UM Sports Trivia | Week of April 7

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

In 1980 among the summer movies along with “Caddyshack” and “Airplane” was a movie called “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh” starring pro basketball star Julius Erving in a story of how Pittsburgh was saved via a lucky fish and a winning basketball team. Well, now the MSU Bobcats will try and use a similar formula in attempt to reach the top of the Big Sky Conference. Hoping that long-time college assistant Brian Fish could be the one to turn around the Cats fortunes. Fish is the first MSU head coach in 42 years to have never previously coached in Montana.

Both of the Men’s Final Four finalists have won recent championships. Kentucky won the title in 2012 and Connecticut in 2011. A Kentucky win would make John Calipari the first Wildcat coach other than Adolph Rupp to have brought more than 1 title to Lexington, Joe B. Hall, Rick Pitino and Tubby Smith each won one crown while at the Kentucky helm.

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Few championship games in any sport has had a greater age disparity between head coaches as last Thursday Night’s NIT. Larry Brown of SMU is 73 years old while Minnesota’s Richard Pitino is just 31. In the fall of 1982 when Pitino was born, Brown was in his fourth different stint as an NBA coach.

Each of the last 3 years the Masters Golf Tournament has been won by a player who had not previously won a major: Charles Schwartzel, Bubba Watson and Adam Scott. Among successful golfers who have yet to win a major, Matt Kuchar, Jason Day and Brandy Snedeker have come close in recent years at the Masters.

When Mike Montgomery coached his first game as head coach at Montana on November 24, 1978 The Arkansas Razorbacks were the No. 1 team in both major college basketball polls. On March 19, 2014 Montgomery picked up what would be his final win as a college head coach over the Arkansas Razorbacks. By the way, that first win for Montgomery came against Stout State of Wisconsin.

One of the first week stars in Major League Baseball is the Colorado Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon. Blackmon has been up with the Rockies for parts of each of the last 3 seasons, but has gotten off to a great start in 2014. Blackmon leads the National League in batting average and on-base percentage, and is second in slugging percentage and OPS.

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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.