Niko Medved’s honest take on Colorado State basketball’s blowout win vs. Virginia in March Madness

The Rams dominated the Cavaliers to advance to the round of 64.

March Madness got underway on Tuesday night with the First Four from Dayton, Ohio. A lot of people had their eyes on the second matchup of the day that put Virginia basketball up against Colorado State basketball. Both of these teams received a 10 seed, so they had potential to make some noise in the tournament. The Rams ended up dominating the Cavaliers to earn a 67-42 win, and they will now take on Texas in the round of 64 on Thursday.

Colorado State basketball absolutely dominated Virginia on Tuesday night. The Rams were favored by 2.5 coming into the game, and they ended up winning by 25. They held the Cavaliers to just 14 points in the first half, and Virginia was never able to get back in the game. Colorado State head coach Niko Medved wasn’t expecting such a blowout.

“I never would have imagined that,” Colorado State head coach Niko Medved said after the game, according to an article from USA Today. “I knew our guys were ready to compete. We got an opportunity to play here, it is what it is. … We’ll watch Texas film on the plane and do it again.”

Colorado State played so well on Tuesday night that even their own head coach was surprised by the outcome. The Rams were expecting to win, but they weren’t expecting to cruise to a 25-point victory.

Virginia basketball plays slow

The Colorado State Rams celebrates drafting the Virginia Cavaliers at UD Arena.
© Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

When you look at the style of basketball that Virginia plays, it isn’t all that surprising that Colorado State was able to hold them to such a low scoring total. The Cavaliers don’t score a lot of points and there have been multiple games this season where they have finished in the 40s. In fact, it isn’t just something that happened this year, it’s been a trend under Tony Bennett. The Cavaliers have never been flashy, but their defense can typically win them games. That wasn’t the case on Tuesday night.

Virginia is definitely a defense-first team, and it has worked for them in the past. The Cavaliers did win a national title in 2019 under Bennett. However, when things don’t go to plan, a game like Tuesday’s can happen. Pretty much everything that could’ve gone wrong did go wrong for the Cavaliers, and a lot of credit goes to Colorado State basketball.

At the beginning of the game, Virginia’s defense was keeping them in it and it was a close, low-scoring slugfest. The Cavaliers play in games like that often and they are used to it. The score was 18-14 with 9:20 left in the first half, and Colorado State had the lead. Then, with 17:01 remaining in the second half, the Cavaliers still had 14 points. The difference, however, is that the Rams then had 35 points.

Virginia went over 12 minutes without scoring a point. It doesn’t matter how good your defense is if you can’t score. It was almost an hour of real time that the Cavaliers went scoreless. It is near impossible to win a game like that.

Scoring droughts like that mixed with Colorado State finding a way to score consistently made for a miserable night for the Cavaliers. Virginia was never able to make it close, and their season is now over.

Colorado State basketball deserves a ton of credit for their performance on Tuesday. They had a great game plan, and they executed all night long. The Rams now have a date with the seven seed Longhorns on Thursday, and it should be a great game. Texas is currently favored by 2.5.

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About the Author

Scotty White is a graduate of the University of Michigan and has been in the sports journalism industry since 2020. He has covered athletics at the University of Michigan and the University of Southern California and is now serving as an Associate Editor and Chicago Bulls beat writer at ClutchPoints.

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