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Basketball: College Gameday at Haas

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The picks: UCLA at Cal — Hubert Davis and Digger both pick Cal. (Knight and Bilas, calling the game tonight, abstain).

Rece Davis calls the Cal crowd “one of the best we’ve ever had for Gameday.”

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The picks: Az at Washington — Hubert Davis goes with UW, Digger picks Arizona, Knight and Bilas both Washhington.

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The picks: Here’s a surprise — Digger Phelps picks Notre Dame to beat UConn. Digger would pick the Irish over the Lakers.

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Game-changers: Jay Bilas picks Arizona’s Jordan Hill vs. Washington. Rece Davis goes with WSU’s Taylor Rochestie vs. Arizona State. If they’re right, Cal would benefit from losses by UW and ASU.

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State Farm halfcourt shot for $17,500 — Rece Davis suggests the shooter channels his inner Jerome Randle. The shot: an airball.

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Reaction to UConn coach Jim Calhoun’s explosive response to questions from an activist/reporter about his salary: Knight suggested the question was out of place in a post-game setting.  Bilas took a shot at the state’s legislature for trying to take action against Calhoun. Hubert Davis hit it on the head, noting the story is a week old and there are better things to talk about.

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ESPN gets an “All-Access” pass to Kentucky in preparation for the Wildcats’ game at South Carolina. Zzzzzz . . .  There went 5 minutes of my life I’m not getting back.

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The vote was even at 2-2, so Rece Davis cast the tiebreaker, going with VaTech on the basis of playing in a tougher conference (ACC) than Michigan (Big Ten). Michigan: out. Gameday’s final hypothetical NCAA spot goes to the Hokies.

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Digger is arguing for Michigan, prompting Bilas to wonder if the Wolverines just hired a former Notre Dame player to its coaching staff.

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Providence: out

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Siena: out.

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The Gameday crew is using a large grease board, flanked by Cal cheerleaders, to show their possible last four entries into the NCAA Tournament field: Virginia Tech, Providence, Michigan and Siena. They’re picking one.

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Rece Davis pays tribute to the late Pete Newell, mentioning his titles at Cal and the Olympics, and his Big Man’s Camp.

Knight: “I don’t think anybody in the history of the game had a better grasp of the game than Pete Newell had. And I don’t think anybody was more unselfish with his knowledge than Pete. I had a great relationship with Pete, and I think it was one of the two or three best relationships I’ve had in my life. Pete was a great friend.”

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Knight just told the TV audience that the key to Cal’s chances tonight against UCLA will be guard play. You think?

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Knight just explained why he is wearing a red sports shirt under his sweater in blue and gold territory.

“In the immortal words of Clark Gable, frankly, I don’t give a damn.”

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No, I didn’t climb out of bed at 5:30 a.m. today to get to Haas Pavilion — I’m sitting comfortably in my living room. Haas tonight, but we’ll take in ESPN’s College Gameday from the sofa.

The place looks packed, the cheerleaders are there, Oski’s in the house. And so are Bob Knight, Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas, Hubert Davis and Rece Davis, the ESPN crew.

Haas is loud.

“You know, I can’t hear a word you’re saying,” Knight said to Rece Davis, laughing.

Jeff Faraudo