Here's my game story.
Cal led 1-0 and over 55 minutes of basketball didn't lead again until 86-85. And that was the one that sends them -- and not UW -- to the top of the Pac-10 standings.
Cal improves to 12-3 and 4-0. UW falls to 11-4 and 2-1.
Coach Lorenzo Romar's overview:
Never miss a local story.
"Tonight, 55 minutes of some hard-fought basketball. Give Cal a lot of credit for being mentally tough on the road to come out and squeak out a triple-overtime victory. You've got to give them a lot of credit. There's a reason they've done so well and they're undefeated. Patrick Christopher is a heck of a basketball player, made big shots. Their trio did a really nice job, especially in the overtime periods, carried them."
Romar has his players were disappointed, of course. But they also seemed to sense the danger in a loss like this and stressed their intentions not to let this snowball, especially with a couple of winable games awaiting in Oregon next week.
Star of the game: Cal junior guard Patrick Christopher led all scorers with 27 points. He hit four of nine 3-pointers and seven of eight free throws. He also had 11 rebounds a steal and an assist in 53 minutes.
Key stats: Washington forward Jon Brockman hit two of eight free throws. The Huskies hit 27 of 40 as a team. UW committed 14 turnovers in 55 minutes. ... UW was out-rebounded for only the second time this season, 46-42.
Key play: Christopher missed a three-pointer to tie at the end of the second overtime. However, teammate D.J. Seeley scored on the put back and was fouled by UW freshman Isaiah Thomas with one second left. Seeley hit the free throw to send the game into its final overtime. (Here's John McGrath's take on Thomas' day.)
Observations: This was Washington's first triple overtime game since 1984 and Cal's first since plying a five-overtime game in 1977. … Brockman (1,526 points) passed Steve Hawes for sixth place on UW's career scoring list. … Brockman has hit only five of 17 free throws over the past two games. However, he also had a total of 34 rebounds over the two games. … Tacoma's own Clay Huntington and Marc Blau took part in a halftime ceremony honoring former Seattle SuperSonics player and coach Lenny Wilkens into the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame.
Quotable: "That was clearly a foul, but to get that whistle, on the road, with that much time left, you're like, 'He's not going to call that.' You've got to give him credit for making that call." – California coach Mike Montgomery, on the foul called on the home team in the final second of the second overtime.
Next: 7 p.m. Thursday, at Oregon, McArthur Court, Eugene, Ore.; no TV.
End of second OT: Isiah Thomas fouled on a made-putback with less than two seconds left. The free throw was made, and now we're headed into the Huskies' first triple-overtime since 1984.
End of first overtime: Both teams missed last shots in the final 10 seconds. So five more minutes, tied at 64.
End of regulation: The Huskies let a 10 point lead get away in the closing minutes as Cal ended on a 14-4 run.
Halftime: UW, 32-28. Huskies played with the lead the whole way, but the Bears closed on a run.
Isaiah Thomas leads all scorers with 13 points, and he had an amazing stretch where he realized his defender couldn't stay with him, and he briefly took over.
Patrick Christopher leads Cal with 11 points. He's 2-of-5 on 3-pointers, and overall the Bears have hit four of 11 threes.
Tipoff: Usual starting lineup for the Huksies: Brockman, Dentmon, Pondexter, Gant and Thomas.
1:55 p.m. A little more than an hour before tip. Both teams are on the court warming up: UW in white, Cal in their dark blues.
Normal gameday blogging plan: Pregame news as it happens, in-game blog updates, and then back with wrap-up notes and quotes.
Tip is 3 p.m.; game is on FSN; and last I heard tickets remain available, although I'd be very surprised if this one isn't very close to a sellout.
Morning: Washington is a five-point favorite in its game against Cal at 3 p.m. this afternoon at Hec Ed.
Here's my game preview, dealing with Cal as the most accurate 3-point shooting team in the nation.
Cal and UW are two of the three remaining teams unbeaten in Pac-10 play (along with UCLA). And a win by UW could be double-big with a trip to Oregon and Oregon State -- presumably the Pac-10's easiest trip -- awaiting them next week. It better not even cross the players' minds, but fans are fully free to star dreaming about a 5-0 league start.
The game will be on FSN.