5 Reasons California Won’t Make 2014 NCAA Tournament
5 Reasons California Won't Make The NCAA Tournament
The California Golden Bears' 2013-14 season has been filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. From a big victory over a top-five team at home to a loss to an awful rival on the road, the Golden Bears just can't seem to put it all together. California fans don't want to hear this, but this squad does not have the feel and look of an NCAA tournament team. The Golden Bears might play their way back in, but if the tournament started today, they do not have a good enough resume to make it.
After two consecutive tournament appearances under coach Mike Montgomery, the Golden Bears will be scratching and clawing for a chance at the tournament. With talented players like Justin Cobbs and Richard Solomon, this team is way too talented to be just 18-10 this season. The only way the Golden Bears will reach the big dance this year is to win out and win the conference tournament. However, given their earlier games against the best of the Pac-12, this is unlikely to happen.
Stranger things have happened, though, and that is why the term "March Madness" was created. The Golden Bears have put themselves in this predicament with bad losses to inferior teams, zero impressive road wins, struggling late in the year, mediocre conference play and not being competitive against the top teams in the country.
It is not beyond the realm of possibility for the Golden Bears to get two quality wins in their last three regular season games against the likes of Arizona State and Colorado. However, here are five reasons why the Golden Bears will ultimately miss out on the NCAA Tournament and instead participate in the NIT Tournament.
5. Blowout Loss To Arizona
The Golden Bears' lost their chance to solidify their resume in a big time way against the Arizona Wildcats. With the Wildcats wanting revenge for their first loss of the season, Arizona dominated the Golden Bears in Tucson 87-59. This was California's last marquee game against an elite program.
4. 6-6 In Their Last 12
Approaching tournament time, teams are supposed to be playing their best basketball of the year late in the season. The Golden Bears have not gotten the message, posting a 6-6 record in their last 12 contests. Among this stretch of contests was the victory against Arizona but also losses to USC, Arizona and two losses to UCLA.
2. Bad-Losses To UC Santa Barbara & USC
Great wins can vault potential bubble teams into the tournament, but bad losses can also do opposite thing. Road losses to sub-100 RPI teams in UC Santa Barbara and crosstown rival USC will dampen any hopes for an at-large bid and mitigate their earlier win against the Wildcats.
1. 3-7 vs. RPI Top 50
Against the best teams in the country, teams are supposed to be at least competitive in order to get some leeway with the selection committee. The Golden Bears not only came up small against these big name teams, but they also failed to show up in most of these games. In losses to Arizona, UCLA, Creighton, Syracuse, Arizona State, and Stanford, the Golden Bears lost all of these games by double digits. California's only good win was against an Arizona team that lost star Brandon Ashley in the second half, and the game came down to a Justin Cobbs buzzer-beater.