win improves Colorado State's record to 20-4, 7-2 MWC, meaning they now sit alone in second place of the great Mountain West.
Next up for CSU is a road game in Colorado Springs against Air Force (15-3, 6-4) Saturday at 2 p.m. MT.