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Texas vs. Colorado State Prediction, Best Bets, and Odds

Written by: Andrew Norton
Published March 21, 2024
10 min read
  • Colorado State shot nearly 56% from the field in its “First Four” game against the Virginia Cavaliers, who held the seventh-lowest (best) adjusted defensive efficiency ranking in the country, per KenPom.

  • Texas has allowed its past three opponents to knock down 44.4% of their three-point attempts, which is the 16th-highest rate in that stretch nationally.

  • The Rams have won five of their past six games, with a loss to the lightning-quick New Mexico Lobos being the only blip.

After decimating the Virginia Cavaliers in their “First Four” game, the No. 10 seed Colorado State Rams will turn their attention towards the No. 7 seed Texas Longhorns in the Round of 64.

March Madness 2024 Texas vs. Colorado State

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Texas Longhorns vs. Colorado State Rams Prediction and Odds

Despite Colorado State trouncing the Virginia Cavaliers in one of the “First Four” games, the Texas Longhorns still hold a 2.5-point advantage over the Rams. Texas has Moneyline odds of -148 to win straight up, while the Rams are a +124 underdog to send the Longhorns packing and move on to the Round of 32. The Over/Under for this matchup hangs around 144 points, with the Over sitting at -112 odds and the Under holding steady at -108 odds.

Texas Longhorns Prediction

Expectations for the Texas Longhorns this season were high, especially after bringing in March Madness darling, Max Abmas, and former Virginia big man Kadin Shedrick. Additionally, the Longhorns brought back Dillon Mitchell, Dylan Disu, and Tyrese Hunter, giving them one of the more prolific offensive attacks in the nation.

Texas has everything it could want on the offensive end of the floor: shooting, scoring, and size. Disu stands at 6-foot-9, Mitchell is 6-foot-8, and Shedrick towers over most players at 6-foot-11. The engines of the Longhorns’ offense are Abmas and Disu, who combine for 33 points per game on efficient shooting splits.

However, Texas has been suspect at times defensively, ranking merely 62nd in adjusted defensive efficiency and allowing opponents to hit roughly 35% of their three-pointers (247th in the nation). The Longhorns also don’t finish defensive possessions very well, boasting the 169th-highest rebounding rate (73.3%) nationally; they have been quite a bit worse in that category (70.2%) in their past three games, too.

Texas will go as far as Dylan Disu and Max Abmas carry it. Abmas is no stranger to performing at a high level in March Madness and could once again turn into a superhero during the tournament. Disu had a monstrous 12-game stretch in the middle of the 2023-24 campaign, posting close to 20 points per game on 51.2% shooting, but in his past six games, his scoring average has plummeted to just 12.3 points per game.

It will take a concerted and consistent defensive effort along with improved offensive play from Disu if the Longhorns want to move on to the Round of 32 and, potentially, beyond.

Colorado State Rams Prediction

There is no other way to put it: the Colorado State Rams are a dangerous basketball team. Colorado State is led by one of the most efficient and effective guards in the nation, Isaiah Stevens, who averages close to 17 points and seven assists per game on roughly 48% shooting from the field, 45% from behind the arc, and 84% from the charity stripe this season. However, Stevens isn’t the only offensive weapon for the Rams, as Patrick Cartier, Joel Scott, and Nique Clifford all average double-digit points per game, too. 

There was no better example of the Rams’ talent and ability to create clean looks, regardless of player, within their offense than in their “First Four” game against the Virginia Cavaliers, a team that ranked seventh in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency metric before getting bounced. 

In fact, Stevens scored merely five points in that matchup and it wasn’t due to an “off” shooting night, or getting clamped by Cavaliers defenders; it had everything to do with the Rams leaning on the hot hand of Joel Scott, who posted 23 points and 11 rebounds. Further, Colorado State got a near-triple-double from Nique Clifford, who recorded a 17-point, 10-rebound, and six-assist outing against one of the best defenses in college basketball. 

The Rams rank 30th in the nation in effective field goal percentage, 16th in field goal percentage, and 38th in turnovers per game. This team protects the ball, utilizes impressive half-court sets to get guys open, and converts on those looks. One of Colorado State’s biggest weaknesses as a team is rebounding, which it ranks 188th in total rebounding rate. Additionally, it sits in 312th (out of 362 teams) in offensive rebounding percentage.

However, Colorado State slaughtered the Virginia Cavaliers on the glass in its first NCAA Tournament game, pulling down 19 more rebounds than them. While some of that disparity can be attributed to Virginia’s poor shooting, the Rams still stepped up on the defensive glass, proving that they can be passable in that area of the game.

Texas Longhorns vs. Colorado State Rams Pick

The challenge with analyzing this matchup is not getting too excited about the Colorado State Rams’ impressive play in their “First Four” game against Virginia. How much of that dominance had to do with Virginia simply being one of the worst offensive teams in a major conference?

While it is challenging to properly credit the Rams’ defense, as Virginia is an atrocity offensively, we do know that they dropped 67 points on just shy of 56% shooting from the field against the Cavaliers, who have one of the best defenses in the country.

The Longhorns have often been exploitable on that end of the floor throughout the season, ranking 62nd in adjusted defensive efficiency (KenPom), while allowing opponents to knock down almost 35% of their three-point attempts. 

Furthering matters, Texas has let its past three opponents hit a combined 44.4% of their threes, which is the 16th-worst percentage in the nation in that stretch. That is not a good recipe for the Longhorns, especially since one of those opponents was Kansas State (285th in 3P%). 

The only real area that Texas could exploit is rebounding; however, the Longhorns are far from a good rebounding team, ranking merely 137th in total rebounding rate. Colorado State hardly broke a sweat in its first game and will be riding a huge wave of confidence from its offensive masterclass against Virginia, so let’s hop on board.

How to Watch Texas Longhorns vs. Colorado State Rams

  • Teams: Texas vs. Colorado State

  • Location: Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Date: Thursday, March 21 at 6:50 PM ET

  • TV: TNT, March Madness Live

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AUTHOR

Andrew Norton

148 Articles

Andrew has always been an avid sports fan and followed his hoop dreams all the way to college. He’s well-versed in everything betting with multiple years of experience and is qualitatively and quantitatively knowledgeable in sports statistics and analytics.

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