It’s very early in what promises to be a volatile Pac-12 basketball season.
A victory by Cal (12-4, 2-1) on Saturday evening at Oregon State (10-3, 1-1) and the Bears could possibly move into a tie for first place.
A loss and the Bears suffer their first two-game sweep in the state of Oregon since 2005.
The 6:30 p.m. matchup (Pac-12 Networks) features a pair of teams coming off their first conference defeats of the season.
Cal had swept Colorado and Utah at home the previous weekend, but lost 68-65 at Oregon on Wednesday night.
OSU beat those same Ducks 70-57 on the opening weekend of the conference schedule, then sustained a 78-72 home loss to Stanford in a game the Beavers never led after the opening 6½ minutes.
“I think maybe a little bit of the performance the other night was these guys are learning how to handle success,” OSU coach Wayne Tinkle told the Corvallis Gazette-Times.
Exactly which team was Tinkle talking about?
Certainly could have been Cal, which was so good the previous weekend but turned the ball over 18 times, shot 0 for 12 from the 3-point arc and missed 10 free throws in a sloppy loss to the Ducks.
“We can’t let a loss linger over to a different game,” senior point guard Tyrone Wallace said afterward. “Oregon State is what we’re focused on. We’ve got to come out and learn from this game tonight, come out and play harder, correct our mistakes. We’ve just got to play better.”