Grizzlies draw Michigan in NCAA tourney - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Grizzlies draw Michigan in NCAA tourney

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MISSOULA - Following an outstanding tournament run in Reno, the Griz basketball team returned to Missoula on Sunday to find out who they will be playing in the NCAA basketball tournament.

Thanks to their win over Eastern Washington in the Big Sky Tournament, they earned an automatic bid to the Big Dance.  The #14 seed Griz will play the West's #3 seed Michigan Wolverines in the first round of the tournament on Thursday in Wichita, Kansas. 

Michigan enters the tournament at 28-and-7 with nine straight victories and a Big Ten Tournament championship that they won a week ago in New York. Michigan, playing as a #7 seed made its third Sweet 16 in the past five years last season. 

The Griz come off arguably their best half of basketball all season Sunday night, using it to overcome an 11 point defect at half to beat Eastern Washington 82-to-65. 

“It’s really hard to explain the feeling — it’s unbelievable,” said guard Michael Oguine. “Everyone dreams of doing this, ever since they picked up a basketball.”

But Oguine and the Grizzlies aren’t happy with just making it to the tournament.

“It’s a great feeling, but we still know we have work to be done,” he continued. “We don’t want to be a team that showed up and wasn’t ready to play, we want to make sure we’re prepared to give our best against Michigan.”

Head coach Travis DeCuire knows his squad will have its hands full, but is ready to go head-to-head with a perennial power.

“You might see some things that you might want to manipulate, but you got to do what you do well,” he said of the matchup. “The teams that go in clicking and playing their game the best are the ones that win games.”

This marks the Grizzlies first NCAA tournament appearance since 2013.

RELATED: Griz fans bring life, celebration, to Missoula sports bar

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