NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheet: Getting to know Montana

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Read through the rest of the Cheat Sheets here.

Conference: Big Sky

Coach: Wayne Tinkle

Record: 25-6, 19-1

Rankings and Ratings:

– Kenpom: 146
– RPI: 88
– AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding?: Our Dave Ommen had Montana as a No. 15 seed in Saturday’s bracket projection.

Names you need to know: Will Cherry (13.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.2 apg), Kareem Jamar (14.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 4.1 apg)

Stats you need to know: Montana has lost three games with Will Cherry in the lineup. One of them was in double-overtime against South Dakota State in Cherry’s first game back from a broken foot. He played 13 minutes. The other was in overtime at Davidson in a game where Cherry missed the last five minutes in regulation after aggravating the injury.

Tendencies: With Mathias Ward out with a foot injury, the Grizzlies have become a team heavily reliant on their back court duo of Cherry and Jamar, who are both talented playmakers and scorers.

Big wins, bad losses: Montana’s best wins this season were both against Weber State, but the Grizzlies didn’t have any terrible losses.

How’d they get here?: After winning the Big Sky regular season title, the Grizzlies knocked off Weber State in the tournament title game to earn the automatic bid.

Outlook: Montana is a really good basketball team that, if healthy, may have had the horses to make a run at an upset in the opening round. But without Ward — their leading scorer — Montana has to rely heavily on Jamar and Cherry. But Ward’s injury isn’t the only one that Montana has dealt with this season, as Cherry broke his foot in the preseason. Five of Montana’s six losses can be tied directly to that injury, and those losses are part of the reason that the Grizzlies may end up as a lower seed that they would like. Montana might be able to pick off a four or a five seed; I’m not sure they can beat a two or a three seed this season.

How do I know you?: The Grizzlies went dancing last season, and you may have seen their head coach hosting late-night TV.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady improving after being hospitalized

James Woodard, Anton Grady, Ron Baker
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Wichita State senior forward Anton Grady received some positive news on Saturday as a neurosurgeon reviewed MRI results, which are negative for spinal cord trauma.

According to a release from Wichita State, doctors believed Grady suffered a spinal cord concussion during a collision on Friday after he was taken off the floor in a stretcher and taken to a hospital in an ambulance. CT and MRI scans on Friday both turned up negative, but the news of Saturday’s results are an even more encouraging sign for Grady.

The injury for Grady occurred during a Friday loss to Alabama during the AdvoCare Invitational as the senior’s condition has improved since the collision. Grady will receive physical therapy over the next few days and doctors will check his progress before he is released from the hospital.

Grady has been alert and responsive to questions and had feeling in his extremities on Friday, but the use of his arms and legs was limited. By Saturday morning, Grady had improved the use of his extremities.

The 6-foot-8 Grady has averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds per game this season in his first season with the Shockers. The Cleveland State transfer is shooting 39 percent from the field.

Colorado’s Tory Miller reprimanded by Pac-12 after biting opponent

Dusan Ristic, Tory Miller
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Colorado sophomore forward Tory Miller has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 and he also apologized for biting Air Force’s Hayden Graham earlier this week.

During Colorado’s win over Air Force on Wednesday, Miller was assessed a Flagrant 2 Dead Ball Technical Foul and ejected with 12:25 left in the second half after biting Graham during a loose ball.

In a release from the Pac-12, they announced reprimanding Miller, but he will not be suspended.

“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct and Sportsman-ship,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release. “Regardless of Mr. Miller’s frustration and emotion, such behavior is unacceptable and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”

Miller also released his apology in the same release.

“I would like to apologize for my actions during the Air Force game. I would like to apologize to Hayden Graham, Air Force, my teammates and fans. It was a heat of the moment thing. I’m an emotional player, but I let my emotions get the best of me. I will use this as a learning experience and focus on helping my teammates and respecting my opponents for the rest of the season and beyond,” Miller said.

For Miller to not be suspended for this is good news for him and Colorado since he won’t miss any additional action, but did the Pac-12 make the right decision on this?