The veteran meets the newcomer in today’s Big Sky Conference tournament championship game.
Montana will be looking for its 15th league tournament championship, while North Dakota will be searching for its first.
That matchup was sealed Friday night as the No. 3 seed Grizzlies erased a 13-point second-half deficit to beat No. 2 seed Southern Utah 73-69 in the Big Sky semifinals at Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
“It’s exciting,” veteran Montana head coach Robin Selvig said. “I think we’re one of the teams that has had a championship-type year. I feel like we deserve to be in it.”
Selvig said he’s looking forward to a good atmosphere at the Betty. UND’s semifinal win over Idaho State drew more than 1,400 fans.
“This is what it should be about in college basketball,” Selvig said. “Hats off to North Dakota for the atmosphere that they have, and the team that they have. The memories - win, lose or draw - is what it should be about.”
North Dakota, playing in its second season in the Big Sky, in a conference title game for the first time. UND was a consistent national contender at the Division II level.
Selvig said Montana’s history in the Big Sky won’t play a role in the title tilt.
“I think it’s a game of its own,” he said. “We have this and that, but I’ve found the next day is a new one. (UND) is an impressive team. We’ve had two good battles with them, where we’ve been on top on one and the bottom on one. I look forward to the challenge.”
The Grizzlies are concerned with UND’s size advantage. North Dakota leads the Big Sky in rebounding differential.
“They’re big and strong,” Montana guard Torry Hill said. “It’ll be important to get position and grab loose balls.”
Against SUU, the Griz were led by Hill’s 22 points, four assists and three steals. Kellie Cole chipped in 13 points.