Asked Saturday after Cal’s 66-65 overtime win over Colorado what the Bears need to get done at the Pac-12 tournament to assure themselves a spot in the NCAA field, senior Justin Cobbs acknowledged, “I wish I could tell you.”
Then he provided the only sure-thing road map to good news from the NCAA selection committee next Sunday.
“I’d be happy if we could win it,” he said. “Right now we’re playting with a lot of confidence. Just play every game like it’s your last.”
Now 19-12, 10-8 in the Pac-12 and owner of the No. 4 (and first-round bye in the conference tournament), the Bears won for just the second time in their past six games.
They were listed among the “first teams out” of the field in CBS Sports bracketologist Jerry Palm’s Sunday projections.
Palm said he’s constantly asked this time of year, “How many conference tournament games do we have to win to get in?”
His answer: “All of them. That’s the only sure thing. Yes, fewer might do, but the only way to control your own destiny is to win them all. Otherwise, your team is at the mercy of what other teams do.”
The Bears got no help Sunday when another bubble team, Nebraska, scored a big road win over No. 9 Wisconsin. The Cornhuskers improved to 19-11 overall, 11-7 in the Big Ten with their eighth win in nine games.
So it’s not just what Cal does beginning Thursday in the Pac-12 quarterfinals. It’s how others fare also.
A lot of moving parts, and the Bears still need a bunch of them to fall into place.