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Basketball: A look ahead

With two weeks left in the regular season, the Bears (14-13, 7-8) are tied for sixth place with Washington State (17-10, 7-8). Oregon and USC are tied for fourth at 7-7, just a half-game ahead. So there are countless possibilities.

Let’s look at one: Who gets the No. 6 seed for the Pac-10 tournament if Cal and WSU finish tied for sixth?

This is critical because the No. 6 seed avoids the Wednesday “play-in” games — 7 vs. 10, 8 vs. 9.

The Bears currently own the tiebreaker over the Cougars. Cal and WSU split two games and neither beat first-place Arizona. So Cal’s win over second-place UCLA supercedes WSU’s victory over third-place Washington — as long as UCLA finishes ahead of UW in the final standings.

Here is Cal’s schedule the rest of the way: at Oregon, at Oregon State, vs. Stanford.

And WSU: at Washington, vs. USC, vs. UCLA.

Would say Cal has an easier road, but this isn’t over. Oregon and USC are very much part of the equation, and so is Stanford, one game back at 6-9.

UCLA, which had won six in a row and 10 of 11, now finds itself two games behind league-leader Arizona with four to go. The Wildcats play at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday, then close the regular season with home games against the Oregon schools.

The Cats — 15-0 at McKale Center — aren’t losing to the Ducks or Beavers in Tucson.

Jeff Faraudo

  • CALiforniALUM

    Jeff, if you’re so sure that The Cats aren’t losing to the Ducks or Beavers in Tucson, then why do they play the games?

  • K1W

    It was fortunate (for Cal) that the UCLA games was Sunday (and in the evening), instead of Saturday. If it was any earlier, Crabbe may not have played. It seems with Crabbe in the mix, the Bears win close ones. Without Crabbe, the Bears lose those close ones. Even when he’s not “100%,” he’s a major threat; someone is occupied guarding him all the time, and that allowed Gutierrez to get some of his points.

    The drawback is one day less to rest and recover before Oregon (including travel to Oregon). The only starter who seems OK physically is Brandon Smith. The other four sure look like they could use one extra day.

  • milo

    If the Bears finish at .500 or above, I’ll consider it a successful season. Looking forward to next season with Jorge, Kamp, Crabbe and all.

  • rollonubears

    and solomon, if he can put on some pounds, is gonna be a force.

  • Jeff Faraudo

    I somehow doubt that my opinion that Az won’t lose at home to either Oregon school will convince the Pac-10 to cancel the games. Could they lose one of those games? Obviously. Do I seriously think it will happen in that venue with a league championship potentially on the line? Not a chance.

  • SteveNTexas

    Yes our players will get better but most of the other Pac 10 schools out recruited us. I don’t see us catching Arizona.

  • rollonubears

    we don’t need to catch arizona to make the tournament. that’s the beauty of college hoops vs. college football. and we just got our league title last year. that should hold us over for another 10 years before we can really start complaining. being in the top 4 of the pac12, year in and year out, would be good enough for me. look at the big east. even the bottom feeders are legit teams.