Cal gets No. 4 seed in NIT, to host Ole Miss


Cal gets No. 4 seed in NIT, to host Ole Miss

March 13, 2011

California has accepted a bid to the 20011 National Invitation Tournament and will host Ole Miss in a first-round game at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Haas Pavilion.The Golden Bears, who are seeded fourth in their region of the bracket, finished the regular season with a 17-14 record, while the Rebels are seeded fifth and are 20-13. The winner of the Cal-Ole Miss game will play the winner of No. 1 seeded Colorado-No. 8 seeded Texas Southern in the second round. Tickets for Cal's opening-round game of the NIT are available for purchase starting Sunday night through the link at may also call (800) GO BEARS or visit the Cal Athletic Ticket Office at 2223 Fulton St. during business hours. The ticket office is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Reserved seats are 50 for chairback sets, 40 for premium bench seats, 25 for adults and 15 for youth (12th grade and under). Cal student tickets are 10 for the game.Wednesday will be the first-ever meeting between Cal and Ole Miss. Cal is participating in the NIT for the seventh time and owns an 11-5 record in the event. The Bears won the championship in 1999 and reached the quarterfinals in both 1987 and 2000. Cal's NIT berth in 1986 marked the school's first postseason appearance since the NCAA runner-up squad of 1960, although the Bears made a first-round exit. Cal also advanced to the second round in 1989.In its most-recent NIT appearance in 2008, Cal edged New Mexico by two at Haas Pavilion, 68-66, before falling to Ohio State in Columbus, 73-56.Cal reached the semifinals in 1999 with a home win over Fresno State (79-71) at the Oakland Arena, a 17-point comeback at DePaul (58-57) and another victory in Oakland over Colorado State (71-62). The Bears met a familiar foe in Oregon in the semis in New York. Although Cal lost both regular-season games to the Ducks, it prevailed, 85-69, behind 22 points from Mike Gill. The Bears then edged Clemson, 61-60, for the title, going ahead when Geno Carlisle hit a free throw to complete a three-point play with 4.7 seconds left. Lampley, who had 16 points vs. Clemson, was named the NIT's MVP. Including the NCAA Tournament, this marks Cal's 23rd foray into the postseason. Head coach Mike Montgomery has guided the Bears into either the NCAA Tournament or the NIT in each of his three seasons at the helm for the Bears. Last season, after the Bears won their first Pac-10 title in 50 years, Cal advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual-national champion Duke.Cal is paced by the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Allen Crabbe, who led the Bears in scoring in conference games at 16.4 ppg. Junior guard Jorge Gutierrez was named to the All-Pac-10 first team, while junior forward Harper Kamp made the All-Pac-10 second team. Gutierrez and Kamp lead the Bears with 14.3 ppg in all games. Ole Miss is led by Chris Warren, who is averaging 19.0 ppg. Zach Graham is also averaging double figures in scoring (14.1 ppg). Reginald Buckner and Terrance Henry pace the Rebels on the boards at 6.5 rpg and 6.1 rpg, respectively. Ole Miss has won two of its last three contests. The Rebels fell to Kentucky in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament, 75-66.The 2011 NIT field features 32 teams seeded 1-8 in four different regions. In addition to Colorado, the other top seeds are Virginia Tech, Alabama and Boston College.The first three rounds of the NIT are played at host school sites, starting with the opening round March 15-16. Second-round contests will be contested March 18-21 and quarterfinals March 22-23. The semifinals and final are set for March 29-31 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Courtesy Cal media services

Trump targets Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch in Twitter rant


Trump targets Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch in Twitter rant

MEXICO CITY – The President of the United States Donald Trump has taken several shots at players who choose to sit during the national anthem.

Raiders running back was in his crosshairs early Monday morning.

Trump was bothered by Lynch’s actions before Sunday’s 33-8 loss to the New England Patriots at Estadio Azteca.

Lynch sat for the United States’ national anthem, as he has in every game this season. Then he stood for Mexico’s anthem, though he spent most of that song getting his equipment adjusted.

