February 19, 2006

Cal Hoops Falls to Last-Place ASU

Being a Cal Bears fan is a lot like being a Chicago Cubs fan - it always seems like something is going to go wrong, even when things are starting to go right. During my four years at Cal, I expected our quarterback to fumble on the one-yard line in key games, I expected our star basketball player to get injured in the last minutes of a game in which he scored more than forty points, and somehow, they always came up short. And this issue extends to any games Cal plays on a national scale - or when facing USC the last two years.

Yet, somehow, I keep holding onto my faith. Today, with Cal basketball tied for first place in the Pac Ten with UCLA, and an NCAA tourney bid looking possible, they took on last-place Arizona State, at home, in what should have been an easy win. Yet we found them in trouble in first overtime.

With a chance to win by making two free throws, Cal missed the front-end and was lucky to make the second to force a second, fateful, overtime period. In that last five minutes, Cal foolishly shot an impossible three pointer when up by four, and gave ASU the chance to come roaring back. With the gap closed to two, ASU had the chance to tie or take the lead, and swished a three from behind the arc, putting the team up by one with seconds left. Cal had managed to shake defeat from the jaws of victory, missing their final attempts and seeing the Sun Devils walk away from Haas Pavilion with a well-deserved win. It was almost what I had expected to happen, but what I had hoped wouldn't. Very frustrating.