Griz-Syracuse game notes

THE GAME: The No. 13-seed University of Montana Grizzlies (25-6) play the 19th-ranked and No. 4-seed Syracuse Orange (26-5) in a 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship second round East Region game in the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., Thursday, March 21.  Tip-off is scheduled for approximately 7:57 p.m. (MST), following the conclusion of the UNLV-Cal game.

GRIZ IN NCAAS:  Montana is making its third trip in the last four years to the NCAA Tournament, and its 10th overall.  The Grizzlies are 2-10 all-time in the NCAA tourney.  They advanced to the NCAAs in 1974-75; 1990-91; 1991-92; 1996-97; 2001-02; 2004-05; 2005-06; 2009-10; 2011-12 and 2012-13.  (NCAA results/scores on Page 7).

RADIO/TV/LIVE STATS: The “Voice of the Griz,” Mick Holien, a 13-time “Montana Broadcaster of the Year,” calls the action on local KGVO Radio (1290 AM/101.5 FM) and Greg Sundberg provides color.  (Griz Radio Network on Page 4).  It will be televised on truTV, and the announcers are Brian Anderson, Dan Bonner, and Marty Snider.  The live stats link is:

 BIG SKY CHAMPS: Host Montana defeated Weber State 67-64 in the Big Sky Conference championship game to earn the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

 REGULAR-SEASON TITLE: The Griz won the Big Sky’s regular-season championship with a 19-1 record (the 19 wins are a league mark), which earned them the right to host the league’s seven-team, post-season tournament in Missoula for the second straight season.

93RD WIN IN FOUR SEASONS!: UM’s win over Weber State in the Big Sky’s tourney title game was its 93rd in the last four seasons  — a school record.  It broke the mark of 88 wins in a four-year span by UM’s teams from 1983-86.  UM has won 21 of its last 23 games.

SECOND MOST WINS EVER IN A SEASON AT UM: Montana’s 25 wins this season tie the school record for the second most (the 2011-12 team also won 25 games).  The school record is 27 wins by Montana’s 1949-50 and 1991-92 teams.

 GRIZ RANKED NATIONALLY: The Griz are ranked (March 18) fifth in the nation in free throw percentage at 76.8%, while Davidson is the leader at 80.1%. Montana is ranked 19th in 3-point percentage at 38.5%, and the leader is Creighton at 42.1%.  UM is 23rd in field goal percentage (47.4%), and Creighton is first at 50.8%.

WARD LOST FOR THE SEASON: Senior forward Mathias Ward, who was hurt in the Idaho State game on Feb. 16 and started UM’s first 24 games, had surgery on March 6 and is out for the season.  He is the Grizzlies’ leading scorer at 14.8 points a game.

Complete Griz-Syracuse notes

— UM Sports Information