I had the good fortune of attending the NCAA Men’s Tournament Regionals here in Dallas Friday night thanks to my good friend Roxy Bernstein who is the radio play-by-play voice for the #7 seeded University of California men’s basketball team (that’s him at his courtside broadcast position under the big red arrow). After leading 29-25 at the half against #10 seeded N.C. State, the Bears couldn’t catch a break in the second half as they weren’t able to establish anything down low and the refs called what seemed to be a completely different game in the second half. Bears sophomore center DeVon Hardin picked up 2 quick fouls in the first 40 seconds of the second half which thrust senior Rod Benson into the lineup. Playing significant minutes, Benson contributed 13 points, but only 2 rebounds and bit on a huge ball fake with 32.3 seconds left that allowed N.C. State to go ahead 55-52. The shot of the game came from Bears sophomore Omar Wilkes (former NBA and Laker great Jamaal’s son), who in one leap caught, spun and fired a long 3-pointer as the 35-second clock was expiring. It was Cal’s only basket during N.C. State’s 16-4 run.
Here’s some grainy cameraphone pics from our 2nd row seats behind the Cal bench (thanks again, Roxy):