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NIT Tip-off Tournament 2011: Colorado St. Rams Face SMU Mustangs In Opening Round

Colorado State opens up the preseason NIT against SMU.

The Colorado State Rams begin play in the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament on Monday night against the SMU Mustangs. The Rams are coming off a tough season-opening win over Montana on Friday night, while the Mustangs are coming off a 78-49 win over McMurry.

Colorado State returns two starters--guards Wes Eickmeier and Dorian Green--from a team that won nine games in Mountain West Conference play last season. CSU likely will rely on those two to pace the offense this season. Eikmeier scored a team-high 21 points in the opener.

The Rams are the tournament's No. 7 seed and have been placed in the West Region, which is being hosted by Stanford. Here's the schedule for the region (pdf):

Nov. 14
Colorado State Rams vs. SMU Mustangs (6:00 p.m. MT)
Stanford Cardinal vs. Fresno State Bulldogs (9:00 p.m. MT, ESPNU)

Nov. 15
West Region Championship Game (6:00 p.m. or 9:00 p.m. MT, ESPNU)
West Region Consolation Game (6:00 p.m. or 9:00 p.m. MT, ESPNU)

The winner of the regional advances to the tournament semifinals, which are held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

For more updates on Rams basketball, stay tuned to SB Nation Denver. For more from around the Mountain West, head over to Mountain West Connection. For news and notes from around college basketball, visit SB Nation's NCAA basketball news hub.