WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — California began the day with its star player out for the season--or is he?--its shooting guard, Randy Duck, walking like one because of an ankle sprain and the school's best football player guarding the opposition's NBA lottery pick.
Now we know why Ben Braun was Pacific 10 coach of the year.
Braun's Bears overcame their latest set of hopeless odds Saturday when they defeated Villanova, 75-68, at Lawrence Joel Memorial Coliseum to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1993.
The Bears had Jason Kidd then.
They don't even have Ed Gray now. Gray, the nation's second-leading scorer, watched his team's mini-NCAA miracle in a walking cast on the bench.
Duck, playing with a badly sprained ankle, made consecutive three-pointers in the second half to break a 38-38 tie, and teammate Tony Gonzalez scored 23 points while holding Villanova prep phenom Tim Thomas scoreless in the second half.