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New Mexico 86, Cal 78: Are the Bears On the Bubble Already?

And seven games into the season, Cal is now staring at the bubble.

You might be laughing at this ("it's only December!"), but 4-3, with a tough game with Iowa State this Saturday and a sure loss at Kansas upcoming, combined with the Pac-10's overall perception as a weak conference has the Bears in the tough spot of having to win their conference to have any shot at a tournament bid. It's not a reality I'm happy with, but that's what it's looking like right now. More notes on yesterday's game against UNM after the jump.

Quick notes.

  • Jamal Boykin is a man beast, and his midrange jumper is a thing of beauty. Another 20-10 night.
  • Patrick Christopher started the game 3-4. He finished the game 2-10. This disappearing act is getting a little tiring.
  • Jorge off the bench>>>Jorge as a starter. No diss to Jorge, who is awesome, but defenses don't respect his shot the way they respect Theo.
  • For a moment, it looked like Jerome Randle was going to carry us to victory a la Arizona. Then New Mexico started trapping and playing up on him, and no one else could really step up.
  • Max played aggressive on offense, but New Mexico ran pick and roll straight at him late. Instead of blocking the shot, he ran with them and let them scoop in the big layups!!! AGGGH.
  • MSF picked up 2 fouls in 2 minutes and really didn't have much of an impact again.
  • Niiiiiikola nailed a few 3s. He was probably the third best player on the floor tonight. That is a sentence I never want to utter again this season.
  • Amoke was just never into the game, fouling out and playing like a guy with the flu. If he plays well we probably pull this out.
  • Our 3 point defense left something to be desired. Lots of clangs by New Mexico kept it close, but we really didn't really challenge their shots enough. And sometimes players were wide wide open.
  • The officiating was horrible (what do you expect in the Pit?). Didn't really cost us the game though; it just totally disrupted the ebb and flow so that neither team could really pull away. Frustrating, but a footnote for me--you don't go on the road in a loud, obnoxious environment and expect to get many calls.
  • We can't beat a zone right now. Syracuse with it's vaunted 2-3, now New Mexico with the 1-2-2.
  • If Cal was a healthy team, we probably win. But sometimes the real world isn't kind enough to hand us the ideal. Hopefully we get Theo back sooner than later and we can see what Cal can do at full strength. Right now we're at 70-75%. Just like our tourney chances.

    Are the Bears on the bubble?