March 9, 2007
In 1782, a novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos entitled "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" coined the phrase "La vengeance est un plat qui se mange froid". For those who know the French language well, no better example in sports of that well-known statement could be defined as clearly by what Ayinde Ubaka accomplished in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament.
To translate de Laclos, "Revenge is a dish best served cold."
For Ubaka, who lead his Bears to a 76-69 upset over the Pac-10's back-to-back regular season champs in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals, he might as well have been a frozen chef pumping ice cubes out of his hands. The Oakland native certainly got his revenge against the Bruins, freezing them when they least expected it.
Many observers couldn't even pretend to think that Cal would stand a chance against the might Bruins, who played in the National Championship a year ago. Numerous pre-game stories surfaced that only talked about who the Bruins might see in Round 2.
But thanks to Ubaka, Cal quickly ended the Bruins ideas of repeating. At the same time, he put a little madness back in to Berkeley, just in time for March.
In one of the ultimate comeback stories BearTerritory has ever seen in college basketball, Ubaka, exactly 44 days removed from his 35-minute, 0-for-8 scoreless performance against UCLA on his home court of Haas Pavilion, scorched the Bruins for a career-high tying 29 points, including 9-of-12 from the floor. He out-gunned and out-maneuvered 2007 Pac-10 Player of the Year Arron Afflalo in Afflalo's own backyard, holding the talented junior shooting guard scoreless during regulation.
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