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Golden Nuggets: High Expectations for Cal Basketball

In case the second half in Autzen Stadium sucked all the excitement out of you for football season, you can start pumping the sunshine again after reading these two projections for Cal basketball.

I picked up two more college basketball annuals and Lindy’s has projected Cal to win the Pac-12 Conference and senior guard Jorge Gutierrez to earn conference player of the year honors.

Cal also is pegged No. 11 nationally by the magazine, the highest ranking we’ve seen from any publication.

"Mike Montgomery is coaching three of the best players in the conference," veteran West Coast college hoops observer Frank Burlison writes in Lindy’s. "Jorge Gutierrez becomes a cult hero in Berkeley and below the border with a deep tourney run."

The Sporting News, meanwhile, picks Cal third in the Pac-12 and No. 23 nationally. TSN projects the Bears as a No. 6 seed into the NCAA tournament.

Arizona is the choice of The Sporting News to win the Pac-12, followed by UCLA. The rest of their picks: 4. Washington; 5. Oregon; 6. Stanford; 7. OSU; 8. USC; 9. ASU; 10. WSU; 11. Colorado; 12. Utah.

After the jump the Bears are projected to play in the Las Vegas Bowl, meanwhile several other events in the state of Oregon end with a decisive Cal victory.