Cal gets No. 4 seed in NIT, to host Ole Miss

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Cal gets No. 4 seed in NIT, to host Ole Miss

March 13, 2011
CAL PAGE

California has accepted a bid to the 20011 National Invitation Tournament and will host Ole Miss in a first-round game at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Haas Pavilion.The Golden Bears, who are seeded fourth in their region of the bracket, finished the regular season with a 17-14 record, while the Rebels are seeded fifth and are 20-13. The winner of the Cal-Ole Miss game will play the winner of No. 1 seeded Colorado-No. 8 seeded Texas Southern in the second round. Tickets for Cal's opening-round game of the NIT are available for purchase starting Sunday night through the link at CalBears.com.Fans may also call (800) GO BEARS or visit the Cal Athletic Ticket Office at 2223 Fulton St. during business hours. The ticket office is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Reserved seats are 50 for chairback sets, 40 for premium bench seats, 25 for adults and 15 for youth (12th grade and under). Cal student tickets are 10 for the game.Wednesday will be the first-ever meeting between Cal and Ole Miss. Cal is participating in the NIT for the seventh time and owns an 11-5 record in the event. The Bears won the championship in 1999 and reached the quarterfinals in both 1987 and 2000. Cal's NIT berth in 1986 marked the school's first postseason appearance since the NCAA runner-up squad of 1960, although the Bears made a first-round exit. Cal also advanced to the second round in 1989.In its most-recent NIT appearance in 2008, Cal edged New Mexico by two at Haas Pavilion, 68-66, before falling to Ohio State in Columbus, 73-56.Cal reached the semifinals in 1999 with a home win over Fresno State (79-71) at the Oakland Arena, a 17-point comeback at DePaul (58-57) and another victory in Oakland over Colorado State (71-62). The Bears met a familiar foe in Oregon in the semis in New York. Although Cal lost both regular-season games to the Ducks, it prevailed, 85-69, behind 22 points from Mike Gill. The Bears then edged Clemson, 61-60, for the title, going ahead when Geno Carlisle hit a free throw to complete a three-point play with 4.7 seconds left. Lampley, who had 16 points vs. Clemson, was named the NIT's MVP. Including the NCAA Tournament, this marks Cal's 23rd foray into the postseason. Head coach Mike Montgomery has guided the Bears into either the NCAA Tournament or the NIT in each of his three seasons at the helm for the Bears. Last season, after the Bears won their first Pac-10 title in 50 years, Cal advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual-national champion Duke.Cal is paced by the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Allen Crabbe, who led the Bears in scoring in conference games at 16.4 ppg. Junior guard Jorge Gutierrez was named to the All-Pac-10 first team, while junior forward Harper Kamp made the All-Pac-10 second team. Gutierrez and Kamp lead the Bears with 14.3 ppg in all games. Ole Miss is led by Chris Warren, who is averaging 19.0 ppg. Zach Graham is also averaging double figures in scoring (14.1 ppg). Reginald Buckner and Terrance Henry pace the Rebels on the boards at 6.5 rpg and 6.1 rpg, respectively. Ole Miss has won two of its last three contests. The Rebels fell to Kentucky in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament, 75-66.The 2011 NIT field features 32 teams seeded 1-8 in four different regions. In addition to Colorado, the other top seeds are Virginia Tech, Alabama and Boston College.The first three rounds of the NIT are played at host school sites, starting with the opening round March 15-16. Second-round contests will be contested March 18-21 and quarterfinals March 22-23. The semifinals and final are set for March 29-31 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Courtesy Cal media services

Instant Replay: Kings shock Grizzlies late for second straight win

Instant Replay: Kings shock Grizzlies late for second straight win

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings aren’t done fighting yet. In front of their home crowd, they pulled off their second consecutive shocker, this time dispatching the Memphis Grizzlies in dramatic fashion by the final of 91-90.

Darren Collison battled Mike Conley Jr. all night long at the point guard position. After scoring 19 against the Clippers on Sunday, Collison hit the Grizzlies for 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting and added a team-high seven assists. His free throw with 5.7 seconds remaining proved to be the game winner.

Rookie Buddy Hield continued his hot shooting, scoring 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting. The 23-year-old shooting guard is quickly establishing himself as a big time scoring option for the Kings moving forward.

