UM Sports Trivia | Week of Feb 24

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

This coming week will see the final home appearances for the Griz basketball seniors. This group has recorded 85 wins at this writing with a good chance of raising that number several times in the next few weeks. Two trips to the NCAA tournament and one to the CBI post-season tournament. This group was part of one of the great non-conference wins of all-time when they went into Pauley Pavilion and beat the UCLA Bruins.

Kareem Jamar was special for the Griz in so many ways, and one that struck a special spot in the hearts of long-time Griz fans. Jamar brought back number “32” to glory. Twice in six years 1979 and 1985 the Griz lost popular players who wore 32, Alan Neilson and Herb Jones. Jamar embodies Neilson’s strong work ethic and Jones flair for the dramatic. Neilson, Jones and now Jamar shared a love for being a Montana Grizzly.

Here is a good news/bad news scenario. The last two times the MSU Bobcats were the opponent on Senior Night (2002 and 2010) the Bobcats have won convincingly at Dahlberg Arena and the Griz came back to win the Big Sky tournament title on the road.

Battling for the Big Sky title is nothing new for the Griz but forty years ago Saturday the Griz hosted the Bobcats where a win would give the Griz at least a share of their first Big Sky title. It was Senior Night and Griz fans said good-bye to a class featuring Kevin Rocheleau and Robin Selvig. The Griz beat the Bobcats that night and then lost a play-off game against Idaho State for a trip to the NCAA tournament.

Montana remains a power on defense. The Lady Griz lead the Big Sky in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense.

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As much as MSU coach Tricia Binford has accomplished in her 9 seasons in Bozeman her teams have claimed just 2 wins over the Lady Griz at their home Worthington Arena. However the Bobcats under Binford are 1-1 against Montana in the Big Sky tournament

Twenty-five years ago this week saw two High Schools sporting events go by the wayside due to economics. In January of 1989 the Montana High School Association voted to discontinue sanctioning gymnastics as the cost of maintaining equipment and rising insurance cost made the sport a burden on the schools’ budget, gymnastics had been a part of Montana high School sports for nearly 3 decades. For the previous 20 years Class AA had been holding Divisional basketball tournaments with 6, 7 or 8 league teams playing to send 4 schools to the state tournament. Finally it was decided that using school sites for play-in games for trips to state made more sense.

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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 costumedmascot.

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.