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Dance Card: California, Pac-12

Who? The Golden Bears of the University of California at Berkeley. Cal for (very) short, California for slightly less short.

What? The name was coined in 1895, when Cal track and field brought a bear banner with them to represent the school and state. After kicking butt and not bothering to take names, the name stuck. Oski is a figure of myth and legend.

Where? Berkeley, California, where the hippies are legion.

When? March 18th, in Notre Dame, Indiana.

How? They were an at-large selection.

Surprise? There were a couple of questions, but Cal put up the numbers and proved that there was slightly more to the Pac-12 than Stanford.

RPI (as of 3/10): 28

SOS (as of 3/10): 33

Record: 24-9 (13-5 Pac-12)

Good wins: Virginia in Hawai'i, maybe?

Bad losses: Getting swept by USC? Really? That probably made up the membrane of USC's bubble.

Who's running this show? Lindsay Gottlieb, since 2011. A well-traveled assistant, she was previously at UC-Santa Barbara.

Extra, Extra! The San Francisco Chronicle.

With a little help from Rebkellian BoPeep and a whole lot of help from Sue Favor, who's been telling me about Cal all year long.

They're young, but they're ready- Cal has no seniors on their roster. Junior guard Layshia Clarendon leads the team in scoring with 12.6 per game, and is the only player who plays more than 30 minutes a game. Athletic sophomore post Gennifer Brandon concluded the season two rebounds shy of averaging 10 for the season, adding 8.8 points. Freshman Reshanda Grey has been both a starter and a super-sub for the Golden Bears, second on the team in scoring (10.2) and third in rebounding (5.9). Freshman point guard Brittany Boyd seems to get the ball in her hands a lot, judging from both the assists and the turnovers. But if this game gets close down the stretch, free throw shooting will be killer; Cal has no shooter better than Clarendon's 69.4%.