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The California Golden Bears are moving closer and closer to an NCAA Tournament bid, but winning the final three games will be essential to their efforts.
We're inching a little bit up the bubble. Where do you project the Bears right now, and what do you see Cal needing to do the rest of the way to get in?
Vincent S: First Four 12 game. To stay in (and assuming other bubble teams keep pace), I think we need at least 3 wins, assuming we don't lose to Utah. A Colorado win would help, but not fully, mitigate a trip-up against Stanford at home. Critically, I think Oregon's RPI has to stay in the top 50, and it would be nice if USC would stay top-100. I also think that 4 wins in any fashion gets us out of the First Four.
Ohio Bear: Right now, I still see Cal as one of those "last four in" teams that would have to play in Dayton in the opening round. But if the Bears can win their final three games, they have more than a realistic chance of getting out of that opening round and escaping a Dayton trip. I am no bracketology guru by any means, but if the committee truly takes into account how a team is playing at the end of the season (i.e., last 10 or 12 games), then Cal would not look like a "last four in" type of team anymore if it rides an eight-game winning streak going into the Pac-12 tournament.
LeonPowe: It seems to me we're no longer in the play in games - the national media has talked us up with being a "hot team" I think that has to have a small but tangible effect on the selection committee.
FrankCohen: If the season ended today, I think we'd be an 11 seed. If we win out in the regular season (a distinct possibility), we are in the tournament regardless of our performance in the Pac-12 tourney. If we win 2/3 (with a loss against Colorado or Stanfurd), we'd probably need one win in the conference tourney to feel entirely safe, though we'd probably still be in (though this also depends on who we face in the conference tourney).
There are a ton of possibilities, so I'll just estimate our chances of making the tourney right now at about 70%.
LEastCoastBears: The Bears are still no lock for the tournament, although we continue to trend in the right direction. To truly feel comfortable about their chance, I would like the Bears to win at least 4 more games (which could be 2 of the last 3 regular season and then 2 more in the Pac-12 tourney). A win over Colorado may be huge in terms of possibly avoiding that dreadful first round game in Dayton.