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Basketball: Who is Dominique Jones?

AROUND THE NATION

Dominique Jones, who scored 46 points against Providence a week ago, went for 37 as South Florida logged a  70-61 upset of No. 17 Pitt  (16-5). A junior guard, Jones is averaging 37 points over the past three games. Gilbert Brown scored 25 for Pitt, which has dropped three of four . . . William Buford scored 26 points and No. 20 Ohio State (16-6) beat Minnesota 85-63 for its fifth win in six games . . . Scotty Hopson hit the winning shot as No. 14 Tennessee (16-4) topped Florida 61-60 . . . Robbie Hummel scored 23 points and No. 10 Purdue (18-3) beat Penn State 66-46 . . . Michael Washington scored 22 points and Arkansas knocked off  No. 18 Mississippi (16-5).

DIDN’T YOU USED TO BE

North Carolina lost again, this time 75-60 at home to a Virginia squad that had won in Chapel Hill just five times in 68 previous meetings. The defending national champions are 13-8 overall and 2-4 in the ACC after their worst home loss under coach Roy Williams. They lost only seven games the previous two seasons combined. Sylven Landesburg scored 29 points for ex-Washington State coach Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers.

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Football: Recruiting update

I had a chance to talk to star recruit Chris Martin tonight. I actually talked to him from the airport, as he waited to fly back to Denver. Martin said top-rated safety Keenan Allen and his half-brother, quarterback Zach Maynard, were indeed on campus for visits over the weekend. Martin, who already has taken his official visit to Cal, joined them on the visit anyway. He said the fact that Allen and Maynard were taking their visits was “partially” the reason he came out for the weekend.

Martin said he thought the visit went well but didn’t try to get into Allen’s head about where he is leaning. Martin did say he’s become friends with Allen as they were rooommates the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Allen reportedly is considering Cal, Clemson and Alabama. He isn’t expected to announce his decision until Signing Day on Wednesday.

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Basketball: Arizona game thread

FINAL SCORE: Arizona 76, Cal 72. Robertson lost the ball out of bounds on a baseline drive on Cal’s possession after the timeout with 14.5 seconds left. Robertson then fouled Wise, who made two FTs. Randle’s long 3-pointer missed. Wise finished with 30 points, including 9-for-9 from FT line. Williams had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Robertson scored a career-high 27 points and had six rebounds, Christopher scored 19, but shot 5-for-19, Randle also had 15, but shot 1-for-8 from 3-PT. Teams are now tied for first place (6-3) at the halfway point of the Pac-10 schedule. Cal plays Thursday at USC.

0:14.5 2nd H: Cal is inbounding under the basket after a driving layup and free throw by Wise gave Arizona a 74-72 lead. Robertson missed a 3-pointer for the Bears, but Boykin grabbed the rebound. Az knocked the ball out of bounds to Cal.

0:40.4 2nd H: Randle just made three FTs for a 72-71 lead after coming around a screen and drawing a foul call against Wise on the 3-point try. Replay didn’t show a lot of contact, and the fans were not happy. Arizona timeout.

0:45.6 2nd H: Arizona just took a 71-69 lead on a drive by Wise, who has 25 points. Williams tied it previously with a dunk off a no-look pass from Horne. Cal has not scored on its past three possessions. Monty took timeout. Cal has 28 seconds on the shot clock.

2:41 2nd H: Wise just made two FTs, cutting Cal’s lead to 69-67. Robertson had hit two of his own eight seconds earlier — he’s 10-for-10 from the line with a career-high 27.  Cal is 17-for-21 from the FT line — only misses by Amoke, who is 0-for-4.

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Football: Live chats

There will be two live chats this week that will involve Cal football. Tomorrow at 4 p.m., I will be joining our two high school football writers, Ben Enos and Chace Bryson (fondly known as the “Two Geeks”), four a combined chat to talk about Signing Day. Ben and Chace will be on hand to talk about local high school players who are headed off to college and I will be there to talk Cal or anything else. Then on Thursday, I will be holding a regular Bear Talk football chat from 1-2 p.m., to wrap up Signing Day.

I will provide links for both chats when they become available.

