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Golf: Top-seeded Bears climb to 2nd at NCAAs

Top-seeded Cal moved from fifth place to second after Day 2 of stroke play at the NCAA championships at the Capital City Club in suburban Atlanta.

The Bears (277-272-549) sit at 11-under par entering Thursday’s final 18 holes of stroke play. Cal trails Georgia Tech by one stroke.

The top eight teams after Thursday’s round qualify for the quarterfinals of match play, beginning Friday. Cal has an 11-stroke margin over the current ninth-place team, Central Florida.

Three Cal players broke par Wednesday, led by Max Homa (70-65-135), whose five-under 65 tied for the best round by a Cal golfer at an NCAA tournament. Homa and Brandon Hagy (66-69-135) are tied for fourth place.

Joel Stalter (69-68-137) is at three under and tied for 16th place.

Top-ranked Michael Kim (72-70-142) is tied for 58th place and Michael Weaver (74-71-145) is tied for 97th place.

“When I woke up this morning if you would have told me we were going to shoot somewhere around seven, eight or nine-under par I would have said that’s the best thing going,” Cal coach Steve Desimone said. “When we were way up after 13 holes it was party time, but now it’s root canal.

“There’s a lot of golf left with a lot of great teams right behind us. We put ourselves in a real good position but this thing is not a done deal.”

 

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Football: A busy NFL Sunday for Cal alums

Cal football alums everywhere in Sunday’s NFL playoff games:

– Running back Shane Vereen, 23, who had five career touchdowns in two pro seasons, scored three times in the Patriots’ 41-28 win over the Texans. He rushed seven times for 41 yards, including a 1-yard TD, and caught five passes for 83 yards, with TD receptions of 8 and 33 yards.

– Tight end Tony Gonzalez, 36, caught six passes for 51 yards and a touchdown in the Atlanta Falcons’ 30-28 win over the Seattle Seahawks. His 19-yard reception set up the winning field goal. The NFL’s No. 2 all-time receiver, in what may be his final season, Gonzalez won a playoff game for the first time in his career.

– Safety Thomas DeCoud, 27, had three tackles and one pass defended as the Falcons won a playoff game after losing in the first round the past three seasons.

– Running back Marshawn Lynch, 26, scored what appeared to be the winning touchdown for the Seahawks with 31 seconds left, only to watch the Falcons come back to win. The All-Pro from Oakland had a mixed day: 16 carries for 47 yards and a TD, plus three receptions for 37 yards. He also lost a fumble.

– Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, 27, had five tackles, four of them unassisted, for the Seahawks.

– Kicker Ryan Longwell, 38, just signed by Seattle on Wednesday because of an injury to their starter, made all four of his PATs but did not attempt a field goal.

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A break for summer vacation

Hoops are a memory. Spring sports are over. Football season will be here before we know it.

In the meantime, I’m off for a bit of vacation with the family.

I’ll tell you all about it upon my return. Hope all of you find some time to exhale and recharge.

And try to get along with each other while I’m gone.

 

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Basketball: On Zellers, Withey and Franklin

No underdogs survive as the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament wraps up on Friday . . .

   — No. 1′s Kentucky and North Carolina, No. 2 Kansas and No. 3 Baylor all advanced to the regional finals.

   — Quite a night for the Zeller family. UNC’s Tyler Zeller had 20 points and 22 points in a 73-65 win over Ohio, and Indiana’s scored 20 in a 102-90 loss to Kentucky.

   — Think Arizona could have used 7-foot center Jeff Withey this season? The junior transfer became just the fifth player in NCAA tournament history to block 10 shots in a game as Kansas  beat North Carolina State 60-57.

   — Then there’s one-time Cal guard Gary Franklin Jr., now playing for Baylor. The Bears of the Big 12 are one game away from the Final Four, but Franklin has yet to play in any of the team’s three NCAA games and has scored just six points in Baylor’s past 11 games.

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Basketball: Colorado stays tied for 2nd with Cal

Buffaloes edge Ducks in showdown at Boulder . . .

   — Colorado 72, Oregon 71: Nate Tomlinson hit one of two free throws with 1 second on the clock and the Buffaloes (16-7, 8-3) stayed unbeaten improved to 7-0 at home in the Pac-12 and stayed tied for second. Freshman Spencer Dinwiddie led Colorado with 16 points. The Ducks (16-7, 7-4) dropped into a tie for fourth place despite 18 points from Devoe Joseph and 13 points/13 rebounds from E.J. Singler, who was called for the foul that sent Tomlinson to the FT line.

   — Washington 69, USC 41: The first-place Huskies (16-7, 9-2) outscored the last-place Trojans (6-18, 1-10) by a 40-22 margin in the second half to remain one game ahead of Cal and Colorado. Tony Wroten had 13 points and Terrence Ross had 10 points and 14 rebounds for UW. USC shot 29 percent, including 1 for 16 from the 3-point arc.

   — Arizona 56, Stanford 43: The Cardinal (16-7, 6-5) shot just 25.4 percent (16 for 63) and lost  despite attempting 16 more shots than the Wildcats (16-8, 7-4). Arizona improved to 4-2 in Pac-12 road games and got a weekend sweep in the Bay. Kyle Fogg scored 14 to lead Az, which shot just 38 percent. Stanford has dropped four of its past five games.

   – UCLA 63, Washington State 60: Joshua Smith scored 19 points on 8-for-9 shooting and the Bruins (13-10, 6-5) salvaged a weekend split in Washington. Brock Motum scored 25 for the Cougars (12-11, 4-7).

   — Oregon State 76, Utah 58: The Beavers (15-8, 5-6) rode 20 points from Jared Cunningham to an easy win over the host Utes (5-18,2-9). Utah had 22 turnovers.