Montana BB vs. Minnesota 2013

Minnesota's Elliott Eliason (55) defends against Montana's Keron DeShields during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, in Minneapolis.

MISSOULA — Even though the University of Montana and the University of Michigan share their UM moniker, the two have rarely shared the playing field.

They've never squared off in men's basketball, though that's set to change Thursday in the NCAA Tournament. The two UMs haven't played in women's basketball either. Or football. Or softball. Or soccer. 

The two schools have played one another just twice in game-oriented sports. The two UMs hold a 1-1 ledger against the other in volleyball.

Montana Athletics' lone win over Michigan came in 1992 — back when UM's coach Travis DeCuire was in college.

The Grizzlies topped the Wolverines in that volleyball match, 3-1. When the two schools played each other in 1997, Michigan won in straight sets. 

The two schools had the chance for a rubber match in 2001, but the Wolverine-hosted Michigan Invitational was canceled due to 9/11. 

Despite the small sample size, Montana athletics' all-time record against Michigan is significantly better than its ledger against all opponents currently in the Big 10. 

Montana, regardless of sport, has played every team currently in the Big Ten conference, except for Rutgers, at least once. The most popular opponents have been Minnesota, with 18 games, and Nebraska, with 15. 

In men's basketball, women's basketball, football, soccer, softball and volleyball combined, Montana is 21-52-1 against teams that currently play in the Big 10 Conference. That's equals out to a Griz win just 29 percent of the time.

Only three of those 21 wins have come from men's teams — all from basketball. The Grizzly football team is 0-3 against Big Ten schools, while the men's basketball team is 3-15. 

The last time a Griz team topped a Big 10 foe was just in 2016, when Montana's soccer squad outlasted Purdue, 2-1, in overtime. And the last time a Griz men's team beat a Big 10 opponent was in 2006, when the basketball team defeated Minnesota, 72-65. 

Outside of the men's win over Minnesota in 2006, the other two wins came against Nebraska in 1959 and 1982, while the Cornhuskers were in the Big Seven and the Big Eight Conferences, respectively. Both of those conferences were predecessors to the present-day Big 12. 

Montana basketball's win over Nebraska in 1959 was UM's first win over a current Big 10 team. Up until that point, the Grizzlies were 0-7 against Big 10 opponents. Most of those losses came in basketball, but the football team had one loss during that stretch too — a 48-6 drubbing at the hands of Iowa in 1954. 

Since the soccer team's overtime win over Purdue in 2016, Montana teams haven't fared well against Big Ten foes. 

The soccer team lost two close, 1-0, games against Iowa and Nebraska last season and the men's basketball squared up with Penn State earlier this season, losing 70-57. 

Montana and Michigan tip off in Wichita on Thursday at 7:50 P.M. MT. 

Montana vs. Current Big 10 Schools

1929MinnesotaMen's BasketballL, 27-24
1936NebraskaMen's BasketballL, 53-39
1936PurdueMen's BasketballL, 68-29
1941MinnesotaMen's BasketballL, 53-38
1953IndianaMen's BasketballL, 74-54
1954IowaFootballL, 48-6
1958NebraskaMen's BasketballL, 75-43
1959NebraskaMen's BasketballW, 64-58
1965WisconsinMen's BasketballL, 76-72
1977MinnesotaMen's BasketballL, 102-81
1980NebraskaMen's BasketballL, 69-46
1981IowaWomen's BasketballW, 63-54
1982NebraskaMen's BasketballW, 61-51
1982IllinoisVolleyballW, 2-1
1982IllinoisVolleyballW, 3-0
1982NorthwesternVolleyballL, 3-0
1982NebraskaVolleyballL, 2-0
1983Penn StateWomen's BasketballL, 73-65
1983Penn StateVolleyballL, 2-0
1984MinnesotaWomen's BasketballW, 83-71
1985MinnesotaFootballL, 62-17
1985NebraskaVolleyballL, 3-0
1985Ohio StateVolleyballW, 3-2
1986NebraskaWomen's BasketballW, 55-52
1986MinnesotaVolleyballW, 3-2
1988NebraskaWomen's BasketballW, 79-61
1991IowaWomen's BasketballL, 64-53
1992WisconsinWomen's BasketballW, 85-74
1992MichiganVolleyballW, 3-1
1992PurdueVolleyballL, 3-0
1994MinnesotaWomen's SoccerL, 4-1
1994NebraskaWomen's SoccerL, 2-1 (OT)
1994NebraskaWomen's SoccerL, 2-1
1994NorthwesternWomen's SoccerW, 2-0
1994IowaVolleyballL, 3-2
1995PurdueWomen's BasketballL, 62-51
1995MinnesotaWomen's SoccerL, 6-2
1995IndianaVolleyballW, 3-2
1995IowaVolleyballL, 3-2
1996WisconsinWomen's SoccerL, 4-2
1997WisconsinMen's BasketballL, 78-61
1997MinnesotaWomen's SoccerL, 4-1
1997MichiganVolleyballL, 3-0
1998NebraskaWomen's BasketballL, 78-46
1999NebraskaWomen's BasketballL, 70-58
1999IndianaWomen's SoccerL, 4-1
1999NorthwesternWomen's SoccerW, 2-0
2000MinnesotaWomen's SoccerW, 3-1
2000NorthwesternWomen's SoccerT, 0-0
2002MinnesotaWomen's SoccerL, 1-0
2002NorthwesternVolleyballL, 3-0
2003Michigan StateMen's BasketballL, 80-60
2003PurdueMen's BasketballL, 84-71
2004MinnesotaWomen's SoccerW, 2-1
2006MinnesotaMen's BasketballW, 72-65
2006IowaFootballL, 41-7
2006Ohio StateWomen's BasketballL, 83-43
2007MinnesotaWomen's SoccerL, 4-0
2008IllinoisWomen's BasketballW, 59-57 OT
2008MarylandWomen's BasketballL, 71-58
2008MinnesotaWomen's SoccerL, 2-1
2009IowaWomen's SoccerL, 2-0
2009MinnesotaWomen's SoccerL, 1-0
2012WisconsinMen's BasketballL, 73-49
2013MinnesotaMen's BasketballL, 84-58
2014NebraskaSoftballL, 13-4
2015IowaWomen's SoccerW, 1-0
2015PurdueWomen's SoccerL, 3-1
2015MinnesotaSoftballL, 5-2
2016PurdueWomen's SoccerW, 2-1 (OT)
2016IowaVolleyballL, 3-0
2017Penn StateMen's BasketballL, 70-57
2017IowaWomen's SoccerL, 1-0
2017NebraskaWomen's SoccerL, 1-0

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Amie Just covers Griz football and Missoula-area preps. Follow her on Twitter @Amie_Just or email her at

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