Willie Cauley-Stein chipped in 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists. 7-footer Kosta Koufos found success against his former team, finishing with 11 points, five rebounds and three blocks before fouling out late.

Ty Lawson led the second unit with 10 points, while Anthony Tolliver went 4-of-7 from the field for nine points.

Conley Jr. received the biggest contract in NBA history during the offseason and he showed why Monday against the Kings. The veteran point guard dropped in 22 points and dished out nine assists as the Grizzlies fell to 40-34 on the season.

35-year-old big man Zach Randolph went to work in the post. The 16-year NBA vet dropped in 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, schooling the Kings frontline with the left-handed flip early in the game.

Brandan Wright came off the bench to score 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and Troy Daniels added 10 points.  

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
Collison is heating up. Over his last two games, the veteran guard has scored 42 points on 16-for-24 shooting and kept his team in the ballgame.

TURNING POINT:
Despite leading by eight on multiple occasions in the fourth quarter, Sacramento couldn’t close the door on the Grizzlies. Collison drew a foul with 5.7 remaining and his team trailing by one. He knocked down both freebies and Randolph missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer to help the Kings improve to 29-45 on the season.   

INJURY UPDATE:
Arron Afflalo missed the game due to a personal matter and Tyreke Evans sat for scheduled rest. Rookie Malachi Richardson is officially out for the season with a right hamstring thickness tear. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles.

WHAT'S NEXT:
The Kings are back at it Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center when the Utah Jazz roll through Sacramento. Following the matchup with Utah, the Kings travel to New Orleans to face former King DeMarcus Cousins on Friday evening.

 

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

BOX SCORE

SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the ailing Cleveland Cavaliers 103-74 on Monday night in a showdown that turned into a major letdown for the defending NBA champions.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol added 14 points apiece for the Spurs, who won their fifth straight.

Cleveland (47-26) dropped its second in a row, set a season low for points and fell a half-game behind Boston (48-26) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Cavaliers star LeBron James was injured late in the third quarter after taking an elbow to the base of his neck. He remained on the bench for a while receiving medical attention, then headed toward the locker room and didn't return to the game.

His status was not immediately known.

Cleveland has been out of sync recently, losing three of five, and those struggles only got worse against San Antonio. The Spurs led by as many as 33 points to the delight of the sold-out crowd.

San Antonio (57-16) is two games behind Golden State (59-14) for the league's best record entering a home showdown with the Warriors on Wednesday.

Cleveland opted to play its stars rather than sit them for rest, but the trio of James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love sat out the fourth quarter of its second rout in the past two weeks.

James exited with 25 seconds remaining in the third after taking an elbow to his neck from David Lee on a rebound. James continually rubbed the area before collapsing after he crossed midcourt and remained on the floor for about a minute before walking unassisted to the bench. He left for the locker room early in the fourth quarter during a timeout.

James finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 29 minutes.

The Spurs held the Cavaliers scoreless for three minutes after San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was issued a technical foul during a timeout with 6:38 remaining in the first half.

Leonard hit a right-handed runner as the second quarter closed to give the Spurs a 64-40 lead.

TIP-INS:
Cavaliers: Cleveland completed its schedule against the West, finishing 16-14. In addition to losing to the Spurs by 29 points, the Cavaliers lost by 35 to Golden State and 30 to the Los Angeles Clippers. . Cleveland F Kyle Korver missed his third straight game with a sore left foot, and the team plans to sit him for several games to see if rest and treatment helps. Korver will sit out Thursday in Chicago and Friday at home against Philadelphia before being re-evaluated, a team spokesman said. The shooting specialist missed seven games earlier this month with an inflamed tendon in his foot. . G Iman Shumpert missed his second consecutive game with a sore right knee. . James needs 24 points to pass Shaquille O'Neal for seventh overall in career scoring. O'Neal has 28,596 career points. . The Cavaliers averaged 116.3 points in their previous four games.

Spurs: San Antonio is holding its opponents to an average of less than 100 points for the 22nd straight season. . Danny Green tied his season high with four blocked shots. . Leonard has scored in double figures in 100 straight games.

UP NEXT:
Cavaliers: At the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.

Spurs: Host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.