Basketball: Latest on NCAA projections

It’s 11 p.m. — just 15 hours (including the loss of one hour for daylight savings) until the NCAA selection committee unveils the 68-team tournament field.

Here’s the latest:

Joe Lunardi still envisions two from the Pac-12 — tournament champ and automatic bid winner Colorado, and Cal. The Bears are not among his “last four in”, so perhaps they can breathe a bit easier.

Lunardi has Washington as the “first team out,” which means they are very close. 

Long Beach State won the Big West tournament tonight — good news for Cal and UW, because the 49ers probably would have stolen an at-large had they lost to UC Santa Barbara.

Elsewhere . . .

Two teams from New Mexico with featured players from the Bay Area earned automatic bids tonight.

   — Richmond’s Wendell McKines had 27 points and 14 rebounds for his 20th double-double of the season and New Mexico State (26-9) routed Louisiana Tech 82-57 to win the WAC bid. McKines won MVP honors for the tournament after averaging 21.3 points and 10.7 rebounds in three games. 

   — San Jose’s Drew Gordon had 12 points and 12 rebounds and New Mexico (27-6) topped San Diego State 68-59 for the Mountain West tournament title. Gordon also was named MVP after averaging 15.3 points and 10.7 rebounds in three wins.

Jeff Faraudo

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Andy Glackner at Sports Illustrated has us as an 11 seed playing Florida State in New Mexico.

    I believe Washington’s troubles stem from being 0-5 v top 50 we were 0-3.

  • Yoda

    Although if Washington had ever managed to get into the top 50 we would have had a win. For that matter, if any Pac-12 other than Cal had managed a top-50 RPI our record would look better too.

    I almost care more about location and timing than who we play at this point. An East Coast game on Thursday early would be the end.

  • Eric

    Palm currently projects us as 12-seed in the play-in.

  • Gobears49

    Even if we get in, we’re not strong enough down low to win more than one game. Kamp, with all his skills, and Kravish (a really good freshman) are more finesse players than brutes and are not go to guys who can score on their own from the paint. That is why Cal is having a tough time getting off shots from the outside, as the defense is spreading out to attack our guards and small forward because of a lack of strong presence inside to worry about. Montgomery said as much during the post-game interview after the Colorado game.

    Soloman, while not a scorer, was at least somewhat a brute in the middle and could block shots well. Woulda, coulda, shoulda, but with Soloman Cal could have been much more of a threat and given us a decent chance to win two games in the NCAA’s (if we get in, which I think we will).

  • ThisisCal

    I think we’ll get in, but I don’t have much confidence in us going far in the tourney. This is the time of year when we should be playing better, not worse. We’re playing sloppy basketball right now with way too many turnovers. Other than Thurman, our bench is a disaster. I don’t name names for criticism, but, man, we need our bench to take care of the ball and not make so many predictable errors. In any event, I’m hoping for the best. Go Bears!

  • A 10, 11 or 12 seed anywhere on Friday would be fine with me. RPI still in the 30’s, we are safe, no play-in game, but maybe UW in the play-in game? I still think they could do some damage in the tourney. And I think we can too if Jorge and Cobbs can go off. The tourney is about guard play, usually, and those two are both capable of carrying a team during crunch time. Still lots to play for.

    Yes, the bench is a disaster, save Thurman who is capable but unseasoned. The single criticism I have of Monty is that he does not give his bench players enough minutes because he does not *trust* them. I think that Murray and Behrens should have gotten more minutes as the season progressed (and they developed) because at the very least they are very athletic and should be able to play some defense while the starters rest. Murray has a decent stroke, Behrens should at least be a decent rebounder.

    And if there was an award for the conference’s most-worsened player from the previous season: Brandon Smith! What the hell happened to him? He was VERY capable LAST year. He was solid. Now he is an absolute disaster almost every time he has to make a decision with the ball.

    And yes, it is frustrating to read about the dominance of those two Bay Area products playing elsewhere. Imagine either of them holding down the paint for the Bears, we could have run the table in the pac12. I understand it is about admission standards etc, but I think the football team is fairly lenient in that regard, why not the bball team? I think we should be getting the Marshawn Lynch of basketball in the Bay Area every season, guys like McKines and Gordon, why the heck not? Can someone explain that?

    Sweet Sixteen dreaming…Go Bears!

  • gobears91

    Yoda is right – time and location are the key factors. I saw a projection with us as a 12 seed in Portland, which would be great. The other current projections have us as an 11 seed in Louisville. Either way, I’d much rather have us as an 11 or 12 than an 8 or 9. I think we win the first game with strong shooting, but our lack of depth will be our downfall in game 2. Go Bears!

  • ConcordBear

    The bench has not earned PT other than Thurman.
    From what I hear at practice the guys who don’t start are not demanding to be in the game by playing well.
    Only guy that probably should have gotten a few more minutes is Behrens because he has a lot of upside. But, he did not play in pre-season because of injury and has no experience. Tough to throw him in there unless he is demanding it in practice by playing well and then carries it over to the game.
    We need our bench to step up to make an ncaa run. At worst do not be a negative!

  • More games just means more paper cuts, the cross we Cal fans get to bear.

    All I want out of Cal in the Tourney is some fun, just a few moments where I am not cursing. If they get in and go down by 10 in the first 2 minutes, AGAIN, I’ll be bitter for a year. If they play with focus and energy, however, and stop the ridiculous turnovers, I’ll be happy. I just want to watch them play some decent basketball for 40 minutes.

  • Let Justice Be Done

    Cal, you earned a first four trip with poor play down the stretch.

    UW, This is how it begins, THE CURSE OF THE TOSH!

  • wehofx

    Good call on uw Curse of the ‘ho.

    We also got we deserved.

    C’mon on Bears! Get back to ballin’!

  • Esquire Joe

    Well, I definitely concur that Cal got what it deserved. Weak play in the last 5 games did us in.

    Unfortunately, though, what they deserved is exactly what they can’t afford. With a bench as thin as Cal’s, the starters needed all the rest they could get. A Wednesday game, even if they win, is going to take a lot out of them. I can’t see them having much left in the tank to give Temple a game.

  • ThisisCal

    I strongly dislike UW, but they were the pac12 regular season champions. Snubbing them for the tourney is hugely disrespectful for our conference. And the Bears have a play-in?? This is bullshit.

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Thisiscal – UW was 0-5 vs the top 50. Seton Hall was much better vs good teams but was snubbed as well.

    The Pac 12 got the respect it deserved we were 0-3 v Top 50- we barely got in at all.

  • Concordbear

    UW should have received a bid too.
    No one expects us to beat a big east team, our guys have got to be foaming at the mouth to get after it.
    Excited! Once you are in the dance you have a shot to do something special.

  • 1brsfan

    Actually Vegas expects us to win. Cal -3.