California to Play San Diego in First Round of NCAA Tournament at Stanford

March 17, 2008

BERKELEY - California earned a third consecutive NCAA Tournament selection for the first time in school history Monday when the 64-team field was announced on ESPN. The third-seeded Golden Bears, who earned an at-large bid, meet 14th-seeded San Diego in the first round of the tournament.

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The Cal team watched the selection show along with fans and media at the Haas Pavilion Club Room.

The California-San Diego winner will play the winner of the George Washington (No. 6 seed)-Auburn (No. 11 seed) game. The four teams are playing for the right to advance to the Greensboro Regional March 29 and 31.

The Bears, who at 26-6 have set a school record for wins in a season, will be making their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance and third since 1993. Last season, eighth-seeded Cal lost to ninth-seeded Notre Dame, 62-59, in the first round of NCAAs in Pittsburgh, Pa.

San Diego boasts a 19-12 overall record and finished third in the West Coast Conference with a 7-7 mark, but upset top-seeded Gonzaga in the WCC championship game to earn the league's automatic bid. This will be the first meeting between the Toreros and the Bears. Cal has also never faced George Washington or Auburn on the hardwood.

The Bears placed an all-time best of second in the Pac-10 with a 15-3 record, which was also their all-time best Pac-10 record.

Cal is led by the junior post tandem of Ashley Walker (15.0 ppg, 9.3 rpg) and Devanei Hampton (13.6 ppg, 8.2 rpg). Both athletes earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors, and junior guard Alexis Gray-Lawson (11.7 ppg, 39.8 3FG%) earned a spot on the All-Pac-10 second team.

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