California jumped out to a quick 12-0 lead just minutes into the game. The Golden Bears built the advantage to 18 points as Louisville missed 11 of its first 13 shots. The Cardinals rallied and went on a 14-2 run cutting the lead to just six, 32-26, with a chance to cut the deficit further in the waning moments before halftime.
Down 38-30, Louisville's Preston Knowles missed an open 3-point shot with seven seconds remaining in the half. After taking over possession, Cal got the ball in the hands of Jerome Randle on the inbound pass. He made a few dribbles then launched a long range three at the buzzer. The shot was good and gave the Bears the momentum and an 11-point lead at the break.
The Cardinals would rally again in the second half. They cut the margin to four points with 7:27 remaining in the game. Then Cal went on a 15-4 run to close the game making 8-of-9 free throws down the stretch.
The Bears advance to the second round for the first time since 2003. Cal is now 11-5 all-time in first-round NCAA Tournament play. The Bears are 19-15 in the NCAA Tournament, while Louisville fell to 60-38.
Cal faces No. 1 seed Duke on Sunday at Veterans Memorial Arena.
Cal and Duke have met once in NCAA Tournament play. 17 years ago, March 20, 1993 the sixth-seeded Bears upset the two-time defending national champion Blue Devils, 82-77 in a showdown between Bobby Hurley and Jason Kidd. Kidd scored 11 and handed out 14 assists while Hurley, in his final game at Duke totaled 32 points and 9 assists against only one turnover.
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