California Meets Georgia for Final Four Bid
March 31, 2013
 California (31-3)
 Georgia (28-6)
Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena | Spokane, Wash.
Monday, April 1 - 6:30 p.m. PT (ESPN)
BERKELEY - Second-seeded California is one win away from the first Final Four in program history and will face fourth-seeded Georgia on Monday, April 1 in Spokane, Wash., for the right to improve upon the most successful season in program history.
The Bears (31-3) have already set numerous records and achieved many firsts in head coach Lindsay Gottlieb's second year, but a trip to New Orleans is the next goal for the Pac-12 Co-Champions. They will meet a Georgia (28-6) team that knocked off the other Pac-12 Co-Champion - Stanford - by a 61-59 score Saturday night in Spokane.
California reached the Elite Eight by defeating Fresno State (90-76) and South Florida (82-78 OT) last week in Lubbock, Texas, prior to a 73-63 win over LSU Saturday night. The Bears are the only non-No. 1 seed in the country to defeat one of the four No. 1 seeds, a feat Cal accomplished by knocking off Stanford (No. 1, Spokane Regional) 67-55, a win that ended the Cardinal's 81-game Pac-12 winning streak.
California and Georgia have met three times with the Lady Bulldogs winning all three meetings which includes a 94-61 victory in Athens in the 2002-03 season.
Fans in Berkeley can attend the official viewing party at Pappy's on Telegraph. Fans that wear Cal-themed clothing and tell the bartender or cashier "GO BEARS SPECIAL DISCOUNT" will receive $2 wings with a drink purchase or Happy Hour pricing at the bar - $2.50 pints, $2 well cocktail refills, $1.75 Rolling Rock pints.
A CALIFORNIA WIN ON MONDAY WOULD:
* Make California just the third Pac-12 team to advance to a Final Four (USC, Stanford)
* Advance California to the Final Four for the first time in program history
* Give Cal 32 victories -- improving upon the current program best record
* Give Lindsay Gottlieb (56-13) her 57th victory as California head coach - increasing upon the best two-year win total in program history (Joanne Boyle won 54 games between 2007-09 with identical 27-7 records those two seasons)
* Give Lindsay Gottlieb her fifth NCAA Tournament win (4-1), improving her own program record for NCAA Tournament victories.
THE 1000-1000 CLUB: California's post duo of senior Talia Caldwell and junior Gennifer Brandon are both nearing the elusive 1,000-point, 1,000-rebound club - a feat that has only been achieved by Colleen Galloway (2320-1117) and Ashley Walker (2142-1029). Caldwell enters Monday night needing just 10 rebounds to join the club with her 1119 career poins and 990 career rebounds while Brandon enters Monday just 22 points shy of the mark with her 978 career points and 1017 career rebounds.
CAL ON THE BOARDS: Senior Talia Caldwell and junior Gennifer Brandon combine to make the Cal post players possibly the most dominant on the boards in the NCAA as Cal ranks third in the country with a +11.3 rebounding margin. Brandon is second on the Pac-12 active list 1017 rebounds, and Caldwell is not far behind at No. 3 on the active list with 990 boards. No other duo in the Pac-12 combines for over 1,700 rebounds, let alone the 2,007 by these two.
BREAKING HER OWN MARK: Junior Gennifer Brandon currently sits with 374 rebounds on the year and broke her own single-season rebounding record of 346 set last season. Brandon, who at this point already owns three of the top seven single-season marks in Cal history, also has the opportunity to pass Colleen Galloway's 10.4 rebounds per game in 1978-78 as the all-time best mark. Brandon currently averages 11.3 rebounds per game.
PICK YOUR WEAPON: One thing Coach Gottlieb is preaching this season is the balanced options that her team possesses on the offensive end of the court, and the numbers back up that assertion. Three Bears average double figures scoring, and the third through sixth leading scorers all average between 7.2 and 9.1 points. Every Bear that played Saturday against LSU scored with only three reaching double figures scoring in Cal's 73-point effort.
AN ALL-AMERICAN SEASON: Junior Gennifer Brandon's numbers would hardly be called modest at 12.6 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. However, given Cal's depth, the forward has averaged just 29 minutes per game. Spread her numbers out over the course of a 40-minute game, and Brandon averages an outstanding 17.4 points and 15.8 rebounds. Backing up that assertion, in her first career 40 minute game vs USC, Brandon posted 23 points and 26 rebounds.
BOYD RETURNS FROM INJURY: Sophomore point guard Brittany Boyd missed the Oregon home game (Feb. 22) due to a groin strain but made her return to the lineup in the following Sunday's come-from-behind victory over Oregon State. The two-year starter dressed and was available against the Ducks, but the Bears showed their depth with Eliza Pierre filling in on a 77-55 win. It was the first missed game of Boyd's career, but in her eight games since the injury Boyd has averaged 13.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game, including near double-doubles in NCAA First and Second Round games against Fresno State (21p-13r-9a) and USF (12p-8r-8a).