Berkeley, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Not since the days of Jason Kidd in a California uniform had the Golden Bears beaten a No. 1 ranked team.
That all changed Saturday night.
Senior point guard Justin Cobbs hit the winning jump shot with 0.9 seconds remaining and California shocked No. 1 Arizona, 60-58.
Cobbs scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half, including the final 12 points for the Golden Bears (15-7, 6-3 Pac-12), who earned their first win over a top-ranked team since Jan. 30, 1994 when Kidd, the current head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, had a triple-double in a victory over UCLA at Oakland Coliseum.
California, which owns a 3-24 all-time record against No. 1 teams, also received 14 points and 11 rebounds from David Kravish.
Not only were the Wildcats (21-1, 8-1) dealt their first defeat of the season, but they also lost the services of forward Brandon Ashley, who injured his right foot early in the first half. He was in a walking boot on the bench for the second half.
Head coach Sean Miller said Ashley likely broke his foot, although they were still checking x-rays. Miller suggested Ashley could be out the remainder of the season.
The only scorer for Cal over the final 11 1/2 minutes was Cobbs, who was given an opportunity to win the game after Nick Johnson missed a jumper in the lane for the Wildcats.
Cobbs was given an isolation play, dribbled to the left and hit a step-back shot over Kaleb Tarczewski.
"We talked about it ... if we got a stop no timeout, just run it straight into a pick-and-roll and see if we could get to the basket, but Tarczewski did a good job and I couldn't get there so I just stepped back and shot a good shot and it was able to go in for me," Cobbs said.
Fans rushed the court, but were ushered back off it as officials checked the time remaining. The ensuing inbounds pass was stolen and the court at Haas Pavilion was again covered in a sea of yellow.
Tarczewski had 18 points for the Wildcats, who are expected to be supplanted as the No. 1 team come Monday. It's likely Syracuse will move to the top spot after beating Duke in overtime Saturday night. The only other Division I unbeaten team left is Wichita State.
Johnson, who came into the game as the leading scorer for Arizona at 16.7 ppg, was limited to four points on 1-of-14 shooting.
"There was not a lot of places for Nick Johnson to go," stated Cal coach Mike Montgomery. "He's very good getting to the basket and he's a spectacular athlete. We tried to take away driving lanes as best we could with the way we played defense and I thought we accomplished that."
Ashley missed a shot in the lane and went up for the rebound, but his right foot was hurt on the play only 2:08 into the game. Ashley limped off the court to the locker room.
The loss of Ashley could be huge. The 6-foot-8 sophomore came into the game shooting 52.8 percent and was averaging 12 points and six rebounds.
"Obviously if you get hurt in the game you don't necessarily have time to adapt and reinvent, you have to do it on the fly," Miller said. "I thought our guys went in there and played with great effort and we came up short. We are 21-1, we are 8-1 at the break of the Pac-12, losing Brandon is certainly a blow to us, but we have to come back together and finish strong."
Tarczewski made a layup with over four minutes left for a 56-54 Arizona lead, but referees waved off a dunk from Aaron Gordon after T.J. McConnell was called for an offensive foul. Christian Behrens took the fall from little contact.
Cobbs made a jumper, but McConnell came back with a layup with under three minutes left after Arizona stole the ball on a sloppy play from both teams.
Two free throws from Cobbs with 2 1/2 minutes left set the stage for the finish. Tarczewski had his layup try blocked, but Cal didn't capitalize when Tyrone Wallace missed a 3-point try, causing a shot clock violation.
Cal's Richard Solomon stole the ball from Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, but Kravish missed a shot just prior to Johnson failing on his shot in the lane. Then came Cobbs' game-winner.
Solomon's jumper expanded Cal's lead to 28-19 with five minutes left in the opening half, but Arizona closed within 30-29 at the break.
The Golden Bears again assumed control early in the second half with a 50-42 lead.