Live from Jacksonville: Cal vs. Louisville
No favorite? No problem.
by Branden Peters / @KUHVET
The Cal Bears vs. Louisville Cardinals matchup is the most lopsided 8/9 game of the tourney according to most talking head media pundits. Listening to the coaches’ pre-game press conferences brings that point home even more. While cool under pressure Pitino defended his team against Jekyll and Hyde suggestions calling his squad “an average to good team in a tough conference,” Mike Montgomery seemed to be all but throwing in the towel before tipoff. I think the kids are excited. I think they feel like they belong. Hopefully we can muster up a good effort. It’s probably a little further than we would have liked to have come, but it beats being at home,” said Coach Montgomery.
Though the Cardinals frontcourt is the reason for their success the game will most likely be decided by guard play as both teams start senior heavy backcourts. It should be interesting to see how Pac-10 regular season champion Cal’s guards Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher matchup against the pressure that Louisville’s elder statesman Edgar Sosa and Jerry Smith will bring.
On a side note: Cal forward Omondi Amoke was suspended indefinitely by Coach Montgomery and didn’t make the trip. The Bears will definitely miss his rebounding and defense.
I think this one will be a lot closer than most anticipate.
See you at tip off!
No. 8 California vs. No. 9 Louisville
Cal and Louisville have both hit the floor. Cardinals in 3 stripes and Cal mostly rocking Jordan PE’s
I’m sitting very close to the Cal cheerleaders. I could have a worse seat.
Shot clock malfunction is holding the tipoff up
Cardinals are definitely heavy in the fan dept tonight
Now the California cheers start
The shot clock issue must be a real problem. Both teams and their coaching staffs have gone back to the locker room.
Shot clock is fixed and the crowd roars as if Holyfield has just won the fight.
Swopshire and Boykin out to tip it up. Cardinals look focused. Cal looks loose.
Gutierrez with a good block from behind.
Randle is looking to distribute early. He’s passed up two good shots.
Maybe L’ville is too tight. They are playing very sloppy on the offensive end.
First L’ville full court press of the game. Thats that classic Cards D. Pitino was fronting in the press conference about not really playing it.
Bears Timeout. Last 2 sloppy Cal plays has Montgomery nervous. Cards are not gonna disappear.
Pretty bad no call Siva from Maryland got murdered going to the hoop.
22-4 run by the Cal Bears. So much for that Big Bad Big East. Whats really going on?
Buckles airballed a layup. These boys look shook. C’mon Son.
The press worked until Smith turned it over to Randle.
Buckles has no handle, this dude is walking all over the place.
–Sanders- Frison commits 2 quick fouls. He’s gonna get some PT since Amoke is suspended.
–Cal is doing a great job of beating the Cards press.
–Cal is just plain out looking more athletic than the Cards. If L’ville keeps attempting to get the ball inside they should be able to get closer.
–Three good possessions in a row by Cards pull the team to within 12.
Nice steal by Smith. Sosa sets up big 3 by Kuric.
Cal 30 second Timeout. L’Ville has cut the big Bears lead down to 9 points with pressure defense and key steals.
Big 3 by Swopshire followed by a big basket from Boykin.
That charge call on Sosa gave him his 3rd foul. I’m sitting baseline. It could have gone either way.
Samardo Samuels misses both Free throws. Buckles comes thru with a big board and put back. He’s having a good garbage man game.
Cal has no answer on the defensive end for Samuels big body inside.
Siva is a lot more aggressive with the rock than Sosa is.
Siva sends Randle to the line.
Cal going back to their 3 guard lineup to finish out the half.
–Jumpball after Samuels mishandles the pass.
–Randle pushes the rock up court and hits what had to be a 35-40 foot 3pt shot to end the half pushing Cal’s lead back to double digits.
–In the 1st half Cal shot 53.6% to L’Ville’s 36.4%. The big difference for Cal came via the 3 pt line. The Bears shot an amazing 55.6% from 3 going 5-9. No player from L’ville is in double digits in points (Samuels has 8). L’ville is outrebounding Cal 21-16 and if they can stifle the offense of Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher the Cards could easily get back into the game.
–Christopher with 2 straight misses but the hustle from Boykin gets the put back.
–Delk ignores a wide open Sosa on the wing. Hilarious.
–Guttierez fumbled a pass in the lane that was sure to be an easy layup. That boy is nervous.
–Patrick Christopher with a good pass from his butt to Robertson for 2 (goal tending).
–Boykin with a big layup. Plus 1. If he has a game like he did against UW this is going to be a long nite for Samuels.
–Buckels continues to be a magnet for offensive rebounds.
–Theo Robertson’s big steal and layup lead to Pitino calling a timeout.
–Samuels clearly forgot that Zhang is 7-3 until he got trapped in the paint with him.
–Nice give and go to Buckels. But Theo Robertson follows up with a wide open 3. L’ville can’t trade baskets all nite.
–Buckels took it straight at Zhang for the bucket. Pitino is riding the refs, asking them can they see. haha.
–Big Dunk by Samuels.
–Sosa hits a 3 to pull to within 9.
–JG with the wild drive. Christopher taps it in to put Cal back up.
–Beautiful post move by Buckels.
–JG called for a charge. Montgomery calls a timeout. Cal is unraveling.
–Samuels with a turnaround baby J in the lane.
–Roberston with a Big 3 to answer back.
–Buckles head was a foot above the rim on that rebound.
–Sosa to the line for 1 and 1. Misses
–Randle pulled up on a fast break to milk the clock. JG drives and gets fouled on a wild shot that wouldn’t have fell anyway. Pitino needs to get Buckles back in the game and soon.
–Crowd is clapping for the smart play by Cal. Samuels gets called for the hold on Zhang. 1 and 1. Zhang misses.
–Kuric just got a tech. and so did Pitino, although it was “technically” called on the L’ville bench. Randle at the line. Memo: he doesn’t miss too often. 2 for 2. Cal up 72-60.
–Zhang at the line. Memo: He misses a lot but he goes 2 for 2 as well.
–Zhang is feeling it. He gets a big block on Samuel. He is 7-3 after all.
–The crowd is heading out. At least the crowd in red. It seems that Montgomery was playing possum earlier. He must’ve known his team was going to come out and play hard. Pitino’s team on the other had came out flat and was never able to fully recover. The Cardinals only got as close as 6 points. Final score Cal 77, L’ville 62.
Jacksonville bracket Sunday 3/21/10 Wisconsin vs. Cornell tips at 2:05PM ET and Duke vs Cal tips 30 minutes after that game ends.
I predict that Cal will win and go to the Sweet 16 and if you think I’m crazy just remember I’m the same guy who said this as well!