Cal got what it needed most out of NCAA Selection Sunday: Motivation.
Tabbed as a No. 12 seed, the Golden Bears get a rematch they relish against No. 5 UNLV in a Thursday “home” game at HP Pavilion in San Jose. It will be Cal’s first NCAA tournament game in the Pacific time zone in more than 50 years.
Cal-UNLV will tip off at 4:27 p.m. PDT on Thursday in San Jose
“When everybody is fired up and ready to go is when we’re at our best,” said Cal junior Allen Crabbe, the Pac-12 Player of the Year.
And he’s right. A year ago, the Bears were quickly shipped halfway across the country to face a South Florida team they knew little about, in a “First Four” game in Dayton, Ohio. They fell behind 36-13 at halftime and were on their way home before the main portion of the tournament began.
“We weren’t even mentally there,” Crabbe admitted.
They are jazzed about this game, a chance to square things against a UNLV team that beat them 76-75 in Berkeley on Dec. 9 when Quintrell Thomas turned a teammate’s air ball into the winning put-back shot with 1.2 seconds left.
“We want revenge,” senior Robert Thurman said. “The way they slipped out of our fingers last time was a fluke.”
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