Women’s basketball: Cal to face WSU

No. 2 seed Cal’s quarterfinal game Friday at the Pac-12 tournament in KeyArena in Seattle will be Washington State after the No. 7 seeded Cougars (16-15) beat Oregon 107-100 in their opening-round game.

The 20th-ranked Bears (21-8) beat the Cougs twice this season, but needed overtime to post a 75-68 win at Berkeley on Feb. 27.


UCLA’s men beat Washington 91-82, preventing the Huskies (16-14, 8-9) from joining Cal, Stanford, Oregon and Utah in the logjam for fifth place.

Jordan Adams scored 31 points for the Bruins (23-7, 12-5), who have clinched the No. 2 seed to the Pac-12 tournament.


Women’s basketball: Bears get No. 2 seed, will face WSU or Oregon in Pac-12 tourney

The 18th-ranked Bears (21-8, 13-5) are seeded No. 2 for the Pac-12 tournament and will play in Friday’s quarterfinal against the winner of a Thursday first-round game between No. 7 Washington State (15-15, 9-9) and No. 10 Oregon (15-14, 6-12).

The Bears beat WSU twice this season and defeated Oregon in the teams’ only meeting.

Friday’s quarterfinal game will tip off at 6 p.m. at KeyArena in Seattle.

With a win Friday, Cal would advance to Saturday’s 8:30 p.m. semifinal game. The championship game will be played Sunday at 6 p.m.

All Pac-12 women’s tournament games will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks, except the championship game, which will be aired on ESPN.


Basketball: Pac-12 reprimands Arizona’s Sean Miller, fines him $25K for postgame incidents

The Pac-12 Conference announced Sunday it has reprimanded and fined Arizona coach Sean Miller $25,000 for two postgame incidents after the Wildcats’ loss to UCLA in the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament.
Immediately after the game, Miller confronted a game official on the floor, and then acted inappropriately toward a staff member in the hallway of the arena. 
“The Conference has a formal system of evaluation and feedback in place for coaches to express concern about officiating,” said Pac-12 Commissioner, Larry Scott.  “Coaches play a significant role in the overall officiating program and are expected to address concerns through the structure provided.
“Threatening, intimidating and unprofessional conduct will not be tolerated.”
Pac-12 officials are graded on game performance.  Future assignments are based on this grading structure as well as coach feedback, the conference explained in its news release.  The Pac-12 previously warned Miller about inappropriate, postgame conduct toward officials.
“Even in tense and trying moments following a game, we expect Pac-12 coaches to conduct themselves in a professional manner,” said Scott. “Our coaches represent their teams, their universities and our conference.  We expect them to set an example for our student athletes and to meet the highest standard of sportsmanship and behavior on and off the court.” 

Basketball: Ducks top UCLA for Pac-12 title

Oregon got 20 points from Carlos Emory and 19 from Johnathan Loyd to beat top-seeded UCLA 78-69 for the Pac-12 tournament title on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Arsalan Kazemi added 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Ducks (26-8), who secure the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

UCLA (25-9) played without starting guard Jordan Adams, who suffered a season-ending broken foot in the semifinal win over Arizona. All five starters scored in double figures for the Bruins, led by Shabazz Muhammad and Larry Drew II, with 14 points apiece.


Basketball: Pac-12 tournament update

It will be UCLA — albeit shorthanded — vs. Oregon in Saturday night’s Pac-12 tournament championship game.

Here are capsules of Friday night’s semifinal games:

— UCLA 66, ARIZONA 64: Freshman Jordan Adams scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half, but broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot on the final play of the game and has been declared out for the rest of the season. The top-seeded and 21st-ranked Bruins (25-8) won despite a 4-for-11 shooting performance by star freshman Shabazz Muhammad (11 points) and an 0-for-5 effort by PG Larry Drew II (scoreless). No. 18 Arizona (25-7), which still hasn’t won the Pac-12 tournament since 2001, got 15 points from freshman Brandon Ashley, formerly of Bishop O’Dowd HS. Next: UCLA will face Oregon in Saturday’s 8 p.m. championship game. Arizona is certain to receive an NCAA tournament at-large bid.

