Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Green Bay Does Some California Dreamin', Ousts No. 5 Bears

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Green Bay Does Some California Dreamin', Ousts No. 5 Bears

Article excerpt

Unheralded Wisconsin-Green Bay concocted the first double-take upset of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, but that was no reason for the Phoenix to swagger.

Sure, coach Dick Bennett was "delighted" and "thankful" after the rousing 61-57 defeat of fifth-seeded California (22-8) in the Midwest Regional.

"I don't have words to describe it," Bennett said. "I couldn't do it justice."

But Bennett muzzled the postgame celebration. Heck, he didn't even want an upgrade from the Flying J truck stop/motel, where the team is staying.

"We like it there," Bennett said. "They have the best coconut cream pie I've had in a long time."

It largely was because fundamentally dynamic Wisconsin-Green Bay (27-6) had stayed true to its identity that it was able to oust the Golden Bears.

Cal arrived in Ogden on the flash of All-American guard Jason Kidd and the sizzle of forward Lamond Murray. The Phoenix came in on the less-fashionable wings of the third-best defense in the nation (54.7 points), the second-best free-throw shooting (76.1 percent) - and interchangeable parts named Martinez, Zavada, LeDuc, Nordgaard, Ludvigson, Grzesk and VanderVelden.

Culture diversity aside, though, the Phoenix plays like clones.

"It's almost like five Kyle Macy's out on the floor, because they can all really shoot the ball, all pass the ball and all handle the ball," said Cal coach Todd Bozeman, his eyes red, his necktie untangled. "The next team they're playing, Syracuse, just beware."

Bozeman had been wary of the Phoenix - which nearly upended Michigan State in its only other NCAA Tournament appearance three years ago.

"Every person I called about them said the same thing: `Aww, man,' " Bozeman said. "We knew it was going to be a tough ballgame, even if the average fan is not familiar with them."

Wisconsin-Green Bay favors a plodding pace and was able to impose that through much of Thursday's game. Cal trailed 16-2 early and finally made its first field goal after nearly 10 minutes had elapsed. …

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