It’s Cal’s annual School Haas Rock game, wherein Cal plays a home game at an unusual hour in front of a bunch of school-age children who are enjoying their day much more than those of us busy at work.
Last year’s UC Riverside squad was an interesting example into the plight of small conference basketball teams. The Highlanders went a perfect 16-0 in Big West regular season play, then lost in the first round of the Big West tournament to UC Davis. UCR also played 5 total games against Pac-12 teams (Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, and Washington) and went a combined 0-5 with an average margin of defeat of 18 points. That’s awfully little reward for a perfect conference season, but so it goes for the overlooked in the world of the NCAA.
UCR lost three players out of their primary eight player rotation, including two of their three double-figure scorers. The Highlanders should still be a solid team, and perhaps a contender in the Big West, but it seems unlikely that they are poised to challenge Pac-12 teams this year.
For Cal, this is the softer part of their schedule before tougher teams and trips come up in December. So far, the Bears have taken care of business against decent mid-major competition. Hopefully, this game is more of the same. Go Bears!