Cal Basketball: Pac-12 Championship, NCAA Tournament On The Line

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Will Cal basketball win the Pac-12? What's the best possible scenario for the Golden Bears to win the NCAA Tournament?

Where do you think Cal will finish in the Pac-12? What is the most optimal scenario for the Bears?

TwistNHook: Well, I think the optimal scenario is winning the Pac-12. Perhaps there is some more optimal scenario in regards to the seeding for the Pac-12 Tournament, but I am not sufficiently knowledgeable regarding that. Why should we be afraid to play anybody? Why should we be trying to dodge anybody in earlier rounds? They should be afraid of us! They should be trying to dodge us! Cal is red hot right now and playing on a different level from earlier in the year. Hopefully, that will continue! Hopefully!

Here are the standings as of Sunday March 3, 2013:

Oregon 23-6 (12-4 in the Pac-12)

UCLA 22-7 (12-4 in the Pac-12)

Cal 20-9 (12-5 in the Pac-12)

Arizona 23-6 (11-6 in the Pac-12)

So, Cal is in 2nd place right now with only 1 game remaining. We play Stanford on Wednesday. Oregon plays Colorado and Utah. UCLA plays the Washingtons. Our best case scenario is 13-5. We need Oregon to at least split. We beat them twice, so we presumably have the tie breaker there. We split with UCLA, so I am not sure what the tie breaking situation is there. Or if there are Co-Champions. In theory, 3 teams could tie at 13-5 (Cal, UCLA, Oregon). Not entirely sure what happens there. Best if Oregon and UCLA lose both and Cal wins, so Cal has a clean Pac-12 championship!

LEastCoastBears: I am still holding out hope for a share of the conference title since both Oregon and UCLA have to play on the road. As much as it is a nice accomplishment for this year's team to add to the banner for NCAA tournament appearance, another Pac-12 Conference Championship banner is what I would love to have. It would also look great complement to the one that the Women's Basketball team have earned.

ragnarok: I believe with Arizona's loss yesterday, Cal is assured of a top 3 seed in the tournament, and since they swept Oregon and split with UCLA, I think they'd have the tiebreaker in any potential scenario where Cal beats Stanford next week and one or both of those teams lost.

But, as Ohio Bear points out, I don't think it really matters that much which seed Cal gets, as long as they don't have to play on the first day. Colorado, Arizona State, USC, Washington and Stanford will finish 5-9 in some order, and I don't see a particular advantage in playing any of them in the second round -- all are beatable, but Cal has also lost to all of them except USC, which just swept the Arizona schools this past week. And if Cal gets into the semifinals, there isn't a dominant team between Oregon, UCLA and Arizona that I'd want to see on the far side of the bracket. This is a pretty wide-open league, and the best case scenario is that favorites hold on the first day so that Cal doesn't draw Oregon State, Washington State or Utah, all teams that might give you a game, but will assuredly drag down your RPI.

FrankCohen: I will make an optimistic (though still somewhat realistic) prediction. I think the Bears will finish with a share of the Pac-12 title and, through tie-breakers, a #1 seed in the conference tournament. I think Oregon loses at Colorado and UCLA slips up against an inconsistent but at times pretty good Washington squad. Obviously, looking at where the Bears were standing 7 games ago, this is a remarkable situation to even be discussing.

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