With UNC's victory over Michigan State in the National Championship game tonight, Cal has claimed the dubious distinction of Reverse National Champion. Some time ago, a statistically-minded friend of mine began tracking losing teams' inverse progress through the tournament. In other words, he began keeping track of which teams lose to a team that loses to a team that loses to a team, and so on, through the successive rounds of the tournament. When Mizzou upset Memphis, my friend (who happens to have graduated summa cum asshole from U$C) excitedly emailed to alert me to the fact that Cal was in the Reverse Elite Eight.
Once UConn knocked out Mizzou, Cal -- along with Wake Forest, Florida State, and Temple -- advanced to the Reverse Final Four. According to my friend's meticulous records, Cal hadn't advanced to the Reverse Final Four since 1994, when Drexel beat us out for the Reverse National Championship. I suddenly had a reason to watch the tournament again.
Wake fell out when Michigan State managed to beat UConn, and Temple hung its head when UNC beat 'Nova. This left only Cal and Florida State in the Reverse National Championship Game, with Cal's reverse fate tied to the Tar Heels and FSU's to the Spartans.
It is now official. Cal lost to Maryland, which lost to Memphis, which lost to Missouri, which lost to UConn, which lost to Michigan State, which lost to UNC, making Cal your 2009 Reverse National Champions. Now let's go celebrate.