Note: For the men’s open thread vs. ASU Scroll down!
Time: 2 PM PST/5 PM EST
Radio: Calbears.com Radio
Few people truly know and understand the inner workings of the NCAA tournament selection committee. Comparing two teams from across the country with no common opponents to decide who plays who and where? But those rare few who claim to understand the process see Cal as a team right on the edge of an invitation to the NCAAs, which makes today’s game against Arizona St. potentially a functional play in game.
Nobody would punish Cal for losing to Stanford next Saturday. But they very much will punish Cal if they lose in the desert and get swept by the Sun Devils. If Cal wins they will probably end the season alone in third in the Pac-10. Lose and the Bears could fall as far as fifth. I don’t want to say that this game is the difference between the NCAAs and the NIT, but…this game is probably the difference between the NCAAs and the NIT.
Another intriguing plotline for this game is redemption for the one that got away. When Arizona St. came to Berkeley, Cal appeared to have the game in complete control after a strong second half run gave the Bears a 10 point lead with four minutes to play. But Cal’s offense stagnated, Danielle Orsillo caught fire, and the Bears missed a golden opportunity to put space between themselves and the middle of the conference. They will get one more chance today, with potentially even more on the line. So what does Cal need to do?
1) Win the rebounding battle. ASU is one of the better rebounding teams in the Pac-10 and they pulled down 13 more boards than the Bears last time. In a way it’s impressive that Cal should have beaten ASU anyway despite losing a battle that’s so integral for most of Cal’s success this season.