UM Sports Trivia | Week of March 24

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

For only the third time in the last 31 years the Montana State Mens basketball program is looking for a new head coach. For 35 of the last 40 seasons the MSU men’s coach had been a Bobcat assistant prior to getting the head job. Former Big Sky star Brad Huse restored much of the Bobcats’ program image after taking over a program touched by a murder investigation and a major drug operation. Huse’s Bobcats won just 2 Big Sky tournament games in his 8 seasons, but those two (both in 2009) were historic. Montana State came to Missoula and upset the Griz at Dahlberg Arena in the quarterfinals and then went to Weber and beat the Weber State Wildcats on their home court; however they lost in the tournaments finals to Portland State

This was written before Monday Night San Diego-Montana WNIT game. Should the Lady Griz win Monday night it will mark the 15th time in the last 31 seasons that Montana has won at least 24 games in a season. A third round win with give UM a 13th. 25 win season.  The March 19th win over Washington State was Montana’s second win in the WNIT as they beat DePaul on a Kris Moede Buzzer beater back in 1987.

Gonzaga’s loss in the opening round of the NCAA tournament must have been particularly tough given the Zags size advantage. The Bulldogs lost to the Dukes of James Madison University of Virginia. The man the School was named after was the shortest man ever to be elected President. Griz football fans recall UM’s loss to JMU in the 2004 FCSS title game.

Oregon State got an opening win in the Women’s tournament. It was Oregon State that the Montana Lady Griz faced in their first ever NCAA home tournament, a game Montana won 56-48.

It was sort of appropriate that Scott Drew and Baylor put an end to Doug McDermott’s college career. Back in the late 1990’s the top Father-Son combo in college basketball was Homer and Bryce Drew, where Scott Drew was an assistant his father Homer with a Valparaiso team led by younger brother Bryce.

It was thirty years ago this week that the first Montana High School state volleyball tournament was held. The all-class tournament was held in Dillon with Big Sky beating Hellgate in an all-Missoula state title match. Missoula won the first 7 AA stated titles.

In the late 1960’s and throughout the 1970’s one song dominated as the theme of any championship sports highlight film, “Impossible Dream.” The song was written for the play “Man of Lamancha” the play that chronicled the Journey of Don Quixote. Last week the composer of song, Mitch Leigh, passed away and he was celebrated in the song he made famous. Leigh was a polish immigrant who had to work his way up from poverty and language barriers to fame.

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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.