Cal Meets Louisville Sunday in NCAA Final Four

TV: ESPN/WatchESPN (Dave O'Brien, Doris Burke, Rebecca Lobo and Holly Rowe) LOCAL RADIO: KNEW 960AM (Dave Lewis and Rachelle Federico) NATIONAL RADIO: Sirius/XM Channel 91 & Dial Global/NCAA Radio Net
By Cal Athletics on Sat, April 06, 2013

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April 6, 2013

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Game 36
[2] California (32-3)
[5] Louisville (28-8)

New Orleans Arena | New Orleans, La.
Sunday, April 6 - 3:36 p.m. PT (ESPN)

TV: ESPN/WatchESPN (Dave O'Brien, Doris Burke, Rebecca Lobo and Holly Rowe)
LOCAL RADIO: KNEW 960AM (Dave Lewis and Rachelle Federico)
NATIONAL RADIO: Sirius/XM Channel 91 & Dial Global/NCAA Radio Network (Dave Ryan, Debbie Antonelli, Krista Blunk)

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BERKELEY - Second-seeded California's dream season concludes this weekend in New Orleans when the Bears play in the program's first NCAA Final Four. The Bears take on fifth-seeded Louisville in Sunday's national semifinal at 3:30 p.m. (PT) on ESPN at New Orleans Arena. One-seeds Notre Dame and Connecticut will square off in the other national semifinal with the winners of the two games meeting on Tuesday, April 9 for the 2013 NCAA Women's National Championship.

The Pac-12 Co-Champions defeated Fresno State (90-76) and South Florida (82-78 OT) in Lubbock, Texas, to earn the program's second Sweet 16 bid and defeated LSU (73-63) and Georgia (65-62 OT) in Spokane to become just the third Pac-12 team to advance to a Final Four. The Bears entered the tournament as the only non-No. 1 seed in the country to defeat one of the four No. 1 seeds in the regular season, a feat Cal accomplished by knocking off Stanford (No. 1, Spokane Regional) 67-55, a victory that ended the Cardinal's 81-game conference winning streak.

California is 2-0 vs the Big East this season with a non-conference win over Georgetown (72-56) and an NCAA Second Round overtime victory against South Florida (82-78). The Bears are 1-4 against Big East teams in NCAA Tournament play.

* Advance California to the NCAA Championship for the first time in program history
* Give Cal 33 victories -- improving upon the current program best record
* Give Lindsay Gottlieb (57-13) her 58th 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 sixth NCAA Tournament win (5-1) - all other Cal coaches combine for four NCAA Tournament wins
* Make Lindsay Gottlieb the third Pac-12 coach to reach an NCAA Championship game and the fastest to do so in her second season (Tara Vanderveer, Linda Sharp)

SEASON RECAP: Under second year head coach Lindsay Gottlieb, California embarked on what has been the greatest regular season in program history with a 28-3 regular season record and 17-1 mark in Pac-12 play. The Bears opened with 12 wins in the first 13 games, the lone setback being a loss at then-No. 4 Duke before dropping a tight 62-53 decision to then-No. 5 Stanford (Jan. 8). Cal would not lose again in the regular season, rattling off 15 straight Pac-12 victories that started with a 67-55 win at Stanford (Jan. 13) five days later that ended the Cardinal's 81-game conference winning streak. The Bears would win every way imaginable en route to the Pac-12 title: overtime games (71-63 vs USC), blowout victories (79-51 at UCLA), come-from-behind victories (59-56 vs Colorado after trailing by 16 points and 58-56 vs Oregon State after trailing by 17 points), outstanding individual performances (Gennifer Brandon's 23-point, 26-rebound outing vs USC), balanced efforts (five double-digit scorers vs Arizona) and under pressure (78-50 at Washington to clinch first Pac-12 title).

BRANDON AND CLARENDON NAMED AP/WBCA ALL-AMERICANS: California's Gennifer Brandon and Layshia Clarendon have found themselves to be the beneficiaries of numerous national accolades and this week were named Associated Press All-America and WBCA All-America honorable mentions. It is the second consecutive year that Clarendon has been named an All-American after being honored by the WBCA last season. It is the first honor for Brandon. They become the first California duo to earn an All-America or WBCA nod in the same season since the 2007-08 season when Devanei Hampton and Ashley Walker were both AP and WBCA All-America honorable mention selections.

CLARENDON A WADE TROPHY FINALIST: California's Layshia Clarendon has been selected as one of 12 finalists for the State Farm Wade Trophy, presented to the naton's most outstanding NCAA Division I women's basketball player. The winner will be announced Monday, April 8 at the WBCA Awards Show. She is one of four finalists to make it to the Final Four (Skylar Diggins, Stefanie Dolson, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis).

STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM: Head Coach Erik Williams shot and edited the final copy that has reached over 13,000 YouTube views in less than a week. The music video, entitled "Started From The Bottom" is a re-working of the Top 10 single by recording artist Drake.

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 Sunday night needing just two rebounds to join the club with her 1129 career points and 998 career rebounds while Brandon enters Sunday just 22 points shy of the mark with her 978 career points and 1023 career rebounds.


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