The President took exception in a Twitter rant that has become a staple of his presidency.

It is believed that Lynch is sitting in protest of racial inequality, a movement popularized by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, though he has never declared that publicly. He refused to answer questions on that topic this summer.

That hasn’t stopped Trump from demanding he be suspended the rest of the season for his actions. The league won’t do that.

Trump won’t get his way, but with a quick Tweet he brought the issue to the Raiders’ doorstep in what will become a topic in Alameda all week.

Lynch was probably asleep when Trump’s tweet went public at 5:25 a.m. ET, and therefore hasn’t responded in any way.

Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the Patriots


Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the Patriots

MEXICO CITY – Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City:

1. So you’re saying there’s a chance?

The Raiders aren’t stacking wins as they’d like. Nobody in the AFC West is, either. The Chiefs lost another one, meaning the AFC West crown remains within reach. They’re two games back in the division and one back in the wild card race.

That, above all else, will keep the Raiders motivated after a disastrous loss to New England.

“We're professionals and to me, so long as you have hope, you keep your hope, you keep hope alive,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “So, we'll continue to scratch and claw and fight for everything we can.”

The Raiders can harken Lloyd Christmas from “Dumb and Dumber.” So you’re saying there’s a chance?

The Raiders will only stay in it if they start a prolonged winning streak. There’s a chance do that on an upcoming two-game home stand. They play Denver and the New York Giants, respectively, in Oakland over the next fortnight. Those teams have five wins between them.

Wins can’t be assumed with the Raiders. With their inconsistency and mistake-prone play, they can lose to anyone.

Fight remains in this group. They’ll continue to push, especially with a 9-7 record being a legitimate playoff contender. They haven’t played worthy of such consideration, but remain hopeful a switch gets flipped.

“We are who we are, we're not going to turn on each other, we're not going to turn on anything about what we do,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “Obviously, we know that our culture and everything that we do works, because we have seen it work.”

2. Receiver corps becoming a weak spot

The Raiders have a talented group of receivers lacking consistency and production. That was the case on Sunday, when pass catchers hindered offensive flow and scoring opportunities.

Seth Roberts was the biggest offender. He had a drop, a false start and lost a fumble near the goal line with the Patriots up 14-0 late in the first half. Roberts had 12 yards in his pocket but held the ball one-handed, away from his body fighting for more. Marquis Flowers knocked it free and Patrick Chung recovered.

That was the turning point, a true 10-point swing. The Raiders lost a chance to reach the end zone, and allowed New England to get a field goal as the half expired.

“That was a major turn of events,” Del Rio said.

The slot receiver wasn’t the only receiver who stalled the Raiders offense. That group had five drops, according to Pro Football Focus, including two from Michael Crabtree. Johnny Holton wasn’t credited with a drop, but he had a perfectly thrown deep ball clang off his helmet and shoulder pads.

It’s a bad night in a bad year for the Raiders receivers, who haven’t been producing.

3. Lopsided score keeps Marshawn from going Beast Mode

Running back Marshawn Lynch was the only player who had a good Sunday. The bruising back ran roughshod over New England’s front seven, right from the start. He totaled 67 yards on 11 carries, and seemed primed for a big day and a higher-than-usual carry volume.

He and the Raiders run blocking was consistent, allowing him to reach the second level on several occasions.

The lopsided score, however, meant the Raiders had to abandon the ground game.

“I thought we ran the ball well early,” Del Rio said. “I would like to have ended up with 30-plus rush attempts in the ball game, but you got to stay within reasonable amount of the score in order to stick with the run.”

The Raiders were down two touchdowns in a flash, and were three scores behind at the half. That forced Derek Carr to chuck it towards an unreliable receiver corps. That method proved inefficient and never created the big moments.

Lynch has run well since returning from a one-game suspension. He has 25 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games. If there’s a positive to take from Sunday’s beat down, Lynch’s efficiency might be it.