Gameday: California

Hawaii takes on California in the Rainbow Warriors' first NCAA game since 2002.
Hawaii takes on California in the Rainbow Warriors’ first NCAA game since 2002.

UPDATE: Hawaii stunned shorthanded California, 77-66, and moves on to face No. 5 Maryland on Sunday.

Credit UH for doing what it needed to do against a reeling team. The ‘Bows played in control and didn’t panic when just about the entire roster became afflicted with whistle-itis.


A day like today has only happened five times in the 100-plus years of University of Hawaii basketball.

The Rainbow Warriors get a chance at their first NCAA Tournament victory — their first opportunity since 2002. Possibly a good chance, if you’ve followed the unfortunate happenings to 4-seed Cal this week.

However, Big West champion UH (27-5) is still a six-point underdog, even after the season-ending injury to Golden Bears point guard Tyrone Wallace on Wednesday. The Bears (23-10) proved they can put together an effective stretch with Wallace out in late January.

Cal’s McDonald’s All-Americans, Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb, plus shooters Jabari Bird and Jordan Mathews, are the four real scoring threats for the Bears.

The 8 a.m. (Hawaii time) game is on TBS. You can watch the game online live here.

The other three 13 seeds in the NCAA field — Stony Brook, UNC Wilmington, and Iona — have already been bounced.

No matter what happens today, UH has been through worse. The players have exuded calm on the road this entire trip, even while getting hosed by the refs at Long Beach State.

It’s imperative that Roderick Bobbitt and Stefan Jankovic stay on the floor. UH’s defense has been fairly consistent, but the ‘Bows need those two to keep their O running at a high level.

Aaron Valdes will be an intriguing matchup with Cal’s wings, particularly Brown.

Quincy Smith is playing at less than full strength, but he will play. Mike Thomas, Sai Tummala, Stefan Jovanovic and the rest will have to play their roles to their utmost ability.

My regular live tweeting could be subdued today, as the NCAA has pretty strict regulations in place for media about that.


The UH band sent the team off from the team hotel.


  1. pochoboy March 18, 2016 10:29 am

    UH Wins it’s 1st round game against Cal!

    Rain! —> Bows! Rain! —> Bows! Rain! —> Bows!

  2. FatJeff March 18, 2016 11:15 am

    Congratulations Bows on your historic victory.

    Big Ups to Coach Eran Ganat for giving props to his mentor Riley Wallace.

  3. greenthumb March 18, 2016 1:27 pm

    Congrats, team and coach. Long time coming. Thank you! I bet Riley cheered himself hoarse. Wish Red Rocha had been around to see this day.

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