NCAA Bracket 2012: How Colorado State Basketball Got To March Madness

Mar 9, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Colorado State Rams guard Dorian Green (22) shoots a three-point shot against the San Diego State Aztecs in the first half of the semifinal round of the 2012 Mountain West Tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Colorado State returns to the NCAA Tournament after a nine-year absence.

The Colorado State Rams were looking for their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2003, and got it by being picked as an at-large team in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. They got to March with a good offense and a strong stretch of non-conference play.

The Rams began their 2011-12 campaign with some excellent play in non-conference action, piling up an 11-4 record before the Mountain West slate began. Colorado State fell by double digits to Duke, Stanford, and Southern Mississippi, but the six-game winning streak that the Rams carried into conference play helped give them the basis for a 20-win season.

And the Rams got to that plateau despite a few bad losses in the MWC, to TCU and Boise State, in particular. They made up for those with victories against UNLV and San Diego State. However, a loss to the Aztecs in the quarterfinals of the MWC Tournament left Colorado State worrying about its at-large status on Selection Sunday. Those worries, it turns out, were unfounded.

The Rams earned the No. 11 seed in the West Region and will face Murray State in the Second Round.

Join our 2012 NCAA Bracket pool to compete against the best and brightest from around the network.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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