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Golden Nuggets: Looking Back at the 1956 Cal-Kansas Matchup

Use this post as an open thread if you're watching the Beef O'Brady's Bowl featuring Louisville (favored by 2.5) against University of Southern Mississippi.  Thankfully the rest of the week's bowls look intriguing, so this may be one of the last "nobody cares" bowls this season.

One the eve of the Cal-Kansas matchup, Faraudo takes us on a trip down memory lane to 1956, when Kansas last visited Cal.  Kansas was led by freshman Wilt Chamberlain who averaged 39.5 points, 22 rebounds, and 9.5 blocks in his first four collegiate games.  After Coach Pete Newell watched the phenomenal freshman play in the season-opener against Northwestern, he knew Cal would have its hands full.

"After I saw him shoot and move, I had to go out and sit down in a quiet place."

The campus community was especially vibrant in the days before the visit of the soon-to-be NBA legend.

"Man, it was a two- or three-day buzz," recalled Earl Robinson, 74, a junior guard for the Bears that season. "It was electric all day on campus. There were so many people (at the game), they were sitting on the stairs."

Despite holding a ten-point lead early in the second half, Cal lost to Kansas 66-56.  Wilt was held to a mortal 23 points and 14 rebounds.  The Jayhawks made it to the NCAA championship game that year and lost to UNC in a triple-overtime thriller.  Two years later, Cal made it to the championship game and won.

Things got better for the Bears after facing Chamberlain. They lost only four more times at Harmon Gym over the next four seasons.

"I'm telling you, we had confidence from the very beginning," Robinson said. "They were playing at our house. Anybody who came into that basement at Cal, we had a chance to beat them."

After the jump Tedford talks about the QB struggles this year, women's bball comes up short against Texas Tech, and Rugby releases its all-away schedule for 2011.