— OREGON 64, UTAH 45: The Ducks (25-8) took control early and got 14 points apiece from senior E.J. Singler and freshman Daymean Dotson to send home the 10th-seeded Utes (15-18). Jordan Loveridge and Jarred DuBois — who totaled 41 points in Utah’s win over Cal — combined to shoot 1 for 18 against the Ducks. Next: Oregon will face UCLA in Saturday’s 8 p.m. championship game. Utah’s season likely is over.


Basketball: Walton zings Bears, Monty

Courtesy of the Pac-12 Networks, here are a few “Waltonisms,” random remarks by analyst Bill Walton made during the broadcast of Cal’s Pac-12 tournament game vs. Utah.

At the bottom, check out his rather direct criticism of Cal coach Mike Montgomery and his team’s execution at the end of regulation against Utah:

“Fantastic pace to this game. Shot clock not a factor, refs inconsequential; Players soaring like eagles here over the desert sky.” – Walton on early pace of the Cal-Utah game.

“I love guys that shoot without dribbling. When I watch basketball, I say, ‘what has happened to this game?’ All it is these little guys dribbling incessantly, aimlessly, without purpose, only to draw attention to themselves. Please save us.”

“You have to have the attitude that everybody’s watching every play. That’s what your youth coaches teach you, that’s what your college coaches teach you…Every play is critical on every level.” – Walton on players responding when on a national stage.

 “(Jordan) Loveridge used a stiff-arm, Rick Neuheisel is here; He’ll appreciate that one, but this is basketball.” – Walton on Utah F Jordan Loveridge.

“Cal has got to get going again and stop thinking the world is against us. Quit feeling sorry for yourself and start playing ball. You had a chance to win and you couldn’t turn him (Jarred DuBois) back and you didn’t commit a foul. It would have been an easy one to finish off right there, but you let a left-handed guy dribble to his left and hit his own shot. DuBois has been doing that pretty much all night, pretty much on command all season.” – Walton on Cal’s response to Utah forcing overtime.



Basketball: Utah game thread

FINAL SCORE: Utah 79, Cal 69.  The Utes score the first five points of the OT period and never trail. They made 13 of 16 FTs to ice the win. “In overtime their confidence went sky high and we kind of put our chin to our chest,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery conceded. The Bears (20-11) dropped their second straight — they haven’t won a game since beating Colorado on March 2 — and head into Selection Sunday just the littlest bit unsure. Said Montgomery, when asked if the Bears deserve a spot in the field: “I’ll give my stock answer … as if my opinion means anything to anybody: The answer to your question is yes.” Cobbs scored 26 points and Crabbe had 21. DuBois led the Utes (15-17) with 21 points and freshman Jordan Loveridge had 20. 

OVERTIME: DuBois hits a 3-pointer from the left wing with 4 seconds left to tie the score at 59-all and we have overtime.

0:17.7 2nd H: That’s why you call timeout — Loveridge misses the third and Crabbe rebounds. He’s fouled and shoots 1 and 1 — hits first, and second for a 59-56 lead.

0:17.7 2nd H: Loveridge makes first two FTs. Cal calls timeout leading 57-56. At 28.2 seconds, Crabbe had two FTs — missed the second. Kind of big right now.

0:17.7: Utah’s Jordan Loveridge shooting 3 FTs with Utah trailing 57-54.

3:39 2nd H: Two free throws by Crabbe and a layup by Wallace and Cal leads 52-50.

6:30 2nd H: Freshman Jordan Loveridge hits consecutive 3-pointers and Utah leads 50-48. Utes have outscored Cal 14-4 over the past 5 minutes to overcome Bears’ eight-point lead.

11:30 2nd H: Cal ran off eight straight points and led 44-36 after a jumper by Kreklow with 13:58. Utah failed to score on nine consecutive possessions. But it’s now 44-38 after a layup by Brandon Taylor, who will shoot one FT after the timeout.

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Basketball: Pac-12 tournament update

Day 2 of the Pac-12 tournament is under way at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

We’ll give you updates after each of the four quarterfinal games:

— UCLA 80, ARIZONA STATE 75: The top-seeded Bruins (24-8) trailed by 15 points with less than 17 minutes left, but maintained their composure and slowly chipped away. Travis Wear scored six of his 15 points in the final 1:30 to get UCLA over the hump. Larry Drew II scored 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting and Shabazz Muhammad had 16 points and nine rebounds in his Las Vegas homecoming. Center Jordan Bachynski had 22 points for ASU (21-12) and freshman Jahii Carson added 21, giving him 55 in two days. Next: UCLA will play Arizona in the 6 p.m. Friday semifinal. ASU is likely to get an NIT bid.

