The field for Santa Clara's 46th Annual Cable Car Classic was announced on Friday and it will be highlighted by the return of the champion from the 45th Annual Cable Car Classic. This year's Cable Car Classic will be held Fri., Dec. 21 and Sat., Dec. 22.
Wagner will have a chance to defend its title under first-year head coach Bashir Mason. First-year head coach Larry Brown with his SMU team and Alcorn State, from the SWAC, will join Wagner. Santa Clara defeated SMU in Dallas 72-55 in 2010 on the way to winning the CIT title a few days later with a 76-67 victory at Iona.
"To continually compete for a championship in season each year is key and this year it will once again be a real challenge in the Cable Car Classic with Art helping us put together a very competitive field," said Bronco head coach Kerry Keating. "We hope that the pre-Christmas weekend will help all those Bronco fans, alumni and Bay Area basketball fans in town for the holidays to attend this year's tournament."
Santa Clara will face Alcorn State on Dec. 21 at 6 pm. Wagner will play SMU at 8:15 pm the same evening. The next night, Dec. 22, the consolation game will be played at 6 pm and the championship game will be played at 8:15 pm.
Santa Clara returns 12 letterwinners this year, including all five starters from last year's team. Click here for the 2012-13 roster.
Santa Clara has won the Cable Car Classic 15 times in the past 45 years. It last won the Cable Car Classic in overtime in 2008 with a 89-88 last-second victory on a tip in by John Bryant. Last season Santa Clara was defeated by Wagner 64-62 in a heartbreaker.
In 1967 the Cable Car Classic was founded by Art Santo Domingo, a former public relations director of the San Francisco Giants, and his long-time friend, the late Harry Jupiter, a sports writer for the San Francisco Examiner, who passed away three years ago. This year's Classic will feature host-Santa Clara, and three other team's nation-wide (to be released later this summer).
In 31 of the Classic's 45 years, the Classic has featured a team that would receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament just months later.
For 10 years it has featured multiple teams who would later advance. The 1995 Cable Car Classic proved to be one of the strongest fields with all four teams advancing to the 1996 NCAA Tournament in March. Penn State won the Cable Car Classic with Georgia Tech, Santa Clara and Bradley also making the post-season. Georgia Tech won the ACC that year as well.
Those participating in past Cable Car Classics read like a who's who in college basketball history. From the Santa Clara teams of the 1960's and '70's that featured the talents of Bud Ogden, Dennis Awtrey and Kurt Rambis and the USF squads, led by Kevin Restani, Winford Boynes and Bill Cartwright to traditional basketball powers such as Dean Smith's North Carolina Tar Heels featuring Michael Jordan and James Worthy and the Ralph Sampson-led Virginia Cavaliers, to the '90s with Stephen Marbury of Georgia Tech to this century's teams, including one of the Air Force Academy's best-ever teams in 2006.