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Basketball: Cal’s greatest teams — No. 4

In the 100th season of Cal basketball, we continue our countdown of the greatest teams in school history. Today: No. 4. 

4. 1945-46.
   Team’s record: 30-6.
   Achievements: PCC title, school record for victories, first-ever NCAA tournament appearance.
   Record vs. Stanford: 4-0.
   Record vs. UCLA: 4-0.
   Coach: Nibs Price.
   Top players: F Andy Wolfe (13.4 ppg), F Merv LaFalle (8.3 ppg).
   Bottom line: The Bears play 10 games against opponents with military affiliations, but also go 11-1 in the PCC. With just one starter taller than 6-foot-1, they beat Colorado to open the NCAA tournament, then lose to defending national champ Oklahoma A&M and its All-America 7-foot center Bob Kurland, who exploits them for 29 points.

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   News of the world: In the aftermath of World War II, the Nurenberg trials of 24 Nazi war criminals begin; U.S. enters the United Nations; WWII hero Gen. George Patton dies after a car accident.
   U.S. president: Harry Truman.
   U.S. population: 141 million.
   Elvis sighting: For his 11th birthday, little Elvis wants a rifle or a bicycle. But his parents can’t afford either, so he gets his first guitar.
   AP Athletes of the Year: Glenn Davis (college football) and Babe Didrikson Zaharias (golf).
   Elsewhere in Bay Area sports: San Francisco Seals pitcher Larry Jansen posts a 30-6 win-loss record in the Pacific Coast League, same as the Bears assemble in basketball; no Big Game in football because Stanford doesn’t field a team during the War years of 1943-45; future Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler is born on Christmas Day 1945.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Vianden

    Chuck Hanger played Forward at Cal about this same time. This team?