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Lady Griz, Griz Win BSC Championships, Advance to NCAA Tournaments

They're going dancing, again! Both the Griz and the Lady Griz clinched the Big Sky Conference Tournament championships and are headed to their respective NCAA tournaments later this week.

The Grizzlies defeated the Weber State Wildcats 67-64 in the Big Sky Conference Tournament championship game held March 16 in front of a raucous home Dahlberg Arena crowd of 7,172.

With the win Montana (25-6) earned the league's automatic berth into the NCAA playoffs - its 10th in school history and its second in a row. Last season the Griz also won the regular-season title and earned the right to host the post-season tourney, and beat the Wildcats in the title game.

It was Montana's ninth Big Sky tourney championship, and its fifth in the last nine seasons. The Griz also added to their school record with their 93rd victory in the past four seasons. Montana has won 21 of its last 23 games, and has 30 straight home victories over Big Sky teams.

Junior guard-forward Kareem Jamar was named the tourney MVP, becoming just the fourth player in Big Sky history to win the award back-to-back. Senior point guard Will Cherry was also named to the all-tournament team, along with UM sophomore guard Jordan Gregory.

The victory also placed seventh-year Griz head coach Wayne Tinkle into the record books, as he became the first mentor in school history to take Montana to the NCAA tournament three times. He also tied UM's record for 25 wins in a season, something his 2011-12 team accomplished a year ago. Read more

The mathematics behind the idea is simple enough. Never trail in a game, and a team will never lose. Pulling it off is a bit more difficult, however, especially in the crucible of a championship tournament setting.

But that's what Montana did over two games at the 2013 Big Sky Conference Women's Basketball Championship, and because of it the Lady Griz are going to their 20th NCAA tournament in the past 31 years.

One day after leading No. 5 Sacramento State wire to wire in the semifinals, No. 1 Montana (24-7) jumped out to an 11-4 lead on No. 2 Northern Colorado (20-12) and claimed a 56-43 victory in the championship game held March 16 in front of 4,119 fans at Dahlberg Arena. Read more