It's that time again.
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BERKELEY - California, 2010 Pac-10 regular-season champion, earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and will play Louisville in a first-round game Friday at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. The Golden Bears (23-10 overall, 13-5 Pac-10) are the No. 8 seed in the South Region, while the Cardinals (20-12, 11-7) are seeded ninth.
Tip-off will be 30 minutes following the conclusion of the game between Duke and Arkansas-Pine Bluff/Winthrop at 4:25 p.m. PT, approximately 6:55 p.m. PT.
The winner of the Cal-Louisville game will play a second-round game Sunday against the winner of No. 1 seed Duke (28-5, 13-3 ACC) and the No. 16 seed, which will be determined by the winner of an opening-round game between Arkansas Pine-Bluff (17-15, 14-4 SWAC) and Winthrop (19-13, 12-6 Big South) on Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio. Game times will be announced later Sunday, and all games in the NCAA Tournament will be televised by CBS.
The Bears are making their second straight and 16th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Last year, Cal earned a No. 7 seed but fell to 10th-seeded Maryland in the first round in Kansas City, 81-74. The Bears are in the NCAA field for the sixth time in the past 10 years and 11th time in the last 20.
This year's Cal team is led by Pac-10 Player of the Year Jerome Randle, who became the school's all-time leading scorer during the Pac-10 Tournament. He enters the postseason with 1,802 points and an average of 18.7 ppg in 2009-10.
Randle is one of four senior starters who averaged at least 10 ppg and earned All-Pac-10 notice this year. Patrick Christopher, also a first-team choice, contributes 16.0 ppg, along with second-team selections Theo Robertson (14.1 ppg) and Jamal Boykin (12.0 ppg).
The Bears enter the tournament having won six of their last seven and nine of their past 11. Cal reached the final of the Pac-10 Tournament for the second time in its history before losing to Washington, 79-75, in the title game.
Louisville was defeated by Cincinnati in the first round of the Big East Tournament after finishing tied for fifth in conference during the regular season. The Cardinals are led by third-team All-Big East selection Samardo Samuels in both scoring (15.3 ppg) and rebounding (7.0 rpg). Edgar Sosa leads the club in assists (4.5 apg) and three-point field goals made (66-172, .384), and is also the team's only other double-digit point scorer (13.3 ppg).