Well, with all that pesky warming up done, it was time for the team to run back onto the court. They always warm up for like a while and then disappear into the locker room for 10 minutes before coming back out. I wonder what they do for that short period in between warm ups and the start of the game. I guess we'll never know.
All I do know is they come running back out onto the court just in time for the game to start.
Wait. No. More warm ups. I lied. Sorry!
With just a few minutes before the game started, the student section was not completely packed. It did improve somewhat, but I woulda liked to see it absolutely jam packed with barely a square to spare.
We ran through the intros and then the moment was upon us!
I should note that, much to your upcoming disappointment, I decided to change seats. Years of being an A's fan has left me with a sixth sense on how to sneak down to lower level seats. For most of the pregame action, I was right down near the court. However, as my friends started to trickle in from the Tosh Lupoi young alum event, I decided to move up to their seats. There were like 20 people, so we couldn't sneak back down. But I saw that the seats that I had previously occupied stayed empty all game long. I coulda had a front row seat! Oh well.
Thus, the photos from now on are not as close. Sorry!
The light was flowing in from the west side windows so gorgeously.
Although there were some concerns regarding Brandon Smith's free throw shooting, I felt that he played great for the 50+ minutes that he was out there.
I had never seen this before. You could text in your request to get the Cal Band to play it. As I was with many former bandos, they went fairly bonkers for this. I didn't text, because I'm too cheap, but I toads was rooting for Carry On. CARRY ON!
Sean Miller carries on the tradition of annoying energetic Pac10 coaches who wander seemingly aimlessly around the court during the game. He would get out too far, I thought. He was very animated.
Normally, they have players answering questions in text on the big screen. Here, they had something new: Jorge and MSF talking to each other about various life facts. Here, Jorge talks about his favorite Halloween costume: a green rat. Did his parents misunderstand Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles????
Here, they discuss a big moment in the Pac10 clinching ASU game last year.
From shooting free throws to defense to everything ever, Kamp had a massive and delightful presence in the game.
Here is the aftermath of the ultra rare Jorge dunk!
Arizona had a run in the latter part of the 1st half. Cal hit a desperation 3 near the end of the half to keep it to a 6 point lead. I was happy with that, tbh. I was starting to fear that Arizona might take over in the 2nd.
The place was absolutely packed. I LOVED IT! Haas is back! The fans were going crazy. Even the UA fans were making tons of noise. They had their U of A chant. We would chant USA along with it. In retrospect, it is foolish, though. The UA team, ostensibly feeding off of the U of A chant, is not going to make a clear delineation between U of A and USA chants. They will, most likely, believe that the USA chants are intended to spur them to greatness.
Cal started to play their way back into the game in the 2nd half. The Az coach responded by going even more bonkers. He kept subbing in and out his entire team in one fell swoop. To wit:
Here was a confusing moment. We got a technical free throw, but we couldn't determine whether it was because a U of A player elbowed a Cal player or because Sean Miller went CRAAZZZY. We'll take it, though!
YES! MY DREAMS CAME TRUE!
Right at the tail end of regulation, Arizona superstar Derrick Williams (23 on the right) fouled out. Cal had the game in its hands, but couldn't hold on. :(!
So, it is on to OT!
I didn't get a lot of photos of the OT for a few reasons:
1. They don't switch the half courts, so Arizona was going towards my seats for the last 35 minutes of the game.
2. It was so intense I didn't have time/want to take photos.
3. I got into this spot where I had my hands on my hips and Cal was doing well, so I didn't want to move. Superstitious, yes.
We ended up in OT #2! IIRC, we were down 4 with like 40 seconds left and barely held on by the skin of our teeth to make it to OT 2.
This was the one where Momo Jones hit a game tying 3 at the tail end of the 2nd OT. He was Arizona's only offensive weapon, yet he still seemed to be able to get his shot off. ARGH!
Notice that Momo Jones #12 has 4 fouls. I kept yelling for a Cal player to just run right at him. Force him to risk the foul. If we got Momo Jones to foul out, it would have really tipped the scale back in Cal's favor. Oh well.
I went sorta downhill in the 3rd OT. But there is no reason to hang your head low. Montgomery has this team playing at a great level. Losing 8 players from last year's Pac10 championship team would be tough to overcome. Monty has Cal a few different moments away from potentially being in first place in the Pac10! If this is a rebuilding year, give me more rebuilding years. GO BEARS!