UM Sports Trivia | Week of March 28

By CHRIS WALTERSKIRCHEN

Well it appears that facing a Montana team during the season is good way for Syracuse to get ready for a trip to the final Four. In December the MSU Bobcats ventured into the Carrier Dome and gave the Orange a game. This game was during the time that Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was serving a 9 game suspension. In both 1996 and 2013 Syracuse opened their runs to the Final Four with First Round NCAA tournament victories over MSU in 96 and Montana in 2013 (a 45 point rout against a very talented Griz team).
For the first time in the program’s history the University of Washington Lady Huskies are headed to a Final Four. Sunday’s game against Stanford was Washington’s third appearance in a regional final. In 1990 Former Sentinel star and Spartan head coach Karen Deden led the Huskies to the Elite 8 where they lost to eventual national champion Stanford. In 2001, in Spokane, the Huskies were downed in the regional final by Missouri State led by national player of the year Jackie Stiles. That Washington team featured three Montana players most notably Havre star Loree Payne.  Huskies head coach Mike Neighbors was an Xavier assistant when the Muskteers played Gonzaga in the opening round of the NCAA tournament in Seattle and were knocked off.
The Women team from Oregon State also reached the regional finals for the first time. The Beavers have a Montana connection as assistant coach Mandy Close is a former Bozeman High Standout who spent 5 seasons as an assistant at MSU.
Twenty Five years ago this week at the Final Four in Indianapolis the Duke Blue devils pulled off a major upset when they defeated defending champ UNLV ending the Rebels 40-game winning streak. Two nights later Duke claimed its first national title.

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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.