Basketball: Colorado survives USC 59-56, earns Pac-12 quarterfinal rematch Thursday vs. Cal


As expected, it will be a Cal-Colorado rematch on Thursday after the Buffaloes held off USC 59-56 in their Pac-12 tournament opener.

Tipoff is 2:36 p.m.

Cal beat the Buffaloes 66-65 in overtime on Saturday in Berkeley to halt a three-game losing skid and secure the No. 4 seed for this event.

The Buffs struggled a bit to create the rematch before finally dispatching the 12th-seeded Trojans.

“We made just enough winning plays,” CU coach Tad Boyle said. “We’re going to have to make a lot more tomorrow against a very good Cal team.”

Looking back to Saturday’s loss, Boyle noted that Cal had 10 offensive rebounds after halftime. “What we have to do better than we did in Berkeley is we have to finish defensive possessions,” he said.  

Boyle scoffed at the suggestion there may be more pressure on Cal because the Bears likely need another win to solidify their NCAA tournament resume and the Buffaloes (22-10), with a strong RPI, may already be in.

“We both want to win this game — throw all that other stuff out the window,” Boyle said. “Cal has a hell of a coach — a Hall of Fame coach, in my opinion. They have great seniors in Justin Cobbs and Richard Solomon.

“They don’t want their season to end. They don’t want their Pac-12 first game to be their last game. We want to keep playing. That’s going to be a hell of a game.”

Guard Askia Booker had 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Buffs (22-10) and all-Pac-12 center Josh Scott, after making  just one of his first 10 shots, scored on three straight possessions to help CU pull away from a 50-all tie. Scott finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.

Byron Wesley scored 23 points for the 12th-seeded Trojans (11-21).

STANFORD 74, WASHINGTON STATE 63: Chasson Randle scored 22 points to lead five Cardinal players in double digits and Stanford (20-11) advanced to Thursday’s quarterfinal against No. 3 seed Arizona State. The teams split two regular-season games.

WSU (10-21) got 25 points from DaVonte Lacy and was even at 50-all with just over 9 minutes left. But Stanford answered with a 10-0 run and mae 21 of 24 free throws to ice the win.

OREGON 88, OREGON STATE 74: The Ducks (23-8) missed their first nine shots, then made 30 of 43 the rest of the night to zoom past the Beavers (16-15).

Joseph Young had 19 points for Oregon, which will face No. 2 seed UCLA in Thursday’s quarterfinal. Jason Calliste added 17 points and Mike Moser had 13.

Angus Brandt scored 20 and Roberto Nelson 19 for the Beavers.

UTAH 67, WASHINGTON 61: Delon Wright had 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocked shots, leading No. 8 seed Utah over No. 9 Washington in a first-round game.

The Utes (21-10) face top-seeded Arizona on Thursday at noon.

Washington (17-15) got 16 points from Darin Johnson and 15 from freshman Nigel Williams-Goss. Star senior C.J. Wilcox shot just 4 for 15 and scored 14 points.


ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi, in his most recent NCAA projection, lists Cal as the “first team out” of the 68-team field. He has six Pac-12 teams in his bracket.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Rollonubears

    so tired of lunerdy. 6 teams and you leave out the #4? fool.

  • 1brsfan

    Most experts have us in the first four out/first team out as of today. Win tomorrow and hope for some bubble teams to lose to get us on the right side of the bubble.

  • Rollonubears

    It’s just silly because all of these guys are making predictions based on “if the season ended today.” but it doesn’t end today. these guys get paid to make predictions. they should be able to predict, with better than 50% accuracy, what’s going to happen to each team AFTER they play their last “pre-tournament” game. outside of that, the rpi is more reliable.

  • KC

    Good news is that Colorado had to work quite a bit to beat USC although would have been nice to see that game get to OT. Come on Bears, no slow start tomorrow!

  • 1brsfan

    Georgetown’s bubble burst with a bad loss tonight. Hoping WSU gives the Furd a bad loss too.

  • Steve Fischer

    USC’s missed shot at the end – allowed Colorado to escape. Colorado should be tired and really if we aren’t better than they are we don’t deserve to go. Beating them is not enough however.

  • Rollonubears

    didn’t colorado outrebound us 2:1 in the last game, defensively? we’re going to have to make our 3s if we’re to win this game. i hate being that team. they almost never make a run.