California Golden Bears (20-10) vs. North Carolina State Wolfpack (21-9)
When: Friday, 7:20 p.m.
1. Powe Just Turned 22, Wondering What to Do. Power forward Leon Powe, en route to leading the Pac-10 in scoring and rebounding, often looked like a man among boys. That's because, as a mere sophomore, he's 22 years old, something he accomplished without a Mormon mission. At that age, most Cal fans think Powe is less likely to return to Berkeley than Pat Robertson is to get tenure there.
2. Balls, Not Braun. In January, the Oakland Tribune conducted an extraordinary interview with Powe, who complained about all the plays and sets coach Ben Braun was making them run ("I hate feeling like a Big East team") and his lack of minutes ("I'm going to have to talk to Ben"). If one of Bobby Knight's players had said "I'm going to have to talk to Bobby," he might come home to find his dog murdered.
3. V for Victoria. Fans in the Cal student section pulled a long-con on USC's Gabe Pruitt that concluded during Cal's season finale vs. the Trojans. A student posed as a UCLA hottie named Victoria and IM'ed with Pruitt all week preceding the game, a relationship which effectively ended with Pruitt handing over his digits. As he stepped to the free throw line in his game at Haas Pavilion, the students chanted "VIC-TOR-IA" and then yelled his phone number at him. When he realized he'd been punked, he clanked both free throws and went on to one of his worst games of the season. — Eric Meyerson
1. State's Backup Big Man Can Strike Your Ass Out. Reserve forward Andrew Brackman is a decent college basketball player, but he's an outstanding pitching prospect. At 6'10", Brackman is a mullet-less Randy Johnson.
2. Mascot Love. State has both male and female mascots, creatively named Mr. and Mrs. Wuf. They were married by the Wake Forest Demon Deacon mascot during halftime of a 1981 basketball game. Needless to say, this is strange and a little creepy.
3. Nobody Wants To Play For Herb Sendek. In a recent poll, 36 percent of ACC players said that Herb is the opposing coach that they'd least like to play for. — John Grant