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Football: Tepper added to Combine

Former Cal left tackle Mike Tepper has received an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis Feb. 24-March 2. Tepper joins wide receivers Nyan Boateng and Verran Tucker, defensive end Tyson Alualu, cornerback Syd’Quan Thompson and running back Jahvid Best as former Cal players who will work out for NFL personnel at the Combine.

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Football: Alualu makes an impact

If you saw highlights of the Senior Bowl yesterday, you surely saw the highlight of former Cal defensive end Tyson Alualu sacking quarterback Tim Tebow in front of the goal line and forcing a Tebow fumble. It was one of the most replayed clips of the game on the sports wrap-up shows last night.

That was Alualu’s only tackle, but a big one. It capped off a very good week for Alualu, who impressed scouts in practices and could be a second-round pick in April’s draft. Alualu still has other opportunities to improve his draft stock at the NFL Scouting Combine and Cal’s Pro Day.

According to the final participation chart , corneraback Syd’Quan Thompson did not play in the game. I am still trying to find out if he was injured or there was another reason. Thompson practiced all week so it is unclear what changed leading up to the game. I will provide an answer when I get one.

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Basketball: Arizona scouting report

Cal recently solved two of the Pac-10′s peskiest zone defenses, and today will get the chance to work against a man-to-man team once more.

On the heels of beating Arizona State with its matchup zone and Oregon State with its 1-3-1 alignment, the stakes are higher still today when the Bears face Arizona at McKale Center. ”Arizona’s going to play man and, of course, it’s been a little while since we’ve played against man,’ Cal coach Mike Montgomery said.’

With a victory, the first-place Bears can forge a two-game lead over the rest of the league at the halfway point of the Pac-10 schedule. A loss would drop them into a tie for the top spot with the Wildcats,  just one game ahead of Arizona State and UCLA, just two games ahead of five more teams.

We could have some clarity, or perhaps a very murky picture headed into the second round of Pac-10 play.

This is Game 2 of a stretch of four consecutive road contests, and the Bears had an extra day to prep after Thursday night’s 78-70 win at ASU.

Montgomery, whose Stanford teams had epic battles with Lute Olson’s best Arizona teams, knows today is a big deal. But he isn’t making more of it than it is.

“It’s a long season,” he said. “You try to put things in a context (players) understand. One loss doesnt kill you, one win doesn’t put you over the top. They’re going to have to motivate themselves to play. You can’t trick them every day. They have to have it within them.”

We’ll find out today if the Bears do.

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Basketball: ASU, UCLA win to share third place; Lowhorn, USF take down Gonzaga

With Cal and Arizona tangling today at Tucson for first place . . .

AROUND THE PAC-10

– Arizona State 88, Stanford 70: The Sun Devils (15-7, 5-4) built leads of 41-11 and 54-17, led by junior G Ty Abbott, who scored 22 of his 29 points in the first half. The Sun Devils made 15 of their first 18 shots, and nine of the makes were 3-pointers. Stanford (10-11, 4-5), still winless in eight road games this season, got 22 points from Landry Fields and 20 from Jeremy Green, but the two shot 4-for-17 in the first half.

– Washington 92, Washington State 64: The Cougars (14-7, 4-5) actually led 40-36 at halftime before the Huskies (14-7, 4-5) outscored them 56-24 in the second half. Senior Quincy Pondexter had 29 points and 12 rebounds and sophomore Isaiah Thomas scored 19 for UW. WSU sophomore Klay Thompson, the nation’s sixth-leading scorer, shot 2-for-15 and scored just seven points. 

– Oregon 67, USC 57: The Ducks (12-9, 4-5) completed a weekend sweep of the L.A. schools as Jeremy Jacob scored 19 points and Malcolm Armstead had 18. The Trojans (12-9, 4-5) lost for the second time on the Oregon road trip despite 16 points from senior Dwight Lewis.

– UCLA 62, Oregon State 52: The Bruins (10-11, 5-4) got a weekend split by rallying to beat the Beavers (9-12, 3-6) behind 14 points from freshman Reeves Nelson and 13 from Nikola Dragovic. UCLA shot 65.7 percent, overcoming 20 turnovers. Calvin Haynes scored 16 on 5-for-20 shooting for the Beavers.

