Busting Brackets

Grambling State’s Cinderella story continues after OT win over Montana State

In the First Four of the 2024 NCAA Tournament, the Grambling State Tigers faced the Montana State Bobcats. After a back-and-forth first half, the Tigers’ Cinderella hopes carry on.

Grambling v Montana State
Grambling v Montana State / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Grambling State had done it. The Tigers earned a ticket to the Big Dance. For the first time ever, GSU received a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

The Tigers made their way to a spot in the First Four round and faced the Montana State Bobcats. In the third game of the 2024 tournament, Grambling State scored the first bucket and while they struggled through the first half, the Tigers earned their Round of 64 birth.

In the first 5 minutes of play, Montana State’s Brandon Walker scored as many points as the entire Grambling State team.

The Tigers eventually found their shot and were able to regain the lead with 3 made three-point shots in the first half, shooting 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.

However, Montana State wasn’t going anywhere. The Bobcats sank 6 shots from downtown, shot 63 percent from the field, and allowed a minimal 2 turnovers in the first 20 minutes.

At halftime, Grambling State tragically trailed 42-33 in their first March Madness game.

The second 20-minute period fared much better for the Tigers.

Montana State let go of 12 turnovers and the Tigers took a 4-point lead in the second half. After back-and-forth scoring, the game was tied at the end of regulation. Grambling State was playing more than 40 minutes of March Madness.

After the second half, the game was tied at 72 points apiece.

Antwan Burnett and Jourdan Smith carried the Tigers to a lead after 25 total minutes. The two Grambling State stars combined for 36 points and Jimel Cofer came off the bench to add 19 points.

The Grambling State Tigers earned their first-ever March Madness win with an 88-81 victory over Montana State.

Grambling State will face Purdue in the Round of 64. The Boilermakers are the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region and are ranked third on the AP Poll Top 25.

This was Montana State’s sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Bobcats made it to the Sweet Sixteen in 1951 for their deepest run in program history.

To make their way to the tournament, Grambling State won the SWAC Tournament and Montana State won the Big Sky Conference Tournament.

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