Cal's bid for a trip to New York City fell 6.5 seconds short as Nic Moore's late 3-pointer lifted host SMU past the Bears 67-65 on Wednesday and into the NIT semifinals.
Moore's shot sent Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown and the Mustangs (26-9) to Madison Square Garden against Clemson on Tuesday. Minnesota will play Florida State in the other semifinal.
SMU regained the lead for the first time in more than eight minutes when Nick Russell made a reverse layup with 36 seconds remaining.
Justin Cobbs made a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left to put Cal (21-14) ahead. Cobbs had one more chance, but the senior guard's game-ending shot ricocheted off the rim.
"I just wanted to make a play. It felt good actually. It just didn't go down," Cobbs said of his shot at the buzzer.
Freshman Jabari Bird led the Bears with 20 points, and Cobbs added 18 points and seven assists.
"As disappointed as it is to be one shot away from going to New York, I was really proud of these guys," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. "We really competed ... we played unselfishly. We shared the ball ... guys making shots because they got in a rhythm."
Markus Kennedy led SMU with 19 points.
Earthquakes stars Chris Wondolowski and Clarence Goodson were called to the U.S. national team for a game against Mexico -- a big boost to the players' chances of making the World Cup roster this summer. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann invited 22 players to camp, including Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan. The U.S. will host Mexico next Wednesday in Glendale, Ariz. The Quakes stars will play Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium against the New England Revolution.
NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon, Marcos Ambrose, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart and Brian Vickers completed a rain-dampened two-day Goodyear tire test at Sonoma Raceway. "It's always great to do some type of preparation for road racing," Gordon said. The Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup race is June 22.
The Vallejo Admirals of the Pacific Association independent league will hold tryouts April 6 at Wilson Park. For more information, go to www.VallejoAdmirals.com
Staff writer Elliott Almond and wire services contributed to this report.