Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
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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.
MANVEL, N.D. — Mike Maidenberg and Mike Jacobs, like thousands of other Grand Forks and East Grand Forks residents, couldn't predict when the Red River would crest during the devastating 1997 flood. But the Grand Forks Herald publisher and editor accurately predicted one thing after the rising, unforgiving Red River of the North forced them from their homes. "Come Hell and High Water," the Grand Forks Herald wouldn't miss a day of publication during the newspaper's most trying time in its 138-year history.
GRAND FORKS — Virgil Hill, the former light heavyweight champion of the world, grew up with boxing. And the former Grand Forks resident, who also won a Silver medal in the 1984 Olympic Games, is still doing his part to keep boxing alive. Hill was at Purpur Arena late Friday afternoon, overseeing the final preparations for tonight's boxing card in Grand Forks. Hill is the promoter of the Quicksilver Hill Championship Boxing card; the main event being the bout between Sonia Fox of North Dakota and Laura Ramsey for the American Boxing Organization women's title.
SALT LAKE CITY — The University of North Dakota said it wouldn't change its game against No. 2 seed Arizona. The Fighting Hawks stayed true to their word — and their fast-paced style of play worked early on during their first-round NCAA Tournament game against Arizona on Thursday night, March 16, at Vivint Smart Home Arena. But Arizona stayed true to its game plan, too. And that was a problem for the Hawks, who came in as the No. 15 seed in the West Region.
SALT LAKE CITY—As a No. 15 seed, the University of North Dakota is well aware the odds aren't favorable Thursday night when it takes on No. 2 seed Arizona in a first-round NCAA Tournament game at the Vivint Smart Home Arena. Arizona, with two 7-footers in the starting lineup, is a national power many believe will make the Final Four. UND, meanwhile, is a mid-major program making the Dance for the first time and a team many believe is just happy to be here. The Hawks, however, don't believe that and they embrace—actually enjoy—the underdog role.
SALT LAKE CITY — On a bright, sunny Wednesday afternoon in Salt Lake City, where the temperature approached a record 75 degrees, North Dakota players entered the 20,000-seat Vivint Smart Home Arena wearing smiles and feeling confident. All was well with the UND men's basketball team. And it should be. The Fighting Hawks, in their ninth Division I season, have reached the ultimate goal in college basketball — the NCAA Tournament. It's March Madness, a spectacle that has become one of the country's biggest sporting events each year.