Swimming: Cal men fall short of NCAA 3-peat

Tom Shields set an American short-course record in the 200-yard butterfly, but Michigan dethroned two-time champion Cal in the NCAA men’s swimming championships at Indianapolis.

The Wolverines won their first national crown since 1995. They scored 480 points to 406.5 for the runnerup Bears.

Shields won the 200 fly in 1 minute, 39.65 seconds for his 11th NCAA title.


The Cal rugby team beat Utah 51-29 at Witter Field to clinch the inaugural PAC Rugby Conference title. The Bears improved to 18-0 on the season, 5-0 in conference play.


Cal football signee Takkarist McKinley of Kennedy HS in Richmond won the high school section of the 100 meters at the Stanford Invitational, running 10.71 seconds.

Keep in mind, this is a 6-foot-3, 240-pound defense end . . . with sprinter’s speed.

Amador Valley HS’s Matt Esparza, who will compete next season for the Cal track team, won the shot put with a toss of 59 feet, 6 1/4 inches and was third in the discus at 158-0.


Women’s basketball: Bears roar into Elite 8

The Cal women did something no Golden Bears’ baskeball team — of either gender — has done since 1960.

And something five-time Final Four powerhouse Stanford couldn’t get done Saturday.

The Golden Bears moved into the Elite Eight round of the NCAA tournament with a 73-63 win over LSU at Spokane, Wash.

The second-seeded Bears (31-3) made it to the regional finals for the first time in school history.

With a win Monday over Georgia — a 61-59 winner over top-seeded Stanford — the Bears will play in their first Final Four.

“This for us is about who we want to be,” Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. “We’re not trying to out-Stanford Stanford.”

No Cal team has advanced this deep in the NCAA tournament since the Bears’ men reached the national championship in 1960.

Click here for staff writer Elliott Almond’s game story.


Basketball: Jordan Mathews in all-star game

Cal signee Jordan Mathews of Santa Monica High will play in the inaugural West Coast All-Star Classic, May 11 at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash.

Mathews, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard, averaged 28 points per game this season, leading his team into the California Division I state finals.

Twenty-two top West Coast high school seniors will participate in the event, which also will include a dunk contest and 3-point competition the night before at Rainier Beach HS in Seattle.

Other participants include Saint Mary’s-bound Calvin Hermanson of Lake Oswego, Ore., Arizona signee Elliott Pitts of De La Salle HS and Santa Clara signees Gabe Beeler of Antelope-Lancaster and Marquis Davis of Rainier Beach-Seattle.


Basketball: Crabbe on NABC All-America 3rd team

Cal junior guard Allen Crabbe, already named the Pac-12 Player of the Year, was picked today to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-America third team.

Crabbe is just one of two players from the West named to one of the three five-man teams.

Crabbe, who averaged 18.4 points and 6.1 rebounds this season, is the first Cal player named to the NABC All-American team since Shareef Abdur-Rahim was chosen to the third team in 1996.

Jason Kidd (1994) and Darrall Imhoff (1960) both were NABC first-team All-America selections.

The NABC All-America teams:

First Team
Trey Burke, Michigan, sophomore guard
Doug McDermott, Creighton, junior forward
Otto Porter, Georgetown, sophomore forward
Victor Oladipo, Indiana, junior guard
Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga, junior forward

Second Team
Shane Larkin, Miami, sophomore guard
Ben McLemore, Kansas, freshman guard
Mason Plumlee, Duke, senior forward
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, freshman guard
Cody Zeller, Indiana, sophomore forward

Third Team
Allen Crabbe, Cal, junior guard
Russ Smith, Louisville, junior guard
Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State, junior forward
Jeff Withey, Kansas, senior center
Nate Wolters, South Dakota State, senior guard


Basketball: What’s ahead for Golden Bears?

While acknowledging that “you’re never satisfied,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery expressed satisfaction about a season in which the Golden Bears finished in a tie for second place in the Pac-12 and won an NCAA tournament game for just the second time in his five seasons.

The Bears (21-12, 12-6 Pac-12) had “a chance to win it — we didn’t but we had a chance, and that’s what you want,” Montgomery said. “On balance, it’s a pretty good season.”

Cal has been competitive at the top of the conference in four of Montgomery’s first five seasons. In fact, over the past five years, the Bears and Washington share the best composite record in league play at 59-31, followed by UCLA at 58-32, and Arizona at 57-33.

The perfectionist in Montgomery laments opportunity lost. The Bears went into the final week of the Pac-12 season in position to steal a piece of the title. Everyone else cooperated with losses, and still Cal couldn’t get the hump.

