By Paul Sykes

The University of Louisville basketball team’s first round opponent in the NCAA may have a long way to migrate for the game but don’t count on California arriving in Jacksonville in a state of hibernation.  Cal is one of the hottest teams around.

The regular season champs in the Pac-10, California narrowly lost the conference tournament in the championship game to Washington 79-75. Coached by Mike Montgomery, California (23-10, 13-5) has won nine of its last 10 games, defeating Oregon and UCLA to reach the final.

The scoring leader is Jerome Randle with 18.7 points per game. He is also a Sporting News All- American selection. Three other Bears also score in double figures — Patrick Christopher (16.0), Theo Robinson (14.1) and Jamal Boykin (12.0), also the rebounding threat. Randle and Robinson are the three-point threats.

Cal has one opponent in common with Louisville, losing early to Syracuse 95-73.  Cal opened the season with a 75-50 win over Murray State. California is 6-6 on the road and 2-3 at neutral sites. They dropped games against NCAA Tournament participants Ohio State, New Mexico and Kansas…all on the road

Game time is Friday 9:55 p.m.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.