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Cal '59 Champs

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Hardwood History

Pete Newell, "America's Basketball Guru", led the Cal Bears to four consecutive Pacific Coast Conference titles from 1957-1960.  That run included a National Championship in 1959.  Led by center Darrall Imhoff along with Bob Dalton and Bill McClintock the Bears entered the NCAA Tournament in tip top shape due to Newell's lengthy demanding practices. 

Once there Cal easily defeated Utah and St. Mary's to reach the Final Four.  Waiting for them was basketball legend Oscar Robertson and Cincinnati.  As the story goes Dalton, who was tasked with guarding the Bearcat All-American, walked up to Oscar before the game and said, "Hi my name's Dalton.  What's yours?" It worked as he held the Big O to only five field goals and Cal won 64-58. 

The Bears then defeated Jerry West's West Virginia team 71-70 with Imhoff sealing the deal on a put back tip in with under a minute to play. 

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