— Friday, 7 p.m., No TV
Standing between Mike Montgomery and a spot alongside one of college basketball’s greatest coaches is a UC Santa Barbara team that nearly upset UCLA this week by making a barrage of 3-point shots.
Montgomery is one victory shy of moving into a tie for 27th on the all-time Division I career list.
The coach he would tie?
UCLA legend John Wooden, winner of 10 NCAA titles.
But victory No. 664 may not be easy for Montgomery or his team.
The Bears (6-2) visit UCSB’s Thunderdome for a matchup with the Gauchos (3-3), who made 12 of their first 17 shots from beyond the arc to threat unbeaten UCLA on Tuesday night.
Santa Barbara actually led in the second half before cooling off and falling 89-76. UCSB also lost 76-68 at Colorado this season, so the Bears will be their third shot at a Pac-12 team this season.
Junior Alan Williams had 39 points, nine rebounds and eight blocked shots a week ago in a win over South Dakota State and averages 27.5 points. As a result, UCLA tried clamping down on the 6-foot-7, 240-pounder, and the Gauchos almost made them pay for it.
Montgomery and his staff no doubt watched tape of that game, and will endeavor to prevent the Gauchos’ deep scoring threats feel so comfortable.
Senior guard Kyle Boswell scored 18 points, including 5 for 9 from 3-point range, but the Gauchos made just 1 of their final 9 attempts from deep after leading 62-61 with 11:21 left.
Cal leads the all-time series 10-0, but this is the Bears’ first visit to Santa Barbara since the 1979-80 season. No Pac-12 team has visited the Thunderdome in 11 years, since USC went home following a 69-53 loss.
Cal beat UCSB 68-59 a year ago in Berkeley, with then-freshman Tyrone posting his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Cal is 71-4 all-time vs. current members of the Big West Conference.