Bubble Watch: Red Hot Cal Firmly in NCAA Tournament Field

By David LaRose
Kelley L. Cox- USA TODAY Sports

Record: 20-9 (12-5) RPI: 45 SOS: 44

Not many people outside of the Pac 12 have really cared to notice but Cal is the hottest team in the West not named Gonzaga.

The Golden Bears are 9-1 in their last ten games including a current seven game winning streak. Their recent success has vaulted them into the Pac 12 regular season title race and they have just as good of a shot as anybody to win it with their only game remaining against rival Stanford. Unlike last year, when the Pac 12 regular season champion didn’t make the NCAA Tournament, there should be no doubt that this year’s champ will firmly be in the field of 68 come Selection Sunday and Cal will be right there.

If not for their recent hot streak Cal would most likely be on the bubble but it’s hard to say they are on the bubble now. Most “bracketology” predictions have them slotted as a No. 9 seed right now but it’s reasonable to see them rise even higher if they win the P12 title and then fare well in the conference tournament next week.

Looking at their resume there is not many weaknesses to it besides just a mediocre 8-9 record against the RPI top 100. They do not have any bad losses and they have beat up on the top teams in the conference for five wins against RPI top 50 teams. They swept Oregon and they beat Arizona, UCLA and Colorado all in their last ten games.

At this point it’s not to say whether Cal is in the tournament field or not but rather how high can they climb?

David LaRose is a College Basketball writer for Rant Sports covering the Pac 12 and the University of Colorado. He’s also a member of the USBWA. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Facebook page.

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