Cal to face N.C. State in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament

March 12, 2006

BERKELEY - The California Golden Bears will return to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament this week when they travel to Dallas to take on the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the first round of the Atlanta Region.

The Bears earned a No. 7 seed and will face tenth-seeded N.C. State on Friday with tipoff time to be determined Monday by CBS Television. The California-North Carolina State winner will face the winner of the Texas-Penn game on Sunday at American Airlines Center.

California, 20-10 on the season, will be making its 14th NCAA Tournament appearance and its first since appearing in the bracket in three straight seasons from 2001 through 2003.

Cal's last NCAA appearance in 2003 also saw the Bears face North Carolina State in the opening round. In that game, the eighth-seeded Bears edged No. 9 North Carolina State, 76-74 in Oklahoma City. Richard Midgley, the only senior starter for the Bears in 2005-2006, hit the game-winning three-pointer with 3.9 seconds remaining in overtime to help Cal advance to the second round.

'We're very proud to be in the NCAA Tournament,' Cal head coach Ben Braun said. 'There are so many good basketball teams in the country. You are proud when you get there and you want to make the most of your opportunity.'

North Carolina State enters the NCAA Tournament with a 21-9 record after posting a 10-6 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

'I don't think we will throw any secrets at North Carolina State or that they will throw any at us,' Braun said. 'I just think it's going to be two good basketball teams going at each other.'

With the invite to the NCAA Tournament, California becomes one of just 13 schools, and one of only two in the Pac-10, to win a bowl game and participate in the NCAA Tournament.

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