NCAA Tournament Bubble Watch: Cal Basketball Hanging On The Edge?

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The California Golden Bears men's basketball team might be into the NCAA tournament, but hardly anything is certain.

Bracketology: If you were to project where the Bears would end up in the tourney right now, where would they be? What would be an ideal Pac-12 tournament for them to improve their standing?

Vincent S: Before the last home game, I had us pegged at an 8/9 seed OF DEATH. The Stanford loss probably dropped us into a 10 slot, which presents some interesting theories on strategic Pac-12 tournament playing. If we play USC, I don't think losing would drop us out entirely; I do think it would drop us into the 12 slot, which would be ideal for a deep-ish tourney run. If we play Utah, a win probably wouldn't help at all; a loss would drop us squarely onto the bubble again. More wins push us back into 8/9 territory; 3 wins in 3 days (assuming we take down another Top-50 RPI opponent or two) would make us a 7 seed.

Norcalnick: I was feeling pretty confident, but then Nusser had to go and post 'Easy Bubble Solver' at CougCenter, which lists Cal as one of the first 4 teams out. That would imply that the Bears might need 2 wins and even then wouldn't feel safe. The bottom line: If Cal loses in their first game, we're going to have a very nervous wait. Something in the 9-11 range seems most likely, and maybe as high as a 7 if we win the conference tourney. I think a 6 seed is a bridge too far, but I hope I'm wrong.

LEastCoastBears: So this "Easy Bubble Solver" just sum up both the RPI and Pomeroy ranking for each school. Cal have had a pretty mediocre ranking by Pomeroy all season (that is the one where Furd is ranked above Cal for the bulk of the season, even while they continue to drop games and the Bears went on the 7 game win streak). I don't think we should read too much into this particular ranking, but I do worry about the Bears being relegated to that first 4 game in Dayton if we cannot win our Pac-12 tournament opening game.

As for the best case scenario, it would depend on not just whether the Bears win the tournament but also who they beat along the way. Oregon's RPI has been in a free fall with their late collapse, Cal would benefit from Oregon not losing their opening game to Washington. A Pac-12 tournament final win over Arizona would also be better than a win over UCLA/Colorado. Even in this optimal case, I think the Bears still only have an outside shot at a 6 seed, depending on what happens in the rest of college basketball.

atomsareenough: Right now? 9 seed, or maybe a 10 if we're lucky. I think we're solidly in though, as of now. If we lost to USC or Utah though, I'd be pretty anxious on Selection Sunday. If we go 1-1, we're probably still in the 9-11 range. If we go 2-1, I'd say 8-10. If we go 3-0 and win the Pac-12 tourney, depending on how we look, maybe we'd get up to a 6 or 7.

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