“There were some things there that were available for us that we didn’t get,” he conceded.

Montgomery sounds excited about next season, although he won’t know for about a month whether Pac-12 Player of the Year Allen Crabbe (18.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg) returns for his senior season or enters the NBA draft.

Junior point guard Justin Cobbs also has requested an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee.

My guess: Crabbe departs, Cobbs remains.

Either way, the Bears will return with a veteran nucleus, augmented by a strong four-man recruiting class.

With or without Crabbe, I envision the Bears somewhere in the top four in the Pac-12 next season, behind Arizona but competitive with pretty much anyone else.

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Basketball: After nearly a quarter-century, a Bay Area statistical milestone is eclipsed


Santa Clara senior guard Kevin Foster scored 33 points in a CBI semifinal win over Wright State on Wednesday night to become the all-time Bay Area Division I scoring leader. Foster has 2,355 points.

He passed Stanford’s Todd Lichti, who set the record 24 years ago.

Jerome Randle is the only Cal player in the Bay Area’s top-10, sitting eighth with 1,835 points.

Allen Crabbe finished his junior season residing at the No. 10 spot on Cal’s career list. Should he return next season, he likely would become the fifth Bay Area player to top 2,000 career points.

Cal’s career top-10

1. Jerome Randle (2007-10) 1,835 points
2. Sean Lampley (1998-01) 1,776
3. Patrick Christopher (2007-10) 1,700
4. Lamond Murray (1992-94) 1,688
5. Joe Shipp (2000-03) 1,666
6. Kevin Johnson (1984-87) 1,655
7. Bob McKeen (1952-55) 1,654
8. Leonard Taylor (1985-89) 1,608
9. Brian Hendrick (1990-93) 1,556
10. Allen Crabbe (2011-13) 1,537

Bay Area Division I career top-10 (updated)

1. Kevin Foster, Santa Clara (2009-13) 2,355
2. Todd Lichti, Stanford (1986-89) 2,336
3. Adam Keefe, Stanford (1989-92) 2,319
4. Bill Cartwright, USF (1976-79) 2,116
5. Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary’s (2010-13) 1,933
6. Daniel Kickert, Saint Mary’s (2003-06) 1,874
7. Omar Samhan, Saint Mary’s (2007-10) 1,846
8. Quintin Dailey, USF (1980-82) 1,841
9. Jerome Randle, Cal (2007-10) 1,835
10. Darrell Tucker, USF (2000-03) 1,805


Basketball: Crabbe earns NABC honor

Cal’s Allen Crabbe was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 20 all-star team.

Also chosen to the District 20 team — which merely consists of the Pac-12 schools — were UCLA’ s Shabazz Muhammad, Arizona State’s Jahii Carson, and Arizona’s Mark Lyons and Solomon Hill.

Second-team District 20 picks were Stanford’s Dwight Powell, Colorado’s Spence Dinwiddie, Oregon’s E.J. Singler, Arizona State’s Carrick Felix, Washington State’s Brock Motum and Washington’s C.J. Wilcox.

(No Andre Roberson of Colorado?)

Former Cal backup D.J. Seeley of Fullerton State was chosen to the District 9 second team. Saint Mary’s Matthew Dellavedova and Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk highlighted the District 9 first team.


Basketball: Don’t expect NBA decision from Crabbe soon; rules encourage waiting ’til deadline

Allen Crabbe’s father said Monday that the Cal basketball star is unlikely to make any decision about his future until just before the April 28 deadline for underclassmen to enter the NBA draft.

“Probably not going to happen,” Allen Crabbe Jr., said. “It’s really a disadvantage with the way they set it up now.”

Crabbe, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, will receive an evaluation from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee on or before April 15. But rules implemented by the NCAA in May 2011 make it impossible for players to work out for professional teams before actually entering the draft.

Players who declare for the draft now face an April 16 NCAA deadline with withdraw their name or lose their ability to return to college. That greatly limits their options.

“Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as testing the waters anymore,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. “Most of the teams aren’t going to make their ultimate decision until they get the chance to work you out. And you have to put your name in the draft to be able to have a chance for that.”

Click here to read the entire story.

Check back Tuesday for my Cal season wrapup with a look ahead to next season.

Cal’s Allen Crabbe, celebrating the Bears’ 64-61 win against UNLV in the NCAA tournament, likely won’t announce his NBA plans for a while. 
(Nhat V. Meyer/Staff)