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Meet the Opponents: University of Montana

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The first, and mostly likely last, entry previewing KU's competition

As many of you may know, I did not attend Kansas. With my alma mater coming to Lawrence tomorrow, lets get to know the University of Montana Grizzlies.

The Basics

  • Located in Missoula, MT
  • Founded in 1893
  • Fight song - Up With Montana (note - right up until I looked up the YouTube link I thought it was called On Montana. Maybe I shouldn't be writing this)
  • Mascot - Monte
  • Famous Alums - JK Simmons, Denny Washington, Larry Krystkowiak, Jeannette Rankin, Jeff Ament
  • Enrollment - 12,922

Student Life

Student life at UM isn't much different than student life at any other school. Wake up in a tiny dorm room, find the cleanest toilet, grab a giant breakfast burrito at the Country Store and head to class. The more popular majors when I was a student seemed to be business, journalism, forestry and education.

If you like the outdoors, you can't get much better for a school than UM. Plenty of hiking, skiing, fishing and floating are literally minutes away. Fun fact, if you hike up the M Hill and walk about 50 yards or so south, you will find a little cave. A buddy and I found this one day. We were excited.

As for the nightlife, Missoula is flush with bars that cater to different personalities. Do your parents put money in your account every month? See you at the Iron Horse. Want a wide selection of beers? The Rhino is for you. Are you 18? Stockman's doesn't care. Want to play half court basketball while you get drunk? Head over to the Bodega. After last call head over to the Oxford for a JJ's Chicken Fried Steak. Just make sure you don't touch anything or look at their health code rating.

The Microbrewery scene is Missoula is bursting at the seams. When I was a student, we had the choice between 3 different breweries. The most well known, of course, is Big Sky Brewery. Now the city has a total of 6 different breweries. Not bad for a city with 60,000 residents.

Sports

Fetch will do a much better job of covering this year's Griz team than I will but here is a brief overview of the athletic department. UM is and will always be a football school. From 1998 to 2009, the Griz won at least a share of the Big Sky conference every year with a national title in 2001 and 4 runner up finishes.

The basketball team isn't anything to look over either. Larry Krystkowiak made the NCAA tournament in both of his years as head coach of UM. My sophomore year was his last year in Missoula. It was a memorable one. Stanford came to town in December. It was one of the few sellout crowds I saw in Dahlberg Arena. After leading almost the entire game, UM closed out the 88-69 win. We all rushed the court. I know most of you have never rushed a court. Let me tell you, it's awesome.

While I don't expect (or want) a Grizzly win tomorrow, I hope this provides you with a little insight on the University of Montana.