Cal swept Pool C to earn the no. 1 seed for today's CRC championship round. The Bears faced one surprise during pool play, the upstart Golden Bears of Kutztown University. Cal trailed 0-5 at halftime against the Bears, but battled back in the second half.
The second half started with Cal urgently pursuing points, and although Webb took a little more time to warm up with his second knock-on, the first-year player poached the ensuing Kutztown scrum and Jake Anderson soon found the try zone to tie the match.
Webb missed the conversion, keeping the score knotted at 5-5, and booted the restart kickoff directly out to put further pressure on the Bears. But the blue and gold refused to fold and Kelly delivered what proved to be the decisive blow with his 12th-minute try.
Sitting in the Pool C driver's seat but with their Sunday seed up in the air, the Bears finished their Saturday against hometown favorites Temple with a nine-try effort to end pool play with a tournament-best 110 points scored. Anderson and sophomore Nicklas Boyer scored two tries apiece against the Owls and Cal connected on 5-of-9 conversions (Anderson 2-for-5, Russell Webb 3-for-4).
With the no. 1 seed, Cal opens today's events against Arizona.
California will play No. 8 seed Arizona at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT in Sunday's championship quarterfinals; if the Bears win that match, Cal's semifinal will be against the winner of No. 4 Dartmouth vs. No. 5 UCLA at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT live on NBC Sports Network.
After the remaining teams are whittled down to one - with No. 2 Life vs. No. 7 Kutztown and No. 3 Penn State vs. No. 6 Navy in the other quarterfinals to set up the other semifinal - the Championship Final is at 5:29 p.m. ET/2:29 p.m. PT Sunday, televised live on NBC.
Cal has never won the CRC 7s tournament.
- Uncle Ted ranks the Pac-12 schools in terms of returning starters. Cal is tied for 10th with 13 returning starters. The Bears have the fewest returning starters on offense.
- Khalfani Muhammad successfullly defended his state 100m and 200m titles.
- Max Homa won the NCAA Individual championship as Cal earned the no. 1 overall seed.
- A 3-2 win over Arizona State propelled Cal into the semifinal round.
- 15th-seed Illinois upset the Bears 3-2 to deny Cal a shot at the national championship.
- The women's team won two of its three heats at the NCAA Championships.
- The men's team won three of five heats to advance all boats at the IRA Championships.