UM Sports Trivia | Week of Feb 23

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

The Big Sky Conference title chase is eerily similar to 2000 for the Griz men. In 2000 the Griz had to win 3 in a row on the road to have a chance at the Big Sky regular title and a shot at hosting the tournament with the other two title contenders being Eastern Washington and Northern Arizona. Fifteen years ago the Griz had things fall into place culminating in a dramatic 15 point comeback at Cheney to clinch the title.

It is a good thing for the Montana being one of the top teams in the country defending the 3-point shot. In the Idaho Vandals and Eastern Washington Eagles the Griz face two teams that are among the top 5 in the nation in 3-point attempts and makes but we hasten to point out that neither team is among the leaders in 3-point field goal percentage.

It will be an extra special senior day on Saturday as the Montana Lady Griz honor Carly Selvig and Kellie Ruble before the game. Ironically another member of the Lady Griz recruiting class of 2010 will be at the game, but wearing the colors of Eastern Washington. Lexi Nelson was part of the 2011 Big Sky Champions with Montana and played significant time in UM’s narrow loss to UCLA in the NCAA tournament.  Kellie Ruble came to UM from Bozeman and easily could have been a Cat as MSU swept Montana the previous season and had reached the Conference tournament final. Carly Selvig is among the nation’s top shot blockers, between her and brother Derrick Selvig and their parents that’s 6 trips to the NCAA tournament and a couple of NIT appearances.

BBQ For only the second time in her coaching career, Montana State women’s basketball coach Tricia Binford, will be coaching on her birthday Thursday night. Binford’s Bobcats lost at Northern Arizona on February 26, 2009. It is ironic that those three times while she was a player at Boise State the Broncos  were on their swing through Montana on herbirthday.

Nebraska men’s basketball coach Tim Miles‘ decision to ban his Cornhuskers from athletic facility earlier this week brought to mind a tidbit involving Miles’ Debut as head coach at Colorado State. In November 2007, Miles brought his young CSU Rams into Missoula to start the season. Montana took apart the Rams and pounded Miles and his team 75-36, as Montana matched its most lopsided win over a Division I opponent in a season opener. Less than four months later the Griz played their final home game of the 2007-08 season and the Griz found out what it was like to be on the downside of a lopsided score as they fell 108-52 to Portland State, coached at the time by current Montana Associate head coach Ken Bone.

Here’s this week’s Grizzly Planner:

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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.