March 16, 2009
BERKELEY - The California women's basketball team earned a school record fourth consecutive bid to the NCAA Tournament Monday when the 64-field team was announced on ESPN. The Golden Bears (25-6, 15-3 in the Pac-10), who earned an at-large bid and a fourth seed, will play WAC champion and 13th-seeded Fresno State Saturday, March 21 at 5 p.m. The game will broadcast live on ESPN2.
Tickets in the Cal section will go on sale on Tuesday, March 17 at 8:30 a.m. through the Cal Athletic Ticket office. Call 1-800-GO-BEARS to order tickets. They will not be available for purchase online.
The Cal-Fresno State winner will play the winner of the first-round game between fifth-seeded Virginia (23-9) and 12th-seeded Marist (29-3) at the same location. The four teams are playing for the right to advance to the Trenton Regional.
This year's trip to the NCAA Tournament marks Cal's seventh invitation to the NCAA Tournament overall and fourth under fourth-year head coach Joanne Boyle. This year marks the first time Cal has received four straight NCAA Tournament selections. The Bears own a 2-6 all-time NCAA playoff record, including a program-best second-round showing in 1993 and 2008.
In the 2008 NCAA Tournament, Ashley Walker posted 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead third-seeded Cal to a 77-60 victory over the 14-seeded San Diego for the second-ever NCAA tournament victory for a Bears team and the first since 1993. In the second round, however, the Bears were stunned by a George Washington comeback to lose 55-53 in the second round.
Fresno State sports a 24-8 overall record and finished first in the Western Athletic Conference, defeating Nevada 56-49 in the WAC Tournament Championship game. This will be the 26th meeting between Cal and the Bulldogs, with the Bears holding a 20-5 advantage, including five straight wins. Cal is 0-2 against Virginia and has never faced Marist on the hardwood.
The Pac-10 received three NCAA Tournament bids this season - California, Stanford and Arizona State.
The California Golden Bears are the only Pac-10 school this season to have their football team earn a bowl bid and both their men's and women's basketball teams secure invitations to the NCAA tournament. The Cal football team took on the University of Miami in the Emerald Bowl Dec. 26 in San Francisco. The Cal men secured a No. 7 seed in the West Region, taking on the No. 10 Maryland Terrapins in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Kansas City, Mo.