After a two year absence the Bears are back dancing in March. It might not be an ideal seed, but it's certainly preferable to another appearance in the WNIT. Cal will face 9 seed Iowa at 9:10 am pacific time Sunday morning. Should the Bears defeat the Hawkeyes they would presumably face 1 seed Notre Dame, the Big East regular season champions and 4th ranked team in the nation.
Obviously Cal fans were hoping for a 7 seed, but ultimately Cal's failure to notch top 50 RPI wins were the difference. Four losses to fellow tournament teams that came down to the final possession ultimately cost Cal a friendlier tournament draw. Now the Bears have no choice but to make the best of their draw, and if they play well they will get another chance to measure themselves against the best teams in the country.
Iowa is the focus as we head towards Sunday morning. The Hawkeyes finished with a record of 19-11, 11-5 in the Big 12. If you think that common opponents are instructive, Iowa lost to UNLV by 10, lost to Ohio St. by 13, and defeated Illinois in overtime. Cal defeated UNLV and Illinois with relative ease and obviously played the Buckeyes a little tougher. CGB will have plenty more previewing this first round matchup as the weekend nears.
It wasn't exactly what we were hoping for, but boy does it feel good to see Cal pop up in the right tournament. Go Bears!