The California Bears may be 20-10 on the season, but the way they have played down the stretch, they should be a lock to make the NCAA tournament.
California’s regular season is in the books and it finished in third place in the Pac-12. That is at least for the time being because at 12-6, the Bears are just a half a game out of first place.
The Bears dropped a crucial game to close out the regular season against Stanford, but before that game this team won seven games in a row, but wait there’s more. This including victories against Arizona, UCLA, Oregon and Colorado. Those are by far the top teams in the conference, not including California. However, the Bears also beat Oregon one other time this season.
Despite the slip up against Stanford last night, Cal proved that it is a team that should not only make the big dance, but is also good enough to make a lot of noise in it.
The computer rankings would not agree, though, considering that California is ranked No. 50 in the RPI and No. 52 in the BPI. That is most likely a result of Cal not taking care of business in its out-of-conference schedule, where it lost against Wisconsin, UNLV, Creighton and Harvard. All four of those teams have a great shot at joining the party this March.
The Pac-12 may not be looked at as the best conference in college basketball, but it has been a blood bath in that conference all season long, and it will likely not be decided until the last game of the regular season.
If the Bears lose their first game in their conference tournament, then it can be debated on whether if they should make the dance or not, but if they do win that game it should be a given for them to make the tourney.