– Pac-10 standings: Cal 6-2, Arizona 5-3, Arizona State 5-4, UCLA 5-4, Oregon 4-5, Stanford 4-5, USC 4-5, Washington 4-5, Washington State 4-5, Oregon State 3-6.

THE NATIONAL SCENE

 No. 2 Kansas (20-1) used 18 points and 11 rebounds from Cole Aldrich and 16 points from Sherron Collins to pocket an 81-79 overtime victory at No. 11 Kansas State (17-4), putting the Jayhawks in position to regain the nation’s top ranking  . . . No. 1 Kentucky (20-1), shook off its first loss of the season to claim an 85-72 win over No. 21 Vanderbilt (16-4).  DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Wildcats . . . Tweety Carter scored 27 points, leading Baylor (16-4) to an 80-77 overtime road upset of No. 6 Texas (18-3), which lost for the third time in four games. Damion James had 20 points and 19 rebounds for the Longhorns . . . No. 4 Syracuse (21-1) rallied from an 18-point hole in the first half. getting 16 points and 13 rebounds from Wesley Johnson in a 59-57 win at DePaul . . . With President Obama in the crowd, No. 7 Georgetown (16-4) shot 71.7 percent from the field in an 89-77 win over No. 8 Duke (17-4) . . . Durrell Summers had 24 points and 10 rebounds and No. 5 Michigan State (19-3) posted a 79-70 win over Northwester.

LOCAL HEROES

Dior Lowhorn (Berkeley HS) hit back-to-back 3-pointers in overtime and had 22 points and nine rebounds, leading USF to an 81-77 upset of No. 13 Gonzaga, snapping the Bulldogs’ 27-game West Coast Conference win streak . . . Omar Samhan (Danville-San Ramon Valley HS) had 19 points and 13 rebounds and Saint Mary’s gained a share of the WCC lead with an 85-67 rout of Loyola Marymount . . .  Will Cherry (Oakland-McClymonds HS) had 19 points, seven rebounds and five steals, leading Montana to an 84-64 win at Northern Arizona . . . Kyle Roemer (Concord-De La Salle HS) had 31 points and 11 rebounds in Colgate’s 100-91 loss to Navy. It was Roemer’s third 30-point game of the season . . . Wendell McKines (Richmond HS) had 13 points and nine rebounds in New Mexico State’s 91-77 win over Louisiana Tech . . . Cory Higgins (Danville-Monte Vista HS) scored 21 points, but Colorado came up short 64-63 at Iowa State . . . Brian Stafford (Walnut Creek-Las Lomas HS) had 19 points in Denver’s 73-62 loss to Arkansas State . . . Dominic Calegari (Berkeley-St. Mary’s HS) had 16 points and seven rebounds, but UC Davis lost 80-58 to Long Beach State . . .

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Basketball: Bears take day off, not Pac

AROUND THE PAC-10

While Cal and Arizona await Sunday’s showdown for first place . . .

– Washington State at Washington, 12:30 p.m.: The Huskies (13-7, 3-5) are at home (13-1), so they’re probably OK today. Seattle-raised freshman point guard Reggie Moore makes his homecoming for the Cougars (14-6, 4-4).

– Stanford at Arizona State, 1 p.m.: The Cardinal (10-10, 4-4) goes after its first road win of the season at ASU (14-7, 4-4), the site of its only Pac-10 road victory a year ago. Landry Fields and Jeremy Green have combined to score 113 of the Cardinal’s 152 points the past two games. Who needs diversity.

– USC at Oregon, 3 p.m.: The Trojans (12-8, 4-4) are coming off a disappointing loss at Oregon State, the Ducks (11-9, 3-5) a surprising win over UCLA. If you think that gives us a clue about today, you haven’t been paying attention to this Pac-10 season.

– UCLA at Oregon State, 4:30 p.m.: The Bruins (9-11, 4-4) are 1-7 away from Pauley Pavilion but have won nine straight against the Beavers (9-11, 3-5). Take your best shot.

– Pac-10 standings: Cal 6-2, Arizona 5-3, Arizona State 4-4, Stanford 4-4, UCLA 4-4, USC 4-4, Washington State 4-4, Oregon 3-5, Oregon State 3-5, Washington 3-5.