BERKELEY — It has been 25 years since Cal beat UCLA's basketball team, and in that quarter-century, UCLA has built an unprecedented winning streak of 52 straight victories over the Bears.
There have been some close games in that streak, some overtime games. But the Bears have not been able to upset the Bruins since they won here at Harmon Gym on Feb. 24, 1961.
The streak may end here today.
When Lou Campanelli took the job as coach at Cal, a student rally committee gave him a plaque for his desk announcing, "The Streak Stops Here."
He's had it on his desk all season.
If Cal should beat UCLA in a regionally televised game at 2 p.m., it will end a remarkable streak, but it won't necessarily be an upset.
Cal, armed with not only a new coach but a new attitude, is off to its best start in ages. Cal has an overall record of 12-4 and a Pacific 10 record of 4-2.
UCLA is 8-6 overall, 3-3 in the conference.
In the Cal sports information office, there's an optimistic attitude. The sports information director has issued an unusually large number of press credentials for this game as reporters gather, just in case this is the end of the streak.
UCLA Coach Walt Hazzard is doing his best to downplay that added pressure.
"We have a winning streak going with Cal, and I'm sure that their coach would like to break that," he said. "But as far as I'm concerned, that has nothing to do with the fact that we need the conference victory.
"We can't be concerned with the winning streak. We have to be concerned with the team that is on the floor that day."
The Cal team that will be on the floor today is a good one. The Bears have new self-confidence and a new self-image.
Four starters are averaging in double figures, and the defense is holding opponents under 70 points a game.
Cal's Leonard Taylor, who was the Pac-10 Rookie of the Year last season, is averaging 12.6 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Cal doesn't have a 7-footer. In fact, Cal lists three players as forwards, not listing a center. But Hazzard is concerned about matching up against the 6-8 Taylor.
Friday, Hazzard changed his lineup for the fourth time this season, taking 6-10 junior Jack Haley back out of the starting lineup, moving 6-8 sophomore Craig Jackson to center and putting 6-5 sophomore Jerald Jones into the starting lineup for the first time.
"I think we match up with Leonard Taylor better with Craig Jackson," Hazzard said. "Craig can play center and backup forward. I want to get Jones some more time. I'm also thinking about getting Charles Rochelin some more time.
"With Kelvin Butler out, we just don't have enough bodies. We're just trying to go with the best we have."
Bruin Notes Today's game will be regionally televised by NBC (Channel 4 in Los Angeles). The game will be broadcast on KMPC (710). . . . Bruin guard Corey Gaines and Bruin forward Kelvin Butler made the trip with the team but did not practice Friday. Each has missed three games. Butler has a partial tear of an abdominal muscle and Gaines has a hip pointer. . . . Lou Campanelli, in his first year as coach at Cal, had a record of 238-118 in 13 seasons at James Madison University.