Nothing like waiting until the last second.
Senior Justin Cobbs nailed a fadeaway jumper with 0.9 seconds left to give the Cal Golden Bears (15-7, 6-3 Pac-12) a 60-58 win over the No. 1 Arizona Wildcats (21-1, 8-1 Pac-12).
It's only the third time in school history that Cal has knocked off the top team in the country, per ESPN Stats & Info:
California beats a No. 1 team for 3rd time in school history (Cincinnati in 1960 and UCLA in 1994)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 2, 2014
Arizona can take solace in the fact that it was one of four Top 10 teams—No. 6 Kansas, No. 7 Michigan State and No. 8 Oklahoma State being the others—to have lost on the day. Coincidentally, the last time it happened was also on the Saturday before the Super Bowl, according to ESPN Stats & Info:
The last time that four Top-10 teams lost on the same day was also on the day before the Super Bowl - last season.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 2, 2014
Maybe Top 10 teams should avoid that day altogether next year.
But in all seriousness, this was a dramatic game, with Cobbs' last-second winner capping off a back-and-forth affair.
Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears captured the final bucket on Instagram:
There was some controversy late, as players—and what looked like some fans—rushed the court after Cobbs' shot, thinking the game was over. However, the officials chose to swallow the whistle and not call the technical foul.
College basketball writer Andy Glockner was one of many questioning the lack of the technical foul call:
Would be kind of a weak way to influence it, but how's that not a technical foul on Cal?— Andy Glockner (@AndyGlockner) February 2, 2014
Spears also captured the Wildcats' final inbounds play and the Cal fans storming the court after the game was over:
Cobbs was the Golden Bears' leading scorer, finishing with 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting. The senior was also a perfect 6-of-6 from the free-throw line.
Guard Tyrone Wallace and forwards Richard Solomon and David Kravish also finished in double-figures scoring, combining for 37 points.
As a team, Cal shot a healthy 44.6 percent from the field (25-of-56).
That performance was in stark contrast to Arizona, which shot a paltry 32.3 percent (20-of-62) from the floor. That included a 2-of-11 clip from behind the arc.
Coming into the game, junior guard Nick Johnson was the Wildcats' leading scorer, but he was 1-of-14 from the field, finishing with four points. Freshman sensation Aaron Gordon was also a disappointment, with eight points on 4-of-14 shooting.
Give the Golden Bears all the credit in the world, but there's no getting around the fact that the Wildcats were hammered with injuries on Saturday night.
First was sophomore Brandon Ashley. He twisted his ankle and returned to the bench with ice wrapped around his right foot, per Antonio Gonzalez of the Associated Press:
Arizona F Brandon Ashley has ice wrapped around his right foot & not wearing a shoe. Looks like he's done for the game after twisting ankle.— Antonio Gonzalez (@agonzalezAP) February 2, 2014
Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star later reported that Ashley was on crutches and that the foot was in a boot:
Now Ashley has crutches and a boot on his right foot.— Bruce Pascoe (@BrucePascoe) February 2, 2014
Later in the game, Johnson re-aggravated an injury to his hand. He was still able to play, though, per the Pac-12 Networks:
This win is a much-needed shot in the arm for the Golden Bears. They came into Saturday night on a three-game losing streak, which led to a tumble down the conference standings.
Now Cal has momentum heading into a home game against Stanford and then back-to-back road games against Washington and Washington State.
For Arizona, this loss isn't the end of the world, but the fact that Ashley went down and Johnson injured his hand again is a worrying sign. The Wildcats will need those two players healthy if they're to make a run in March.