TwistNHook: We are playing UNLV on Thursday against San Jose. A rematch! What your instant thoughts?????
Vincent S: Where do I get tickets?
LEastCoastBears: Revenge/rematch time! I would feel better if the Bears actually have dominated at home this year. Hopefully, playing near home would not be a distraction.
Blueandgold15: Two thoughts immediately come to mind:
1) I am ecstatic that Cal even made the tournament after the horrendous flameout against Utah. For a team that was arguably the hottest in the country maybe two weeks ago, there was still some uncertainty on Selection Sunday - and the fact that they landed a bid the way they played the last two games was cause enough for celebration.
2) REMATCH. HOME GAME. No excuses for blowing this one.
LEastCoastBears: UNLV is clearly a better team than us, so plenty of reason why we might lose that game. I do think we do a better job of embracing the underdog role rather than the pressure of being the favorite.
LeonPowe: Hopefully our late season malaise was a temporary thing. UNLV is a better team, but not unbeatable by any means. We need all these guys to show up - Crabbe, Cobbs, Kravish, Solomon, Thurman, Smith, Kreklow. No more off games. Moser and Bennett are two big issues we need to deal with, and I don't think we can really stop them. But we have a chance.
TwistNHook: I'm sure a decent chunk of people will just note that UNLV beat Cal the first time and move on, but it should be noted howexcruciatingly close it was:
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Quintrell Thomas grabbed Anthony Marshall's airball under the basket and scored on a short hook shot with 1.2 seconds remaining to lift No. 21 UNLV to a 76-75 win over Cal on Sunday.
"Defensively we got what we wanted," Golden Bears' coach Mike Montgomery said. "We got an airball, in fact. Either we fell asleep or we were mismatched."
Cal lost by 1 point. 1 point! Keep in mind that it took a minor miracle for Cal to lose this. Cal was up by 1 with a few seconds left. They forced a UNLV airball, but then UNLV won on layup! If the ball hits the rim and bounces into the air, we win. UNLV literally had to fail extra hard in the final moments to win. An average amount of failure leads to a Cal victory.
PLUS, let's look at some stats here. Cal went 15-28 on Free Throws for a 52% rate. Is Cal going to hit 52% on free throws again in this year? Obviously, I can't predict the future, but I doubt it.
So, I am feeling better about this game. I feel like it's a great draw. Cal has been down these last two games, but we got about the best draw we could. Was there another scenario better than this one?
Berkelium97: That last second layup was awful. Cal absolutely should have won that first game.
We (nearly) beat them once, we can do it again. If we return to February form, we can definitely notch the upset. Add in a hometown crowd and I like the bears' odds.
NorCalNick: I think both teams are meaningfully better than they were in December. UNLV's Anthony Bennett has more experience as a freshman, and Mike Moser will be healthy and playing 35 minutes, presumably.
On the other hand, Cal is better as well. The biggest difference might be the interior defense that David Kravish and Richard Solomon are capable of bringing. And their ability to slow down Bennett and Moser is absolutely critical.
The other area that will be fascinating? It's a rematch, which makes this a huge coaching battle. How will Monty and Dave Rice adjust after the first game? Will Cal be able to keep UNLV off the offensive glass and off the line? Can UNLV bother Justin Cobbs again?
OhioBear: San Jose?!? Yes please! Cal got a break on the seeding and venue. Maybe it's karma for having to play Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh and Oklahoma in Oklahoma City in years past. Not only that, we get matched up against a UNLV team that, though good, we should have confidence against. Cal lost a tough one-point game to the Rebels in December, a game that Cal probably should have won. Yeah, I know that Moser will be more a factor this time around and we still need to figure out a way to stop Bennett. But at least there's some familiarity. Cal is playing near home against a team that it knows. Can't ask for much more than that for your NCAA tourney first round game.
Make San Jose Bear Territory!
Unclesam22: I'm happy that A) It is UNLV and not North Carolina as some bracket predictions I looked at today said, and B) That the game is so close.
I totally agree with LeonPowe that everyone needs to show up for this game, and IF they do ( a huge IF given the past 2 performances) I think there is a good chance Cal pulls the upset. However, as LEastCoastBears noted, there are also plenty of reason why we should lose this game, but his point about Cal embracing the underdog role and not the favorite is so dead-on. On the 7 game tear earlier this month it really kept seeming like every game we shouldn't have been close in we won and then when we got to furd and the P12 tourney, we just wilted under the pressure of increased expectations.
So I think Cal can win if the good Cal team shows up and everyone contributes, but I have no idea if that will be the case.