Another domino fell Thursday night in the long-shot scenario that could allow Cal to sneak in the backdoor to get a piece of the Pac-12 title.
One night after the Bears lost 83-70 to Stanford in front of a sold-out Haas Pavilion, everyone else is doing their part on Cal’s behalf.
Oregon lost its grip on sole possession of first place, crushed 76-53 at Colorado to fall into a tie for second with UCLA. Both teams are 12-5 — one-half game ahead of the 12-6 Bears, whose regular season is over.
UCLA, of course, accomodated Cal’s needs by losing at Washington State on Wednesday.
The equation is getting a bit simpler now: If UCLA loses at Washington and Oregon loses at Utah, both on Saturday, Cal would own 33 percent of the title — and the No. 1 seed in next week’s Pac-12 tournament at Las Vegas.
Colorado (20-9, 10-7) dusted the Ducks and buoyed its own NCAA chances, despite playing without Andre Roberson, the nation’s top rebounder, sidelined by illness. Freshman Xavier Johnson responded with 22 points for CU.
Utah (12-17, 4-13), meanwhile, showed signs of life with a 72-61 win over Oregon State (13-17, 3-14). Freshman Jordan Leverage had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Utes.