Colorado State’s J.J. Avila drives against South Dakota State freshman Ian Theisen on Wednesday night in Fort Collins. The Jacks, a No. 8 seed, defeated No. 1 seed Colorado State 86-76.(Photo: AP)FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Colorado State couldn’t shake the hangover of an NCAA tournament snub, and South Dakota State seized on the excitement of its first-ever NIT game.Still smarting after failing to make the NCAA’s 68-team field, Colorado State men’s basketball team went through the motions without any emotion on defense Wednesday night and dropped a first-round game in the National Invitation Tournament to the visiting Jackrabbits, 86-76.So the season’s over for the winningest team in Colorado State history. One game into the NIT.“I thought the tougher team won,” Colorado State coach Larry Eustachy said. “Give South Dakota State all the credit. They were just tougher, from beginning to end.”South Dakota State (24-10), which fell short by just one point of making the NCAA tournament itself after losing the Summit League tournament title game on March 10 to North Dakota State, shot over the top of the Colorado State defense early, then found driving lanes as the Rams (27-7) went out to meet them.“I can’t even explain how proud I am of our guys,” SDSU coach Scott Nagy said. “That game was incredibly physical, and we knew it would be. We knew they would be upset about not making the NCAA Tournament, but we were upset, too, and this needed to be a big game for us. In my opinion, this is one of the biggest wins in our program’s history.”The Jacks led by as many as 16 points in the first half, by nine at halftime and responded to every Rams run with one of their own to move on to the second round. They’ll travel to Vanderbilt (20-13) for their next game this weekend. The date and time has not yet been set.Junior guards George Marshall, a transfer from Wisconsin, made six of 10 shots from 3-point range and scored 24 points for the Jackrabbits. Two … – Click Here To Visit Article Source