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Final 12Score
Utah Valley U343064
California433477
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77


Utah Valley (20-11) at California (19-13)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 19, 10:30 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Haas Pavilion (11,877) -- Berkeley, California. Television: ESPN3.com. NIT Record: Utah Valley 0-0, California 12-6. Series Record: California leads, 2-0.

GAME NOTES: In the final game of the first round of the 2014 National Invitation Tournament, the California Golden Bears play host to the Utah Valley Wolverines at Haas Pavilion.

California's play down the stretch kept it from earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Golden Bears, who are No. 2 seed in this event, lost four of their final five games, including a 59-56 verdict to Colorado in the first round of the Pac-12 Conference Tournament. They are sporting a 19-13 record entering the NIT, which they won back in 1999.

Utah Valley was the Western Athletic Conference regular-season champion, but they fell to Idaho in the semifinals of the league tourney, 74-69. That loss ended a four-game win streak for the Wolverines, who are 20-11 overall and making their first ever appearance in the NIT.

In two previous meetings between these two programs, Cal has come out on top each time, claiming a 60-47 triumph in 2006 and an 85-51 rout in 2009. The winner this time will face either Arkansas or Indiana State in the second round.

Utah Valley couldn't keep up with Idaho from beyond the arc in the WAC Tournament semifinals. The Wolverines were doubled up in points from 3-point range (24-12), despite connecting on 49.1 percent from the field overall. Despite the loss, they did manage to hold a 40-22 scoring edge in the paint.

The success for Utah Valley this season has not come because of strong offensive showings. Although the Wolverines lead the WAC in assists (14.3 apg), they are netting just 67.6 ppg and shooting 43.7 percent from the floor. They have made due, however, by tightening up on defense, allowing 65 ppg on 43 percent efficiency from the field. Holton Hunsaker (14 ppg, 4.2 apg) leads the team in both scoring and assists. Ben Aird (11.6 ppg, 8.3 rpg) is also a reliable scorer and the best performer on the glass, while Zach nelson (10.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and Mitch Bruneel (10.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg) help to bolster the interior effort.

First-Team All-Pac-12 selection Justin Cobbs scored 21 points, but he did not get much help from the rest of the roster in California's Pac-12 tourney loss to Colorado. The Golden Bears connected on only 41.5 percent from the field and were outrebounded by a 38-29 margin.

California may not be one of the top offensive teams in the Pac-12, but it has had more success in that area than its opponent tonight. The Golden Bears are netting 72.4 ppg on a respectable 45.1 percent shooting effort. Cobbs (15.8 ppg, 5.8 apg) is easily the most important player on the roster, as he leads the way in both scoring and assists. Tyrone Wallace (11.3 ppg) is a decent backcourt scorer in his own right, while Richard Solomon (11 ppg, 10.2 rpg) is a consistent double-double threat. Joining Solomon in the frontcourt is David Kravish (11.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2 bpg), who leads the team in blocked shots.

When it was competing in the WAC, Utah Valley was able to control games on the inside. With Kravish and Solomon patrolling the paint for Cal, the Wolverines will have trouble following that blueprint.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: California 78, Utah Valley 67

03/19 10:33:51 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ORL 83
CHA 98
Final
PHI 2
UTA 6
 
Final
CHI 86
LAC 96
Final
HOU 105
CLE 103
Final
ORL 83
CHA 98
Final
BOS 101
GSW 106
Final
IND 94
PHI 74
Final
SAC 99
POR 110
 
Final
LAL 101
OKC 108
Final
DEN 92
NOP 99
 
Final
NIAG 57
FAIR 56
 
Final
PETE 68
IONA 60
 
Final
RIDE 59
MAR 49
 
Final
MAN 69
QUIN 65
 
Final
UCONN 81
SMU 73
Final
CAL 73
ORST 56
Final
HOU 72
SFLA 55
Final
PROV 77
MARQ 66
Final
WISC 68
MSU 61
Final
MON 63
SIENA 57
 
Final
WAKE 69
PITT 66
Final
STAN 70
OREG 73
Final
OSU 65
PURD 61
2nd
COL 77
ARST 74
 
2nd
UCLA 34
WASU 38
 
Final
WIN 5
LOS 2
Final
PIT 5
CLB 3
Final
FLA 4
TAM 3
Final
WAS 4
TOR 0
3rd
DAL 1
ANA 3
 
2nd
VAN 2
STL 2