Bears to Host Ole Miss in First Round of NIT

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The Cal men's basketball team's season will not end with a quarterfinal exit at the Pac-10 Tournament.

The Bears (17-14, 10-8 in the Pac-10) have earned a No. 4 seed in the NIT, and will open postseason play on Wednesday with a 6 p.m., tilt at Haas Pavilion against fifth-seeded Ole Miss (20-13, 7-9 in the SEC).

The Rebels boast home victories over a pair of NCAA tournament teams (Kentucky and Penn State), and have beaten fellow NIT participant Alabama. Ole Miss is paced by 5-foot-10 senior guard Chris Warren, who averages a team-high 19.0 points per game.

"I won't say he's (Washington point guard) Isaiah Thomas, but that would be the pick," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said of Warren. "He's a high-volume guy who's had big games."

As a whole, however, Montgomery admitted he has "no impression" of his team's opening-round opponent.

A victory over Ole Miss would likely set up a second-round match-up against No. 1 Colorado in Boulder; the Buffaloes open against eight seed Texas Southern. A local squad, Saint Mary's, is the No. 2 seed in Cal's bracket.


Ed Yevelev covers men's basketball. Contact him at [email protected]

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