The collapse is complete. After starting conference play 5-0 and eventually beating number one Arizona, the Bears wrapped up a terrible month of basketball with another quarterfinal bounce. After a no-show first half, followed by a desperate rally, the game played off like a microcosm of the season. Cal playing well in spurts, then falling apart at too many crucial times.
It's really bad that Justin Cobbs (21 points today) and Richard Solomon (16 rebounds today) have to go out this way, but ultimately the starters never put it together for more than a few stretches, the offense never progressed after the midway point, the defense had too many disappointing lapses, and the bench just wasn't ready this season. So they will be watching March Madness from Berkeley, and just have to spend this offseason getting better in a hurry.
So now Cal will look ahead to the NIT, where they should be seeded pretty highly for their next few contests. It's Armed Forces Bowl, basketball edition!