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2011 NIT Bracket: Colorado State Hosts Fairfield

The Colorado St. Rams enter post season play tonight as they host the Fairfield Stags in the first round of the NIT tournament. Fairfield comes from the MAAC conference and they had high hopes of doing some damage in the NCAA tournament, but they fell to St. Peters Peacocks in the semifinals of the MAAC tournament. The Stags have a record of 24-7 and have no standout wins on their schedule. They did have the Florida Gator on the docket, but that game was cancelled due to weather early in the season.

Fairfield is led by guard Derek Needham who averages 14 points per game and he is a streaky player who shoots the ball a lot to get to his average. He only shoots 35 percent from the field and 31 percent from the three-point range, so if he goes cold then Fairfield has a tough time winning games. That is exactly what happened in their loss to St. Peters as Needham was only one-for-twelve in shooting the ball, so in definition he is a chucker. Needham is more then the Stags leading scorer, he is a solid defender who can create trouble for opposing guards as he averages nearly two steals per game, and he is a distributor on offense by dishing out five assists per game.

Fairfield is a team that wants to slow down the pace down, partly due to their offense that is not great but they make up for it in defense as they give up a stellar .88 points per possession. While the Stags boast a good defense they will have a tough time slowing down Colorado State's Andy Odige and Travis Franklin who make up 40 percent of the Rams offense.

This game tips at 7 p.m. MT and can only be seen on ESPN3.