Thursday, March 5, 2009

13 Years

The unthinkable has happened.

People talk about the 2003 USC game as among their favorite moments of the Tedford era. True, that's up there. But right up there with it was when Cal finally broke its historic losing streak to Washington. Losing to Washington was a Cal institution for years. Even though I know it happened, I literally could not remember Cal beating Washington prior to that.

Well, if losing to UW was an institution, getting its ass handed to it in the McKale Center has been a Cal religion. 13 years straight. Most of the UofA students were in kindergarten the last time Cal beat the Cats at home. And so beating them tonight in Tuscon will always be one of the highpoints of this first season under Monty. The monkey is off, the curse is lifted. (Of course, we had to wait for Lute to retire, but no matter. I'll take it.)

But there were some other nice twists in this game. First, they were honoring Lute "Cal Is My Bitch" Olson tonight. Never has a coach so owned Cal as Lute Olson has. And when Lute got the crowd fired up at halftime, I thought for sure Cal was done. I mean come on. You don't think it was a coincidence they scheduled this on the night they played Cal? Cal has been as close to a sure thing for UofA at home as there will ever be. But the Bears came out and did the unthinkable - they pooped in the Cats' lunchbox and ruined their party.

Second, how many years has Cal failed to throw a ball in the ocean in Tuscon while Arizona had a three-point orgy, with the screeching cat blaring every five minutes? Heck I remember a few post game interviews where Lute was almost apologetic for how well his team shot, and how disturbingly poor Cal played. It was poetic justice to see Cal raining 3 after 3 after 3 until the Arizona crowd was literally gasping in silence everytime a Cal shooter spotted up.

Third, Cal won this game without either of its bigs on the floor in crunch time, and with Jordan Hill playing like Tim Duncan (the guy's game will be overshadowed in the papers tomorrow by Randle's, but Hill was not only unstoppable, he looked like a pro). Crazy.

Finally, when is the last time Cal swept Arizona? What is the world coming to?

Great, gutsy win by the Bears, when everyone was just hoping for a split (and figuring it wouldn't come in Tuscon).


Anonymous said...

Here's the deal -- Monty owns Lute and UA because Monty's Dad once hired Lute at LB State. Monty doesn't fear Lute because he's the guy that use to work of his old man.

Go Bears!

SD said...

A nice piece of trivia. Still, I think every Cal fan was glad Lute was sitting in the stands and not on the bench last night.

danzig said...

"Cal raining 3 after 3 after 3 until the Arizona crowd was literally gasping in silence everytime a Cal shooter spotted up."

- hahhahaaa, I heard the crowd do that! Whenever Randle would shoot the 3, you can hear people holding their breath, gasping or smacking their heads.

SD said...

Don't know if you've been to a game at McKale, but I went once and I swore I'd never go back (at least when Braun was coach). They put us waayyyy up at the top. We were sitting with the Cal players' families. Robertstons and Wilkses were up there, along with some others.

The UofA student section is rabid -they gather outside way before game time and just go nuts, with face paint, cheers and color-coordinated clothes. And then the screeching of the cat after every three pointer (and there were a lot of them that day, as usual) - it all just made me want to leave once Cal fell into its Braun "toilet bowl" offense (around and around and around the perimeter), and Arizona was draining everything.

So to hear those same rabid fans gasping and to see them burying their faces in disbelief on TV was pretty crazy.

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