Bracketology 2014: Cal basketball on that bubble watch

Jeff Gross

As the calendar turns to February, it's time to start looking at that bubble.

It was fun for awhile thinking we were headed toward tournament lock status, but three straight losses have soured those predictions for our California Golden Bears.

Bracketologists like Joe Lunardi and Jerry Palm still have us in the tournament. Cal gets one of the last four byes in his latest bracketology, finishing as an 11th seed against St. Louis in San Antonio in the South region (if we got an upset there, we win the honor of a rematch with Creighton. Goodie!). Palm is a bit kinder to Cal, seeding us 10th in Spokane against Virginia, with a second round date with San Diego State likely on the menu.

Good news is that the conference profile is doing much better thanks to a solid non-conference performance and Arizona being Arizona. Lunardi has SEVEN Pac-12 teams in the tournament, but five of them are probably bubble teams or soon-to-be-bubble teams (Arizona State also is one of the last four byes, Stanford and Oregon are in play-in games, and Colorado is sinking). Palm has six, with Oregon the first team out and Arizona State one of the last teams in.

How can Cal reverse the tide? Well, a win tomorrow would erase all of the damage done by the USC loss, but if they can't do that Cal will really need to win the next three games. The Bears are still a tournament team today, but that bubble watch will be strong.


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