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GRAND FORKS—The University of North Dakota started its season with three games in Hawaii. Then, the Fighting Hawks played Big Ten member Nebraska two days ago before more than 10,000 fans. UND's home opener came Tuesday night against Northland College of Ashland, Wis., a Division III program. The game didn't have the buzz of a trip to Hawaii or a shot against a Big Ten team. That may have had something to do with UND's sluggish start. When reality sunk in, however, UND responded and cruised to a 79-48 win before 1,570 fans at The Betty.
LINCOLN, Neb.—When the University of North Dakota men's basketball team plays a Big Ten team—or any program from a Power 5 conference—the Fighting Hawks usually will be undersized. That's a given in the life of a mid-major men's basketball program. "We're always going to be undersized," said UND's 6-foot-7 center Conner Avants. "We just have to deal with it; make a living against it by using pump fakes, drives and kick-outs and the like."
LINCOLN, Neb.—The University of North Dakota men's basketball team left Hawaii last week with two wins and a loss. The loss came by three points against host Hawaii. All in all, UND couldn't have asked for much more from its appearance in the Rainbow Classic, considering the Fighting Hawks opened the season with seven new players. "This team plays with a lot of energy and we have guys who never quit," said UND junior Geno Crandall, whose 41 points in a win against Troy highlighted the trip. "We got down early in a couple of games, but we found a way to fight back."
GRAND FORKS — No one play usually defines a win or loss in college football. But one play did stand out in Sacramento State's 34-27 Big Sky Conference win over the University of North Dakota on Saturday, Ocgt. 21, before 9,259 fans at the Alerus Center. UND trailed 10-0 in the second quarter before tying the game on a Reid Taubenheim 41-yard field goal and Brady Oliveira's 15-yard scoring run. UND's defense then forced a Sacramento State three-and-out, highlighted by Brandon Dranka's sack on third-and-11.
GRAND FORKS—The University of North Dakota hopes to have a new athletic director in place by the end of December, said UND President Mark Kennedy. Brian Faison, the school's athletic director since 2008, announced his retirement Tuesday. He will retire Dec. 31 but will serve as a special adviser to UND athletics from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2018. The next athletic director will be UND's 15th since 1903.
GRAND FORKS—The University of North Dakota wasn't picked to win the Big Sky Conference men's basketball race last season. But the Fighting Hawks surprised many, winning the league's regular-season title and the postseason championship to earn the program's first berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Hawks return only two starters from that 22-win team. So it's no surprise UND isn't picked to win the league again this season.
GRAND FORKS—Simply put, the University of North Dakota football team—a top 10 team at the time—got smacked in the mouth last week. South Dakota put a 45-7 drubbing on UND, which came into the game ranked No. 10 in the FCS. It was supposed to be the FCS game of the week in the country. It wasn't even close. So, where does that leave UND heading into today's Big Sky Conference opener against Montana State at the Alerus Center?
GRAND FORKS — University of North Dakota wrapped up the 2016-17 season playing No. 2 seed Arizona in the NCAA men's basketball tournament in Salt Lake City. The nonconference portion of UND's schedule this season won't be much easier, based on the schedule released Wednesday, Sept. 13, by the Fighting Hawks. UND will play four NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago — Troy of Alabama, South Dakota State, Creighton and Gonzaga, the national runner-up last season. UND and Gonzaga will play Dec. 16 in Spokane. The teams haven't met since the 1972-73 season.
SALT LAKE CITY -- The more than 45,000 fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium were anxious to see a new era of Utah football. The new-look Utes had a new offensive coordinator, a flashy young quarterback and a highly touted transfer wide receiver. UND, a No. 8-ranked team in the FCS, made Utes fans sweat it out briefly but the Fighting Hawks were eventually overmatched by Utah, a No.
GRAND FORKS—The University of North Dakota, who joined the Big Sky Conference in 2012 and will officially leave the league after the 2017-18 season, are looking to exit the western U.S. conference in a big way. On Tuesday, league coaches and media covering the league picked UND to win the 2017 Big Sky football championship. UND was the surprise story of the Big Sky last season, winning a share of the league title with Eastern Washington and advancing to the FCS playoffs for the first time in program history.