— ARIZONA 79, COLORADO 69: The fourth-seeded Wildcats (25-6) led by 11 at halftime and held off a strong, late push to turn away the Buffaloes (21-11). Nick Johnson scored 18 points on 6-for-7 shooting to leads the Cats, Mark Lyons scored 14 points and Solomon Hill had 13. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 18 for the Buffaloes and Andre Roberson contributed 15 points and 11 rebounds. Next: Arizona will play UCLA in the 6 p.m. Friday semifinal. Colorado awaits a likely NCAA at-large bid.

— UTAH 79, CAL 69, OT: Cal (20-11) trailed 18-11 out of the gate, went up 33-32 by halftime, extended that to 44036 with 14 minutes left. But Jarred DuBois sent the game into OT by hitting a tough 3-pointer with 4 seconds in regulation. Utah (15-17) never trailed in the extra period. Justin Cobbs (26) and Allen Crabbe (21) combined for 47 of the Bears’ 69 points. DuBois scored 21 and Jordan Loveridge had 20 for the Utes (15-17). Next: Utah plays in the 8:38 p.m. Friday semifinal vs. Oregon. Cal awaits a likely NCAA at-large bid on Saturday.

— OREGON 80, WASHINGTON 77, OT: Rice transfer Arsalan Kazemi scored 11 of his 14 points in overtime after Johnathan Loyd forced the extra period by making two FTs with 16 seconds left in the second half.  Tony Woods had 19 points and Daymean Datson 17 for the Ducks (24-8). C.J. Wilcox scored 19 and Scott Suggs 18 for the Huskies (18-15). Next: Oregon faces Utah in the 8:38 p.m. Friday semifinal. Washington awaits a possible NIT bid.


Basketball: Utah game preview

TIPOFF: 6 p.m. Thursday at MGM Grand Garden Arena. TV/Radio: Pac-12 Networks/910-AM.

The Utah team Cal faces in Thursday’s Pac-12 tournament quarterfinal has won three in a row against conference opponents for the first time in its two seasons in the league. The Utes are on a roll and feeling good about themselves.

They also know they haven’t beaten Cal in two seasons, including a 64-46 loss at Berkeley just two weeks ago.

“I feel like we’re coming together at the right time,” senior center Jason Washburn said after Wednesday night’s 69-66 opening-round win over USC. “This team is really starting to understand what we need to do to win basketball games against good, solid teams.

“We’re going up against a good defensive team with arguably the best player (Allen Crabbe) in our conference. We’re going to have to be even better than we were tonight. We’re going to have to take the fight to them.”

No doubt, Utah got some mileage out of a home sweep of the Oregon schools last weekend. They played loose and with confidence against the Trojans, twice building double-digit leads, then calmly delivering big plays each time USC began to mount a rally.

“That’s the growth of our team,” coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “We’re trying to get from Point A to Point B. We still have to learn how to win.”

Krystkowiak, who played college ball for Mike Montgomery at Montana, said the Utes will have to take their game up another notch against his mentor’s Cal squad.

“Not take anything away from USC,” he said, “but we’ve got to be a lot more physical and better defending the basketball against the team we face (Thursday) or it could be a little bit embarrassing for us.”

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Basketball: Handicapping the Pac-12 tourney

How wide open is the Pac-12 tournament, which runs Wednesday through Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas?

“I don’t have any qualms saying nine teams are capable of winning the thing,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. “You try to say somebody is clearly better than someone else — you could not say that.”

No argument from Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins. “Looking at how the season ended, based on the some of the upsets I’ve witnessed,” Dawkins said, “I think anybody has an opportunity.”

Exhibit A: Seven of 10 games last weekend were won by the lower team in the standings, including victories by Utah over Oregon and Oregon State over Colorado, and a sweep of the L.A. schools by Washington State.

Click here to read the rest of my story.

Allen Crabbe was named Pac-12 Player of the Year this week.
(Susan Tripp Pollard/Staff)