At last Saturday's Cal men's hoops season finale versus USC, Bears boosters pulled a prank that straddles the fuzzy gray line between "Crap-Yer-Pants Hilarious" and "Inexcusably Cruel."
When USC guard Gabe Pruitt took his first trip to the free throw line early in the game, the Cal student section hollered in unison: "VIC-TOR-IA, VIC-TOR-IA," and then yelled out a telephone number. Pruitt glanced back at the crowd in horror and bewilderment before clanking his free throws.
It turns out that a couple of mischeivous little bastards from the Cal student section had been IM'ing with Pruitt all week under the identity of "Victoria," a fictional UCLA hottie, and Pruitt was eagerly anticipating a date with this nubile co-ed back in Westwood after the game. In preparation for the date, Pruitt had handed over his digits, which the Cal student section recited back to him in unison.
Pruitt, a 79% free throw shooter this season, missed both shots after the "VIC-TOR-IA" chants began, and hit only three out of 13 shots the whole game. Cal beat USC by 11 for the season sweep, in part due to the Cal fans' devious psy-ops.
Pruitt, to his credit, was reportedly a great sport about it. Good guy.
Bigger Update: Some USC fans are furious, and some USC cheerleaders are apparently high all the time. Click here for details.
One other event of note during that game: In the last seconds, walk-on guard Steve Panawek, who had played just two minutes of the entire PAC-10 season, got to finish the final home game of his Cal career by stealing a USC pass and sprinting coast-to-coast for a thunderous slam dunk, an outcome so shocking and wonderful that it provoked this reaction from the starters on the bench:
Following the game, Rod Benson (number 0) was hospitalized for busting a lung.