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Basketball: How big is basketball Big Game?

By Jeff Faraudo
Thursday, January 26th, 2012 at 1:33 pm in Basketball.

Mike Montgomery will coach in his 44th basketball Big Game on Sunday at Haas Pavilion. So he ought to know just how big the game really is.

Not surprisingly, Monty downplays the whole thing. He is not a hype and hoopla guy.

“Even across the Bay, I felt it was more manageable if you just allowed it to be a game than to make more out of it. Because then it hurts more if you lose,” he said of his 18 seasons at rival Stanford. “You tried not to get too over-the-top with the whole thing.”

Besides, Montgomery said, this is different than THE Big Game.

“It’s not like football. This doesn’t have the same attention, it doesn’t have the same significance,” he said. “It’s not the Big Game where you have luncheons six days a week. It’s just not. It’s two games, it’s in the conference and right now we’re both at the top and that makes it significant.”

But for fans — and even players — this isn’t just another game, just another opponent.

“I definitely feel it’s a big game for us,” Cal sophomore Allen Crabbe said this week. “It’s the rivalry. I’m pretty sure everyone’s going to be pumped up for this game.”

Like most coaches, Montgomery doesn’t want to deal with what makes no difference, and if they held luncheons all week before the Cal-Stanford basketball games they merely would distract him from the real work, the preparation.

And he’s been pretty good in this game, 26-11 while at Stanford, 4-2 so far at Cal. That’s 30-13, a .698 winning percentage. And that’s better than his overall career winning mark of .687.

So he is taking it seriously, he is making it a big game, just in his own way.

“I think Stanford’s real good. They’re talented. They’ve got good players, and they’ve got a lot of them,” Montgomery said. “I think it’s going to be a really tough game. We’ve got to hold our home court. That makes it significant in itself.”

Maybe even big.

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  • ConcordBear

    Bears bench needs to start contributing more. Our TEAM needs everyone to beat a good stanford squad. Hope the guys are all in and will be ready to roll Sunday.
    Can’t wait!

  • http://CapitolGoldBuyers.com BlakeStreetBear

    California Golden Bears 79 – lsju 55. This one won’t even be close. ;-)

  • http://CapitolGoldBuyers.com BlakeStreetBear

    And can we really bring some NOISE to this game, please? I hope the students are there en masse and hammered too! I plan on leaving the gym hoarse. Go Bears! Beat the furd!

  • discdude

    Cal fans need to show up and put butts in the seats. Sellout home crowd needs to happen. And football recruits could be there, so this takes on more significance. Just win, baby. Go Bears!

  • http://www.thewisdomcow.blogspot.com/ The Wisdom Cow

    Not football, but still BIG to the fans.

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Its big and if Cal is to have national standing it has to separate itself from the rest of the Pac 12 which is horrid. There is no excuse for losing to any of these teams if we really believe we are one of the 65 Teams that should go to the NCAA.

  • Juancho

    It was bigger when Montgomery was at Stanford. That’s the truth.

    He’s a great coach.

    But something about him just doesn’t get some alumni excited. I heard that we’re ranked 6th in terms of home game attendance this year, around 8K per game. That’s lackluster.

  • milo

    CRUSH FURD! Crap down their throats and step on their neck!

  • rollonubears

    it’s also the hardest place to get to. build a freaking big parking lot already.

  • http://CapitolGoldBuyers.com BlakeStreetBear

    Rollon, there are huge parking lots in at least the following 3 locations, all within 2-3 blocks of the arena:

    1. Under Zellerbach
    2. Center st, behind the chase building: 6 floors of parking.
    3. Telegraph and Durant, right next to Unit 3 dorms, at least 5 floors of parking.

    There are others nearby as well.

    And there is BART.

    Bad parking is not an excuse to not show up, it is just plain laziness, no offense. And I take my quadriplegic father to home games all the time outta the center st lot. Anyway, lets hope for a massive crowd. Go Bears!

  • jim crow

    Juancho, you are not far off, but Cal is not 6th. It is fourth:

    AZ 13,639

    WU 9113

    UT 8382

    Cal 7833

  • Juancho

    Thanks jim crow.