By Mick Holien

Since 1991 the Grizzlies have played eight games in the NCAA Tournament losing all but one, the upset of Nevada in 2006.

A common thread for me in the half dozen of those games I had the privilege to describe was the obvious difference in opponent’s athleticism.

And thus the disparity in the final outcome, losing to Kentucky by 38 to Oregon by 19, to Boston College by 13, to Wisconsin by 24, and to Syracuse by 47.

While there was a fleeting moment in each contest there also was a point where I just knew – while I didn’t analyze it on the radio that way of course – that the day was not going to belong to Montana.

But last night in Omaha as the Grizzlies scored the game’s first 10 points there was more than a glimmer that this year’s edition features far more combined superior athleticism than I have ever seen.

And if not for a near 15-minute scoring drought, which approximated the length of time the scoreboard and shot clocks were down, the Grizzlies attack mode, which at times featured an all-guard unit, left the Wolverines out of sync and respectful of the Big Sky’s champions.

And I suppose only losing by 14 points is a moral victory but this is a Michigan team that just captured the Big Ten Tournament and now has won 10 straight.

And keep in mind Fabian Krislovic is the team’s sole senior but remember the rumor mill already is bristling given fourth-year Head Coach Travis DeCuire’s successes.

Reportedly he was one of the most coveted head coaches after last season and suitors probably already have been in contact.

The vast majority of ballots are busted with Buffalo’s trouncing of Arizona, a case of distraction of head coach Sean Miller, and the immediate announcing that two players are headed to the pros.

Charles Barkley hit it right on the head – Do you think you could at least wait until Monday and when you were on the deck in the waning stages were you concentrating on putting the Wildcats on your back to victory or how much money you would make for a signing bonus.

At your best when your best is needed, I think not just sayin’