Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
It's going to be a wild final week in the Pac-12. How can Monty and the Bears earn a share of the Pac-12 title and a possible #1 seed in the Pac-12 tourney?
While the women's team took care of business and locked up the program's first conference crown, the men's team is in for a wild final week if they want to earn a share of the title. Faraudo looks at Cal's path to the title and examines the Pac-12 Tournament tiebreakers.
So which games will Montgomery — and all Cal fans — be watching this week as the regular-season conference schedule ends?
– CAL: It starts — and could finish — with the Bears’ home finale on Wednesday against rival Stanford. Tipoff is 8 p.m. and the game will be aired on ESPN2. Stanford beat the Bears 69-59 back on Jan. 19, before Cal began its torrid streak of nine wins in 10 games. If the Bears can avenge that loss, they’ve done their part.
– UCLA: Also hits the road, for games Wednesday at Washington State and Saturday morning at Washington. Can’t imagine the Bruins stumbling against the last-place Cougars, but an 11 a.m. tip against the erratic but still-capable Huskies could be a stumbling block.
Tiebreaker scenarios: Here’s the good news — should the Bears finish in any combination of ties for the title, they would win the tiebreaker to earn the No. 1 seed into the Pac-12 tournament. All teams involved still would claim a share of the championship; the tiebreaker only impacts seeding for the conference tournament.
Cal would win a tiebreaker vs. Oregon by virtue of its 2-0 season sweep. The Bears split two games vs. UCLA, but would win the tiebreaker because the next step in the process is record vs. the next team in the standings, which would be Oregon. And Cal swept the Ducks.
Likewise, Cal would win a tiebreaker if all three teams finished at 13-5 because its combined 3-1 record against the other two is better than either the Ducks or Bruins can claim.
Get the popcorn ready.
- The details of Sonny Dykes' contract have finally been revealed. His five-year contract gives him an average of $1.94m per year.
- After Goff's strong performance on Wednesday, the staff gave him plenty of reps on Friday. Dykes says Goff is much better than the average true freshman, though he noted that Goff occasionally looks like a player in his first semester. Dykes was concerned about ball security. He used the words "flying around" to describe the defense. It sounds like the receivers could use some work--Dykes says his system places a greater emphasis on their technique and fundamentals than the WRs expected. He feels more comfortable about their depth, although no one receiver has stood out so far. The RBs also had a subpar day, as Dykes noted they were worn out by the end of practice.
- Rivals reports from practice. Goff received about 60% of the snaps on Friday. While Goff excelled with deep throws, Kline showed great precision on his throws. Drake Whitehurst says the coaches are about to decide on the top two QBs. Kenny Lawler was the most impressive WR during Friday's drills. Kyle Kragen was the best defensive player of the day as he routinely abused Cal's tackles. Instead of the sledgehammer-tire drill, the injured players did an MMA-boxing-style workout. Fun fact: Tony Franklin isn't afraid of offending delicate ears with his profanity.
- Kenny Lawler is making a push to be the team's top WR.
- Coach Gottlieb and the Bears have earned the program's first ever conference title.
- The celebration was even better than the players and coaches expected.
- A solid team effort propelled the men's team to a win over Colorado.
- Faraudo's game thread follows along as the Bears blew open the game over the final seven minutes.
- Monty praised the Cal defense during the post-game press conference.
- How can the Cal men earn a share of the Pac-12 crown? Faraudo looks at the possible scenarios.
- It was a rough weekend for the Bears. They opened the Astros Foundation College Classic with a 9-0 loss to Baylor.
- Except for an 8-run fourth inning, Cal played a decent against no. 1 North Carolina. They lost 11-5.
- It was a great weekend for the Bears. Despite only two hits, Cal defeated Northwestern 2-0.
- Lindsey Zeigenhirt's 7 RBI propelled Cal to an 11-3 win over Cal Poly.
- Cal defeated Indiana 9-1 and Wisconsin 5-3 on Saturday to cap a perfect weekend.
Track and Field
- The no. 9 Bears lost 6-1 to no. 26 Stanford.
- The top-seeded men's team did not advance past the quarterfinals at the Pacific Coast Doubles Tournament.
Swimming and Diving
- Freshman Collin Pollard finished fifth on the platform at the Pac-12 Championships.
- The women's team finished third at the Pac-12 Championships.