What a fun exclamation point not only to the regular season, but also MSF's career at Cal. It was an exciting day in Berkeley on Saturday and I was happy to be there to take it all in. Before the game, we stopped by the Bear's Lair to say hello to national sportswriter and Cal superstar Mike Silver. He was relaxing before the game with some friends, including Superbowl Champion Scott Fujita (who was not wearing his Superbowl ring). I inadvertently interrupted him while he was being interview by Cal O-Lineman Mark Brazinski. See, at Cal, the football players don't just play football, they perform interviews and write blogs. Better than taking laptops, I would say!
After the jump, more photos of the game, including the real event of the night, the Battle Of The Bands. Cal won, natch, in a blowout even bigger than the basketball game!! GO BEARS!
The band came marching in:
Stretching out somebody as tall as Bak Bak must be somewhat complicated.
The Stanford band was stunningly loud given that we put them in row 4,000. They do the same to us down in Maples. Because they are jerks! But we're totally nice about putting them up there.
As Markhuri Sanders-Frison was the sole senior on this team, it was essentially MSF Day. He came out with his family to a thunderous applause and a standing ovation.
The team was excited for him, too!
And soon we were off!
Cal jumped out to a quick lead that they'd never relinquish. Stanford's Coach Dawkins quickly pulled the all substitution move. When you are doing that 2 minutes or so into a game, it bodes poorly.
Here, Jorge and MSF were talking about who was the most intimidating player:
The Cal and Stanford spirit squads would both be performing their moves/throwing T-Shirts into the crowd at the same time. Made it difficult to boo/cheer, because you couldn't be 100% sure that your utterances would go to their appropriate recipients. The Tree looks like something you would smoke at a dispensary in Oakland.
The last couple games I went to at Haas ended up in overtime and were tight games. This was just a smack down. I'll take it! There really was not much more to it than that. Cal simply outplayed Stanford. They dominated the boards (especially on the defensive end). Stanford was missing a lot of free throws. Stanford was fouling Cal a lot and Cal got into the bonus early in the first half. Cal overwhelmed Stanford's defense and had a lot of layups. We even had like 4 or 5 dunks (most of them by Dick Solo).
I love oversized novelty checks! I'd love to see somebody get one for like $1.75. "The paper used in this check is worth more than the check itself!"
Cal was shooting a lot of free throws, because of all the Stanford fouls.
Valued reader FrankCohen constructed a giant cardboard MSF Head. He brought, was waiving it around, and became a superstar. The mic man took it here to try to bamboozle a Stanford player during a free throw attempt.
The balloons were definitely helping Stanford players miss shots! It was all us!
I think the refs called a foul on Stanford here, but it looks like Kamp is smacking the Stanford player in the face.
One of my favorite moments in the game came when Stanford tried pressing on D against Cal. Crabbe got well behind the Stanford press and they easily lobbed the ball to him for a dunk.
On another fast break, one Cal player (I think Brandon Smith) lobbed the ball to Jorge who, in air, lobbed the ball to Crabbe who dunked it. The double alley oop! The place went crazy on that one! Is there video of that????
Monty's face here definitely screams Reefer Madness to me. Which is why it makes so much sense that they put those words up on the screen!! I bet he wants to smoke the Tree!
Save for a small run by Stanford at the end of the first half and start of the second, it was all-Cal all the time. I think Stanford got within 9 at once point in the 2nd half. The lead was much greater than this, but Stanford whittled it down a little bit at the end. With about 1 minute left, Monty called a TO and pulled MSF out. Another huge ovation for him as he gave each portion of the arena a vigorous salute.
After the game, Kamp and other players came over to high five the students who had supported them all year long. Apparently, Kamp asked for the Giant Cardboard Head Of MSF to give to him. FrankCohen, you are awesome!
And soon we all filed out for what was the headliner of the evening. The basketball game? Merely an opening act for the Battle Of The Bands!
And with that disturbing image, we bid the 2011-2011 men's basketball regular season adieu. A fun time with some frustrating challenges, but mostly an exciting and unexpected resurgence. Rebuilding year? If this is a rebuilding year, I can't wait to see what next year holds. Hopefully, Cal will do well in the Pac10 Tournament, perform strongly in a post-season tournament and we can all GO BEARS!