As the regular season winds down, college basketball conference tournaments are on the horizon, and ESPN's Joe Lunardi is casting his bracket predictions for the 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball tournament. Check out how your Dogs faired against his bracket forecasts Brigham Young University, Utah State and Colorado State.
Fresno State kicked off its 2010-11 season with one of the biggest road games in recent history, as the Dogs ventured to Provo, Utah to face a No. 24 BYU in a sold-out battle and homecoming for head coach Steve Cleveland, who resurrected the BYU program in his tenure with the Cougars, 1997-2005.
The recent meeting between the Dogs and then ranked No. 24 Cougars began as a competitive game early for the visiting Bulldogs, who entered the game with an aggressive defensive game plan, but surged too late in the game that led to an 83-56 victory for BYU. BYU currently holds a 26-2 record overall, and is 12-1 in the Mountain West Conference. Lunardi predicts BYU to be a second seed in the tournament, and will meet with the 15th seed Long Beach State in the Western Region (Anaheim, Calif.)
The Bulldogs hosted BYU one year prior at the Save Mart Center for the first time since the Cougars left the WAC.
In their fourth WAC game of 2011, Fresno State hosted Utah State at the Save Mart Center in a hard, physical battle that ended in a 52-39 Aggie victory. The Dogs held Utah State to its second lowest scoring outing of the season (52 points), but took their eighth consecutive loss against the three-time defending WAC Champion.
Utah State is expected to be the No. 8 seeded opponent against a No. 9 seeded UCLA in the Southeast Region (New Orleans, La.) The Aggies currently lead the Western Athletic Conference 12-1 and with a 25-3 record overall.
Colorado State, who is projected to play a "play-in" game against an also No. 12 seeded Richmond for a spot in the round of 64, is currently fourth in the Mountain West Conference with an 8-5 record, 18-9 overall.
The Dogs met with the Rams this season in Fort Collins in a game that became the Bulldogs' best offensive outing of the season. With a strong offense in Garrett Johnson, and strong efforts from Greg Smith and Tim Steed, but despite efforts, fell 87-74 on the road.
Don't miss your Bulldogs in WAC tournament action in Las Vegas beginning March 9, 2011.