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Basketball: Cobbs settles for NIT, but Cal senior has assembled excellent senior season

UPDATED

This isn’t where Justin Cobbs wanted to be.

“Nobody wants to play in the NIT,” the Cal point guard said a couple weeks ago as the Golden Bears were pursuing an NCAA tournament bid.

But Cobbs and the Bears (19-13) find themselves in college basketball’s consolation tournament Wednesday night, taking on Utah Valley (21-11), regular-season champs of the Western Athletic Conference. Tipoff at Haas Pavilion is 7:30 p.m.

If Cobbs isn’t entirely satisfied by the final chapter of his senior season, he no longer harbors the doubts about his own game that followed him to Berkeley as a transfer from Minnesota in the fall of 2010.

“I just didn’t know if I was good enough,” said Cobbs, who averaged 2.1 points as a freshman with the Golden Gophers before jumping to Cal. “I put expectations on myself to at least go in and contribute, at least help the team in some way. I went in and really didn’t do anything.”

Cobbs has delivered for Cal, even while struggling at times to find a balance between his dual roles as scorer and floor leader.

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Cal announced that (presuming a victory Wednesday) it would host a second-round game against Arkansas (a 91-71 first-round winner over Indiana State) either Sunday or Monday.

Jeff Faraudo