By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN
The U Conn Huskies women’s basketball team has posted exactly 100 wins between January 4, 2014 and Tuesday’s title game. Let’s put the UCONN achievement in perspective. Over the same span of time the Montana Lady Griz have won 58 games, but that is hardly a shabby number in comparison to some other programs. The Huskies Tuesday night’s foe Syracuse has won just 64 games over that same span, while the Washington Huskies have just 61 wins. Closest to Matching Connecticut’s winning pace is Notre Dame who has won 94 games since January 4, of 2014.
Of the four national semi-finalists two have lost to the Lady Griz in this Millennium. In November of 2003 Syracuse lost to Montana 65-55 in a game that wasn’t that close in Hawaii. In November of 2007 in a tournament in Las Vegas Montana routed a NCAA tournament-bound Oregon State team.
In each of the past two seasons both the Grizzly men’s and women’s basketball teams have won at least one game in the Big Sky tournament. The last time the two Montana programs each won conference tournament games in back to back years was 1991-92, when both of UM’s teams won the tournaments title and advanced to the NCAA tournament.
Three of the four teams in this year Frozen Four have won at least one national title in hockey since 200, and the fourth has played most recently in the title match. As Hockey’s Final Four is being staged in Tampa Florida for the second time in 5 years, North Dakota, Boston College, Denver and Quintilian are in the final Four on ice. Since 2000 Boston College has won 4 titles while Denver has two crowns and North Dakota last won in 2000. Quintilian lost in the 2013 title game to Yale. Quinipiac’s mascot is a Bobcat.
Thirty years ago this week two national icons bid adeau to the spotlight. On Saturday April 12, 1986 Dick Clark hosted ” American Bandstand” for the last time. On Sunday the 13th Jack Nickalaus came from 6 shots back to claim his sixth Masters title and his 18th and final major title.
Chris Walterskirchen has been an observer of Montana sports for nearly half a century. A Kalispell native, Chris has worked in various capacities for professional and college sports organization of at various times: ranging from announcing and statistical work to the concessions and even a stint as a costumed mascot.
Chris has academic degrees in communications and elementary education. His style of sports trivia involves more than just who won and who lost, but also focuses on the obscure or human side of sports. In this blog you will learn things like the Grizzly football team has won 210 games over the 19 seasons since they have had Monte as their mascot or that UNLV is the only school that both the Griz and Lady Griz have both faced in the NCAA basketball tournament
When not following sports Chris enjoys taking care of animals of all kinds (a peacock rescue?) and reading to pre-schoolers.