BERKELEY - The California men’s basketball team will make its 26th trip to the postseason in school history when it opens play in the National Invitational Tournament on Wednesday against Utah Valley at Haas Pavilion at 7:30 p.m. The Bears, who are 19-13, are the second seed in their region. The Wolverines are 20-11 and won the regular season championship in the Western Athletic Conference. This is Cal’s eighth appearance in the NIT and first since 2011. The Bears won the 1999 NIT championship and reached the quarterfinals in 1987 and 2000.
Fans can purchase tickets to Wednesday's contest here. Student tickets are free compliments of Coach Montgomery and the men's basketball program.
Wednesday’s game will be televised on ESPN3 with Trey Bender (play-by-play) and Jon Crispin (analyst) on the call. The Cal/IMG radio network will broadcast the action on KGO 810 AM in the Bay Area beginning at 7:00 p.m. (PT) with Todd McKim (play-by-play) and Jay John (analyst).
• The Bears have advanced to the postseason in each of Mike Montgomery’s six years as head coach - four times in the NCAA Tournament and twice in the NIT. This is his 31st winning season in 32 years as a collegiate coach. Montgomery is the conference’s third-winningest coach with 282 league wins in his 24th season coaching in the conference. Montgomery is also the ninth-winningest active Division I men’s basketball coach with 675 career wins. He ranks 26th on the NCAA’s all-time list, tied with former Louisville coach Denny Crum.
• The Bears had four players earn All-Pac-12 honors last week, with senior point guard Justin Cobbs leading the way with a first team selection. Cobbs, who finished the regular season ranked second in the conference in assists (5.8 apg) and 10th in scoring (15.6 ppg), was a second team pick last year and honorable mention in 2012. Senior forward Richard Solomon earned honorable mention after leading the Pac-12 in rebounding (10.0 rpg) and averaging a double-double. Junior forward David Kravish garnered Pac-12 All-Defensvie Team honorable mention while guard Jordan Mathews was named All-Freshman Team honorable mention.
• A finalist for the Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award, Cobbs is the Pac-12’s active career assist leader with 511 in his third season at Cal. He recently passed Jason Kidd for fourth in school history in career assists. Cobbs is tied for 23rd nationally in assists at 5.8 apg.
• Richard Solomon (11.0 ppg., 10.2 rpg.) is one of only three individuals who play in the six power conferences to average a double-double along with Kentucky’s Julius Randle (15.0 ppg., 10.5 rpg.) and Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes (14.7 ppg., 10.3 rpg.). Solomon has led the Pac-12 all season and is tied for 12th nationally in rebounding.
• Utah Valley won the regular season championship in the Western Athleitc Conference, giving the Wolverines an automatic berth into the NIT. Utah Valley had a 13-3 conference record and fell in the semifinals of the WAC Tournament to Idaho. This is the Wolverines’ first-ever appearance in the NIT.