THAT'S THATAn incredible first half by Oregon was too much to overcome for the Bears, whose season ends with a 81-63 loss. The Ducks are peaking at the right time, and could make a nice run in March if they continue to play sound defense and move as well as they did in the first half on offense.
As for Cal, the season ends in an odd mix of triumph and disappointment. Thursday's shocking upset of UCLA is a great memory, but it's just one memory in a season full of injuries and second-half collapses. Braun is staying, but extension or no the jury's out on his future in Berkeley. In Sandy we trust - and specifically, we trust her to recognize that this University deserves something more than it's been getting from its basketball program.
It should be an off-season full of interesting subplots - three important rehabs, the incorporation of Jamal Boykin, one seemingly obvious NBA Draft decision, and one far less-obvious commitment decision by highly-touted HS junior Drew Gordon. I'll sum it all up in a bit, after a preview of the Bear-less NCAAs. Ben is still saying the right things about the NIT, but Cal would be the first sub-.500 team in the tournament's history to receive an invite.
In the meantime, all thanks and gratitude to Ayinde Ubaka and Alex Pribble for their heart and commitment to the program. A shame they couldn't go out under better circumstances.