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Beavers Win! Beavers Win!

It was the longest minute-18 ever. Caltech had led most of the game only to have the UCSC Banana Slugs roar back to snatch the edge back (despite not having appendages). As nicely summarized on the Caltech sports page:
Cramer scored the last points for Caltech with 1:18 left which gave the home squad a 63-59 edge. Samuel Allen hit one of two at the foul line seven seconds later to bring UC Santa Cruz within three points. During that same sequence, Allen rebounded his second miss at the foul line and his lay-up brought the visitors deficit to one point.
"I'm about to have a heart attack," breathed Erin as we sunk into our seats. It looked like victory was slowly slipping away, aided by UCSC's full-court press, a few lucky bounces, and what seemed like hostile officiating. On the inbound:
A Caltech turnover gave the ball back to UC Santa Cruz with under a minute left. Ryan Matsuoka missed a jumper with 33 seconds left but the Banana Slugs grabbed an offensive rebound. Allen missed a jumper but another offensive rebound set up the conclusion.
Oh man, this was too good! Up by 1, ball out of bounds to the Banana Slugs, 2.6 left on the clock. The crowd stood up and craned their necks to see along the sideline. I grabbed my camera. The noise in Braun Gymnasium was deafening (well, really loud for a Caltech athletic event):
Matsuoka took the inbounds pass with 2.6 seconds left...

The crowd went nuts. I went nuts. Everyone surged forward toward the edge of the court, but the Caltech faithful seemed timid, uncertain. Wait, what do we do when we win?

The Johnsons went to In-N-Out.

The Caltech men's basketball team posted their third consecutive win for the first time since 1994. Much credit goes to Coach Eslinger for leading the first ever recruiting effort. As my research assistant and former Caltech basketball captain recently put it

I knew they would be doing really well this year. This is the 2nd year the program has actively recruited players. When I came to Caltech, there was no recruiting. They just had a link on the athletics page that said "interested in playing for Caltech?" and you'd click on it, and it would take you to a form to fill out. The coach that was there at the time would call you up and talk to you and then you were basically on the team.
Caltech's former losing streaks are legendary. One is the subject of a documentary movie, Quantum Hoops. But keep in mind that the Caltech players take the same high-level, core course load as everyone else on campus including 5 terms of physics (classical mechanics, electromagnetism, waves, quantum mechanics, statistical physics), and 5 terms of math (calculus, ordinary differential equations, and infinite series; linear algebra; vectors and analytic). Yes, the men's basketball team graduates with the same undergraduate physics background as their professors. In fact, I'm sure that some of their physics courses are harder than mine were. This makes the success of the recruiting effort and the recent dominance on the court all the more impressive.

Go Beavers!


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