The California Golden Bears flew on Thursday, March 15 to South Bend, Indiana to prepare for the NCAA Tournament. Below are links to videos and photos as well as daily summaries of the Bears activities at the tournament. For other behind-the-scenes access, follow the team on Facebook and Twitter.
Monday, March 19
Once again, it was team breakfast at the hotel before hitting the road to the Joyce Center for an 11:20 a.m. press conference. While Eliza, Layshia and Talia accompanied Coach Gottlieb to the press conference, the other Bears were available for interviews in the locker room. CalBears.com chatted with Afure and Lindsay Sherbert, which you can watch here.
The Bears practiced at the Purcell Pavilion with ESPN's Doris Burke watching from press row, taking notes for tomorrow's broadcast. Following practice -- but just before the buzzer sounded -- Eliza Pierremade a three-point shot from half-court. She had taken many attempts and absolutely made the net swish with the final shot, which also happened to come with the final ball on the cart.
Sunday, March 18
Pregame meal came in the form of breakfast this Sunday before the Bears headed to the game against Iowa. The Cal Band and Cheer Team traveled with us to South Bend and gave the student-athletes and coaches the most perfect sendoff by playing the Cal fight song. You can watch the Bears get on the bus here.
After the game, it was the normal post-game rundown -- team meeting, pasta and salad in the locker room, press conferences and open locker room when the media can talk to the student-athletes. CalBears.com caught up with Gennifer Brandon and Talia Caldwell for two video interviews, which you can watch here with Genn and here with Talia.
Saturday, March 17
The coaches sat on press row and the student-athletes in the stands to do some scouting by watching the Notre Dame vs. Liberty game. While Notre Dame fans had been filing in during the Cal game, by tip of the Irish game, the Joyce Center was full of fans glad in lime green Fighting Irish gear. After watching a little more than half of the game, the student-athletes and support staff piled back on the bus while coaches opted to stay and continue scouting.
Sunday afternoon and evening was pretty much free for the Bears to recover, do homework, relax before team dinner and film session.
Prior to practice at the Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center, the Bears participated in a press conference and open locker room session with the media. During that open locker room time, CalBears.com chatted with Reshanda Gray and Brittany Boyd in two video interviews, which you can watch here with Reshanda and here with Brittany.
After practice, the Bears retired to the hotel for dinner. At said dinner, several Bears had the the chance to perform specialized renditions of the Cal fight songs Click Here . It's an early night for everyone with an morning wake-up call for walk through and breakfast before heading to the Joyce Center for the moment we've all been waiting for -- the opening round of the NCAA Tournament!
Friday, March 16
The Bears spent a leisurely morning at the hotel - adjusting to the Eastern Time Zone, eating lunch, the coaches finalizing game plans - before lunch and a team film session. The student-athletes, coaches and staff headed to nearby Bethel College, which is still in South Bend proper, for practice. Following practice, Talia Caldwell and Afure Jemerigbe filmed a quick video for CalBears.com, discussing the trip to Indiana, what it's like ot be in the NCAA Tournament and how Friday's practice went, which you can watch by clicking here .
After practice, everyone piled on the bus for a very short bus ride over to the Notre Dame campus, where we were escorted by two hospitable members of the Notre Dame Athletics staff on a tour of the Notre Dame Football Stadium. The first step was a trip to the Notre Dame football locker room, where the Bears and staff alike delighted in touching the Play Like a Champion Today sign. Though the field was being worked on prevented a trip to the field level, the Bears enjoyed stunning views of the stadium, the campus and South Bend from the press box.
Following the stadium tour, some Bears and staff opted to continue a walking tour of the campus. Highlights included walking by the iconic Touchdown Jesus, through the Basilica and into the skyline improving Golden Dome.
The team enjoyed dinner at a local establishment and returned to the hotel to rest, do homework or enjoy the bevy of NCAA Tournament games. In store for Saturday are administrative meetings, press conferences and practices.
Here is a video that sums up the day: Click Here
Thursday, March 15
The Bears and members of the California Straw Hat Band and the Cal Dance Team got aboard a charter at Oakland International Airport, then flew the three hours, 45 minutes to South Bend.
It was the first time flying on a charter for all of the members of the team. Check out the photo gallery for pictures from the tarmac as they prepared to board the plane.
The Bears arrived at the hotel at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time and are working on adjusting to the drastic time difference before their noon tipoff on Sunday.