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Basketball: More Cal post-game

A few quick notes and observations before I log out for the night . . .

– The 95 points were the most Cal has scored against Arizona since 1996.

– Cal’s seniors obviously came to play: The four starters combined for 76 points, 20 rebounds and 14 assists. Even a few nice moments for senior reserve guard Nikola Knezevic, who scored five points and gave the crowd a great moment with a behind-the-back move before completing a layup.

– The Bears had 19 assists to just 11 turnovers.  Mike Montgomery was extremely pleased with PG Jerome Randle, who got the ball into the hands of the team’s other shooters in the first half, then took over when the opportunity presented itself. He scored 17 points in a span of 4 1/2 minutes, helping Cal transform a 47-37 lead into 67-44.

– Montgomery stopped short of declaring Randle deserves the Pac-10 Player of the Year award, but said, “All I know is we’re playing for a championship on Saturday, and we probably wouldn’t be doing that without him.”

– Jamal Boykin had 20/10 — his sixth double-double of the season. Boykin truly has had an excellent senior season. His defense also helped the Bears defuses the Arizona pick-and-roll play that was so effective in Tucson last month.

– Nice complementary efforts off the bench tonight from Markhuri Sanders-Frison (4 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 killer pick) and D.J. Seeley (5 points, 2 rebounds and generally good hustle).

– UA coach Sean Miller was gracious and complimentary in defeat. “Cal is a very good team and they deserve to win the Pac-10 regular-season championship,” he said. “They are led by a terrific point guard. Jerome Randle is such a prolific shooter. They are a better team than us . . . We lost to a much better team, a more experienced team and a very disciplined team that’s trying to win a conference championship here this weekend, and you could really tell. They came out and seized the moment.”

– Minus the final six minutes of the first half and the first two minutes of the second, Cal outscored Arizona 91-51.  “If we can play like that, we’re pretty tough to beat, especially at home,” said Theo Robertson, alluding to the Bears’ 14-1 record at Haas Pavilion.

– Montgomery said he’s not worried about his team’s mental state for Saturday’s Senior Day game against Arizona State, when the Bears can lock up a tie for their first Pac-10 title in 50 years. “It’s all right there in front of us,” he said.

Jeff Faraudo

  • covinared

    Steve Lavin stated that the Bears have the potential to go sweet 16 or elite 8 with the right bracket match up.

  • Kevin

    I agree with Lavin but it all depends on the matchups. I’m really hoping we can just get in, which is no sure thing right now, and if we do, win a game and get to the second round. Anything after that would be gravy.
    Was just looking at the Pac 10 standings and, as of right now, we could be looking at a first game matchup with Oregon State in the Pac 10 tourney. Ugh.

  • kyle

    I have a question that I would love if someone could answer?? How if we beat ASU on saturday is it only a lock for a tie? If the bears win we go to 12-5 in conference and ASU drops to 10-6. If were to lose to stanford finish pac 10 12-6 and asu wins out vs. LA schools and finish 12-6. A tie for the the confrence lead?? Cal will have beaten ASU TWICE!! So shouldnt the tie-breaker give Cal the title? Please tell me that’s how the tie breaker works? If not, that’s a pathetic joke.

  • Jeff Faraudo

    If the teams finish in a tie for the championship, they tie for the regular-season championship. Simple as that. In that scenario, Cal, by virtue of beating ASU twice, would secure the No. 1 seed for the Pac-10 tournament. But those are two separate things.

  • kyle

    Thanks Jeff. And WOW that is awful. A team can go through an 18 game schedule win 12 of them and only get a tie? Yet a team can win 4 and a row and get an auto bid to the NCAA’s with the potential of having a losing record. Confrence tourney’s need to go, makes the regular season pointless.

  • Jeff Faraudo

    Kyle,
    That’s been Mike Montgomery’s traditional view of conference tournaments, although he long ago gave up complaining about them. The fact is, if Cal wins its next two games and goes 13-5, it will own the regular-season title outright. And no team has won the Pac-10 with fewer than 13 conference wins, so that’s a reasonable target. And while the automatic NCAA bid goes to the league tournament winner, there is very little chance Cal would be overlooked for the NCAAs if it wins the outright Pac-10 regular-season title. Since the NCAA expanded its tournament to 64(now 65) teams,that’s never happened in any of the six “power” conferences.

  • rollonubears

    no one will consider it a co-championship if we beat asu, no matter what happens after that. this game is for everything, on saturday. cal and u$c both finished 7-2 in football in 2006, but no one considers that a co-championship, because we lost to u$c. you really think asu will celebrate, and raise a banner, etc, knowing they lost to Cal both times? not a chance. go bears!

  • Mitchie V

    Also agree with Steve Lavin’s comments that a couple games in the Big Dance would be FAB-ulous for Randle. Then the rest of the country can get to see Mr Electricity.

    Silver Bears! Sil-ver Bears!