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Montana Grizzlies

1. Duke has "Coach K;" Montana has "Coach Special K." Talk about a golden boy. Grizzlies coach Larry Krystkowiak (pronounced kriss-koe-vee-ack) has come home, and Montana fans adore this guy. Born in Shelby, Mont., he s still UM's all-time scoring and rebounding leader. He was the 28th pick in the 1986 NBA draft and spent 11 years in the league. After a stint coaching the CBA's Idaho Stampede, he was named head coach at Montana before the 2004-05 season and promptly led the team to a conference championship. Even though his NBA nickname was "Special K," he's known in Missoula as "Krysko."

2. Family-friendly fun! The University of Montana Athletic Department encourages you to bring your kids to games — then drop them off with strangers so you can actually enjoy yourself. Griz Kidz Care, an in-game childcare service, is open for women s and men s home basketball games. The athletic department does ask parents to pick up their children "immediately upon the conclusion of the game." Spoilsports.

3. Off To A Slow Start. In its first three years of existence, the Montana basketball team went 2-1: In 1901-02, they lost to Preps 18-11; in 1902-03 they beat Tzi Dal Tais 25-19; and in 1903-04, they destroyed the Missoula Athletic Association 20-0. The Griz finally hired a coach in 1904-05, but didn t play any games — perhaps gathering enough energy to finally play more than one per season. In 1905-06 (under a different coach) Montana went 4-2, creaming the YMCA three games in a row, then beating Missoula High before dropping two straight to Montana State. — Jennifer Philion

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