Can finally tweet again. CAL WINS!!! pic.twitter.com/pK30VLJM0w— Gustav N. Davila (@NikJamTheMan) March 4, 2016
It was a gut-check for the Bears yesterday. Anigwe fouls out late (although Utah's best player, Potter, would also foul out a while later), and the Bears let a one point lead slip away in the final seconds. It was looking grim. But the Bears got the game tying shot to force overtime! And then, despite trailing at points in OT, pulled it together and got the big time finish. Those were happy times, before the men's basketball team couldn't quite repeat the feat (Granted, at more hostile territory against a ranked team... but still) and Old Blues were bummed yet again.
But the women's basketball team aren't finished yet. They now face a big time opponent in Arizona State. In the season series, the Sun Devils made an early statement absolutely blowing out a then-ranked Cal team in the conference opener for both teams (They then did the same to Stanford, and the Sun Devils never looked back). In the rematch in Berkeley it was a story we had seen before and after, the Bears give the fans hope that they can pull off the upset, but depth and experience wound up favoring ASU in the second half and they came away with the regular season sweep.
It should be pointed out that the game was close for the first three quarters; also Kristine Anigwe did not play because of undisclosed reasons that please please please tell me are completely behind us now and will not be mentioned again except in 3 years when we laugh off this story while celebrating Senior Day.
The Bears are playing like they must win to keep their season alive. It worked against a solid Utah team but now we're facing the elite Sun Devils, and even with a win we have to probably play another very good team. But right now depth and inexperience can only be said so many times. The Bears have the potential to win and now it's time to show it. Make tough shots, take care of the ball, don't let ASU build a double digit lead, stun the women's basketball world and give the fans (and of course, themselves) something to feel really good about going into next season and beyond.
Unfortunately, due to the Bears' 14-16 record, the only way to finish with a winning record is to completely win the Pac-12 tournament. That means it's either a storybook finish to the NCAA Tournament, or the Bears season probably comes to an end with any loss. I did confirm that the WNIT only takes teams that are at least .500, so despite the # of quality wins and the tough SOS, the Bears will not be eligible of that tournament.
I don't see any such rule regarding the WBI (the women's version of the CBI) and research shows that unlike the men's version, the women do not have to pay to be in it, and they even make money if they host games. So the season may not completely be over. But still, if the team doesn't win today, even if it's a brutal painful to watch loss, appreciate the Bears, savor any good moment that happens, and keep your spirits up! Go Bears.
Side note, apologies that this and yesterday's post are short and lacking real information. I also haven't been able to live-tweet. You see, I am on vacation. It's been pretty fun, but my soul and ears are still reeling from the thunderous roar after Arizona's Game Winning 3 last night with the men. Humble brag I know, I'm supporting the men in Arizona while seeing the A's play in Spring Training for the first time ever... but like yesterday I'll be "that guy" at the baseball games with women's basketball on my phone. Haters gonna hate.