College Basketball

The Day The Championship Drought Died

BERKELEY, CA - FEBRUARY 28:  Jerome Randle #3 of the California Golden Bears dribbles up the court against the UCLA Bruins during an NCAA Pac-10 basketball game on February 28, 2009 at Haas Pavillion in Berkeley, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Vinnie ButeraContributor IMarch 2, 2010

My motto as a fan of the California Golden Bears has been simple. "Be pleasantly surprised with success, but always expect the worst."

This has more or less been in the back of every Cal fan's mind during every big game that occurs in Berkeley. And when the big expectations arrive, so does a collapse of historically epic proportions. 

But not this year. Not these Bears.

For the first time in fifty years, things finally went our way. A Senior class that will forever be remembered as one of the greatest to hit the hardwood at Newell Court left a final stamp on their legacy in Berkeley.

On a night when Jerome Randle was not up to his normal jaw dropping shooting standards the rest of the senior class led by Patrick Christopher as well as the sure fire spark of Jorge Gutierrez the bears shut down the Sun Devils in the second half.

While the students stormed the court and the confetti rained down from above not one single Cal fan had left their seat. Bear hugs were being passed around as liberally as USC alums pass out money to their athletes.

Pandemonium  erupted as fans who are normally accustomed to failure were witnessing something some thought they would not see in their lifetimes. 

As a sold out Haas looked down adoringly to their new heroes cutting down the nets, the reality of the situation was beginning to sink in.

Thunderous applause met each champion as he cut down the net. Montgomery was given a minute long standing ovation.

And as the exits began to fill with boisterous people who just witnessed the unthinkable, a new type of Cal fan emerged with them.

One who proudly proclaims, "Never be surprised by success. Don't expect failure."

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