Cal basketball off the bubble, plus Pac-12 tournament scenarios

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Can Cal earn a bye? It is surprisingly plausible.

Well, we did it. I didn’t know we had it in us a month ago, but we have managed to play ourselves off the edge of the bubble. It’s pretty likely we’re on the outside going in.

And for once, it’s practically unanimous.

So according to the two most accurate bracketologists, we are lucky number 69! Who’s feeling that NIT #1 seed???

And after all of this, we’re probably right back in the mix of things with a convincing win against Colorado and a win in the Pac-12 Tournament. Monty’s Bears have always liked to play it close to the vest when it comes to tournament bids; why should this team be any different?

Oh well. Back to things we can kind of control, like Pac-12 Tournament scenarios.

Colorado basketball blog The Air Up Here helped to break down Pac-12 Tournament tiebreaker rules, and there are surprisingly many ways in which Cal can end up with a first round tournament bye. You know, contingent upon them winning today (if they don't win, throw all these scenarios out the window, we'll be getting to Vegas a day early).

Let's break them down

Scenario 1

Furd beats Utah, Arizona beats Oregon, Arizona State beats Oregon State. ASU clinches 3 seed, Cal, Colorado, Furd tie with 10-8 record and go 4, 5, 6 in that order. This is highly plausible and actually the current projection that Pomeroy has (yes, yes, I know it's hard to imagine Cal could beat five koalas dressed up for church right now, but that is the current projection).

Scenario 2

Furd beats Utah, Oregon beats Arizona, Arizona State beats Oregon State. ASU clinches 3 seed, Cal, Colorado, Furd, Oregon tie with 10-8 record and go 4, 5, 6, 7 in that order. This is also plausible; Arizona has nothing to play for Saturday (they are a lock for a number one seed unless they bomb in Vegas) and could just rest their starters.

Scenario 3

Utah beats Furd, Oregon beats Arizona, Arizona State beats Oregon State. ASU clinches 3 seed, Cal, Utah, Colorado, Oregon tie with 10-8 record and go 4, 5, 6, 7 in that order.

What we don’t want
Arizona State to lose to Oregon State. This will mean Cal will be a five seed at best regardless of our game.
Utah to beat Furd AND Arizona to beat Oregon.
Cal to lose because duhhhhhhhhh.

(I'm not going to bother breaking down the scenarios in which Cal doesn't get the third or fourth seeds because none of them really make much of a difference to me.)

Consider this your open thread for all other Pac-12 hoops action outside of Cal-Colorado. Here are the games that matter that we should pay attention to through the day.

Schedule

Utah vs. Furd, 11:30 AM, Pac-12 Network
Arizona vs. Oregon, 1 PM, CBS
Arizona State vs. Oregon State, 1:30 PM, Pac-12 Network

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