Last year the Montana Tech Orediggers Men's Basketball team went further into the postseason than any other in program history, making it to the quarterfinal round of the NAIA national tournament.  This year, the team opens the season just outside the NAIA preseason top 5 and open their new season tonight at home.  The following is a release from the Montana Tech Athletic Department and the NAIA:

Michael Ure takes a shot last season against Providence. Photo: Tommy O/Townsquare Media
Michael Ure takes a shot last season against Providence. Photo: Tommy O/Townsquare Media

KANSAS CITY, MO. – The Montana Tech Men's Basketball team is ranked No. 6 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) preseason Coaches' Top 25 Poll. The national poll was released on Wednesday. The Orediggers are the lone representative in the ratings from the Frontier Conference.  Montana Tech went 29-5 overall and 12-3 in the league last season while making the furthest run in the NAIA National Championship in school history reaching the round of eight at the final site in Kansas City. The defending Frontier regular season and tournament champions received 473 points in the poll from a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences. 

The Orediggers have now been ranked in 12 consecutive polls dating back to the 2021-22 season. They have now been ranked in the last two preseason polls after never appearing in a preseason poll before last season. No. 6 is also the highest ranking ever by a Montana Tech basketball team. The Orediggers reach No. 8 in the NAIA Top 25 last season.

College of Idaho led the way with all 21 first-place votes in the preseason poll. The Yotes will look to repeat their national title run from a season ago at the top of the pile. Grace (Ind.) checked-in at No. 2 while Arizona Christian, Langston (Okla.) and Georgetown (Ky.) rounded-out the top five.

The Orediggers open the 2023-24 season Friday when they host Portland Bible College at the HPER Complex where they have won 30 consecutive games on Kelvin Sampson Court.

Tipoff time is 6pm for tonight's contest and fans will be admitted free of charge with a donation to the Butte Emergency Food Bank.

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