Cal men’s and women’s basketball teams have made 31 appearances in the NCAA Tournament since 1946, including this season. Cal’s basketball histories feature an impressive list of great players, but these are the greatest blue and gold performances in the big dance.
5) Theo Robertson and Jerome Randle (2010)
In the first round of the tournament, Cal was set up to play Louisville across the country in Jacksonville. After falling in the first round last year to Maryland, the Bears were eager for a tournament win.
Theo Robertson, who had played on Cal’s team for four years, knew this as much as anyone. Hopes were not high after a close loss to Washington in the Pac-10 Tournament, and someone had to step up on the grand stage.
Cal surged out of the gates in the first half and opened up with an 18-point lead, finishing the half with a 12-0 run. Robertson and fellow senior Jerome Randle combined for 42 points and led the Bears to a easy 15-point win.
Robertson had been averaging a career high 14.2 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per game throughout the season, topping his season averages with 21 points and five rebounds to go with his two assists, three steals and a block.
Randle matched Robertson’s points, rebounds and assist totals while draining a deep three to put Cal up, 41-30, at the end the half.
Cal went on to face eventual champions Duke in the second round, and Randle ended the season as Cal’s all-time leading scorer.
4) Brian Wethers (2003)
After narrowly beating North Carolina State, Cal advanced to the second round to face Oklahoma, the hometown team that carried the top seed for the East.
Cal senior Brian Wethers, who would average 15.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game — all of which were career-highs — scored a whopping 27 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal. He also shot 11 of 18 from the field, including two 3-pointers.
Wethers, who played in five NCAA Tournament games during his four years at Cal, matched his career high in points in his last game as a Bear.
3) Ashley Walker (2009)
The game started close, but after a 16-6 run that kicked off after four minutes of play in the first half, the Bears held a comfortable lead on the Cavaliers until the game closed.
Senior Ashley Walker was a co-captain and was playing in her last NCAA Tournament at Cal. She matched her career high in scoring when she notched 32 points in 36 minutes. She also added 10 rebounds, 2 assists and a block, helping push the women to their first ever Sweet 16.
2) Brittany Boyd (2013)
Cal fell behind early to Fresno State’s impressive 3-point shooters but rushed ahead in the middle of the first half in part because of sophomore guard Brittany Boyd.
The Bears had a 10-0 run midway through the first half that featured two Boyd buckets, Cal would end the half in the lead, 48-41. In the final seconds of the first, Boyd grabbed a missed shot, sprinted down the court and threw one up from behind the arc — good for three.
“It was lovely,” said junior forward Gennifer Brandon. “It gave us momentum. The swoosh — it was just beautiful. There was good energy going into the second half.”
The Bears extended their lead in the second half and finished their sweep of Fresno State. Boyd led the team in minutes played, with 37.
“Coach (Gottlieb) told me at the beginning of the week, this is going to be a big game, and I could get a triple-double this week,” Boyd said. “She was right — I was one assist away. But that’s OK.”
Boyd finished with 21 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists. She also had two steals and two blocks.
The Bears went on to the Final Four, where they were felled by Louisville, 64-57.
1) Lamond Murray (1993)
After knocking off LSU in the first round of the tournament, Cal squared off against Duke. Cal didn’t make the tournament the past two years, but it was coming into the game with a 20-8 record and a strong tournament win under its belt.
In his second season at Cal, Murray averaged an impressive 19.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.
Cal leaped out to a 10-point lead by halftime. Duke recovered slightly in the second half and sliced the lead to only 5 points by the end of the game, but the Bears survived the surge and knocked off the Blue Devils.
Murray put the team on his back, scoring 28 points and snatching 10 rebounds on 11 of 17 shooting with three 3-pointers.
Murray’s 28 points were the most since Darrall Imhoff posted 25 points against Cincinnati in 1960 and remain a program high.
Trilok Reddy writes for Bears Bytes, the Daily Californian’s sports blog. Contact him at