Wayne Nelson / Forum News Service
SPOKANE, Wash. — More and more, college basketball has become an international game. Need proof of that? Talk to the number of multilingual players who competed Tuesday night at The Kennel — where No. 8 Gonzaga downed the University of North Dakota 97-66 — and you’ll have a better understanding of the global impact on the hoops game invented by James Naismith. The rosters for UND and Gonzaga included players from the following foreign countries: Serbia, Lithuania, Russia, France, Latvia and Mali.
SPOKANE, Wash. — Nearly two years ago, UND narrowly missed its chance for a signature win in the program’s Division I era. The Fighting Hawks had national power Gonzaga on the ropes at the McCarthey Athletic Center — known as the Kennel because of its small size and passionate fan base. But Gonzaga rallied, beating UND 89-83 in overtime. “We were lucky that game was at home,” said Gonzaga coach Mark Few at the time. “If that game had been somewhere else, I don’t know.”
GRAND FORKS — On Thursday, Nov. 7, the University of North Dakota opens its men’s basketball season against Crown College — a private, NCAA Division III college located in St. Bonifacius, Minn. Five days after the Crown game, UND will take on national power Gonzaga — ranked No. 8 in the AP Top 25 men’s preseason basketball poll. If that’s not daunting enough, Gonzaga downed Michigan State — the preseason AP No. 1 team — by 16 points in a closed scrimmage last month in Denver.
GRAND FORKS — The University of North Dakota slipped into the national FCS polls on Monday, Oct. 28, rankings that were met with little fanfare at Memorial Stadium. “I didn’t even know about that,” said UND cornerback Evan Holm. “I’m just focused on Weber State. They have a good team. If we can beat them, we’ll worry about the future later.” UND is ranked No. 24 in the STATS FCS poll and No. 23 in the FCS coaches poll. It’s the first time this season that UND has been ranked in the STATS poll.
GRAND FORKS — Coaching changes for the University of North Dakota's men’s basketball have been rare. Since 1971, there have been only three coaches at UND. Now there is a fourth as Paul Sather begins his first year as the head coach of the program — one that is beginning to adjust to life in the Summit League.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- The scenery at Alex G. Spanos Stadium -- the home of the Cal Poly Mustangs -- can’t be beat on a gorgeous October night in southern California. With palm trees lining the street just outside the stadium along with a 75-degree temperature at kickoff, the atmosphere is unlike anything the University of North Dakota will see in the future as it fully transitions to the Midwest-based Missouri Valley Football Conference.
GRAND FORKS -- Think about this: The University of North Dakota has had only three head men’s basketball coaches since 1970. Perhaps few -- if any -- men’s basketball programs in the country have had such coaching stability. Dave Gunther started the UND longevity run in 1970 -- winning 332 games in 18 seasons while building a Division II power. Rich Glas followed by winning 335 games over the next 18 seasons, all the while keeping UND basketball successful.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — South Dakota, ranked No. 25 in the country, beat the University of North Dakota women’s basketball team by 30 and 33 points earlier this season. So, on the surface, South Dakota’s 84-61 win over UND on Monday in the semifinals of the Summit League Tournament wasn’t surprising. By doing a little digging, scratching and clawing under that surface, however, the game - played before 6,214 fans at the Denny Sanford Premier Center - had a little more suspense than the final score suggested.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- When the calendar turns to March, the University of North Dakota men’s basketball team -- for various reasons -- becomes relevant. But that’s not uncommon for a number of low- to mid-major Division I programs -- the kind that can’t reload year after year. Those teams, like UND, have to learn on the fly and hope they’re ready for March. UND again has managed to develop consistently throughout the regular season and hopes to make some noise during March Madness.
GRAND FORKS — The distance between Hettinger-Scranton and Grand Forks is just over 400 miles. And it’s been since 1995 that Hettinger last reached the North Dakota state Class B girls basketball tournament. The other half of the co-op, Scranton, has never reached the state tournament. So, Hettinger-Scranton NightHawks figured they’d make the most of their trip. And they did. Hettinger-Scranton rallied for a 48-44 overtime win over previously unbeaten Trenton on Thursday night in the final game of the quarterfinal round at The Betty.