Just when Virginia looked as good as any team in the country, Tony Bennett’s team had a misstep, and Cal was there to pounce, almost earning a win of the highest quality on the road in Charlottesville.
It would have worked for Cuonzo Martin’s squad, but Malcolm Brogdon and London Perrantes stepped up in a pair of big moments, one that helped send the game to overtime and another that finished the game in a 63-62 win.
Cal led by as much as 11 in the second half and six in overtime, and should have won this game long before either of the two plays that keyed the win for the Wahoos. The Bears jumped out to an 8-0 lead after the tip and held the lead for 39:39 of game time.
Freshman stars Jaylen Brown (18 points, six rebounds) and Ivan Rabb (nine points, 12 rebounds) showed up on a big stage against a more experienced opponent and it empowered the rest of the team during those tense stretches where Virginia made a charge at the lead.
Obviously you want less talk and more highlights, so here are the plays that changed the game for Virginia.
First, Malcolm Brogdon’s strip of Jaylen Brown on the final play of regulation.
Then London Perrantes’ 3-pointer to give the Wahoos the lead, burying the Bears’ hopes of a big road upset.
Virginia is going to have a lot to correct after a bad start most notable for its out-of-character sloppiness on the offensive end. But that should get fixed, and the lasting image of this game will be the missed opportunity for Cal.