Jerry Palm of CBS Sportsline has Cal as a No. 12 seed in the NCAA tournament, playing in Portland as of Saturday morning.
Palm projects the Bears to face No. 5 Florida State in the first round, with the winner taking on either No. 4 Louisville or New Mexico State.
According to Palm’s current bracket, Arizona will get in as a No. 13 seed. Of course, if the Wildcats lose to Colorado in the Pac-12 tournament game, two things happen: The Buffs land the automatic bid and Arizona gets bumped . . . probably out of the field.
Meanwhile . . .
LUNARDI SAYS 2: JoeLunardi’s latest bracket on ESPN.com has Cal as a No. 11 facing No. 6 UNLV in Albuquerque. Lunardi said this morning that “if you assume Cal is in, and I do,” then Washington won’t make the cut. The Huskies, without a headline victory on its resume, will become the first regular-season champ from a power league to be left out of the NCAAs. Lunardi says it will be Cal and the winner of the Arizona-Colorado game.
UPDATED RPI: Cal’s loss to Colorado on Frirday night cost the Bears just two spots in the latest official NCAA RPI ratings. Cal dropped from No. 34 to No. 36.
The RPI is only one of many measuring sticks used by the selection committee, but Cal’s position according to the computer is far better than any other Pac-12 school. Here’s where others sit: No. 64 Oregon, No. 69 Washington, No. 71 Colorado, No. 73 Arizona.
TWO KEY GAMES: There are two outcomes Pac-12 teams and fans will be watching today. Regular-season champs Long Beach State (24-8/No. 37 RPI) of the Big West and Memphis (25-8/No. 16 RPI) of C-USA both play in their conference title games today. If either loses, they’re likely to grab an at-large, squeezing the field by another spot. UPDATE: Memphis crushed Marshall 83-57 for the C-USA title — a good result for Pac-12 hopefuls.