Enjoying the best start in the 112-year history of the program, Colorado State has an opportunity to celebrate its new ranking with another milestone.
The Rams can set the school record for the longest single-season winning streak Monday night if they can stay among the ranks of the unbeaten with a victory over Charleston Southern.
Colorado State (11-0) entered the poll for the first time since Feb. 18, 2013, following its 85-84 victory at Denver on Friday that allowed it to match the 1988-89 squad for the longest single-season win streak. Daniel Bejarano hit a career-high six 3-pointers and finished with 25 points and Tiel Daniels added a season-high 20 for Colorado State, which also set season-best marks in shooting (60.4 percent) and assists (24).
"To come in here in this environment and win the game, it's just one of our better wins of the year," coach Larry Eustachy told the team's official website. "Last year we won two road games. Two. We've already won that many this year.
"The real spin on it: I think we're about half as good as we're going to be. I'm excited."
Eustachy and the Rams have played well at Moby Arena, where they are 6-0 and have averaged 76.2 points and 48.3 percent shooting, including 40.8 percent from 3-point range. Bejarano has a team-high 21 3-pointers and is among five players who have made at least 10 from beyond the arc.
Colorado State's offense is highly balanced - six players average at least 8.0 points, paced by J.J. Avila's 14.4 per game, and seven players have registered at least 12 assists. The Rams also have amassed a plus-6.7 average in rebounds, grabbing more boards than all but one of their opponents in their fast start.
They are among nine unbeaten teams in Division I.
Charleston Southern (5-4) is looking to avoid a winless three-game road stretch. The Buccaneers played Wofford tough Wednesday in a 64-58 defeat as Saah Nimly had 15 points and eight rebounds, and coach Barclay Radebaugh is eager to see how his team bounces back.
"It puts our team, again, in an adverse situation," Radebaugh said about playing the Rams. "It gives us an opportunity to be together for three days, just us, and another chance to grow against a really good team. I don't know that we learned more from a game this season than we did from that Wofford game."
Charleston Southern is shooting 21.2 percent from 3-point range and 32.3 percent overall on the road, where they've gone 1-3. The Buccaneers, though, should be able to challenge Colorado State on the boards since they have a plus-6.4 margin for the season while grabbing 42.3 rebounds per game.