MISSOULA — A men's basketball game between Montana and the University of Providence scheduled for Nov. 14 at Dahlberg Arena has been canceled, UM announced Friday.
According to a press release, the Big Sky Conference denied Montana's waiver too add a second non-Division I opponent for the 2022-23 season. Providence is an NAIA Frontier Conference program located in Great Falls.
"It is unfortunate we have to cancel a home game against an in-state opponent," Montana athletic director Kent Haslam stated in the release. "We are continuing to diligently look for a Division I opponent to play, and would like to have a home game for our fans, but scheduling opponents to come to Missoula can be difficult in men's basketball.
"I am so grateful to Providence athletics director Doug Hashley and head coach Steve Keller. They have been so flexible and accommodating during this process."
According to the press release, Big Sky Conference bylaws allow men's basketball teams to play two non-D-I opponents per season. Last year the Grizzlies were granted permission to play three such opponents after a scheduled game with UNC Wilmington was canceled.
Because the Griz were allowed to play three non-D-I teams in 2021-22, the Big Sky will only allow them one such game this year. UM sought a waiver from the league to play a second, but the request was denied.
The Grizzlies are scheduled to play MSU-Northern of the Frontier Conference on Nov. 22. The Griz currently have 30 games on their 2022-23 schedule. The season opens Nov. 8 at Duquesne.
"I understand the reasoning behind the limitation of non-Division I opponents and can see why the waiver was denied," Haslam stated in the press release. "However, we felt like last year was an anomaly. We were hopeful we could find another Division I team to play in Missoula this season, but that just was not happening."