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Cal basketball to finalize Cuonzo Martin contract, Johnny Dawkins out at Stanford, Bears finish in top 25

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Go Bears!

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Three quick Cal basketball related stories before we turn our full attention to the Dance.

Cal issued a clear and definitive statement last night that regardless of what happens with now dismissed assistant Yann Huffnagel, the Bears are going to move forward and resolve the Cuonzo Martin contract situation after the season ends. Here is the statement from Cal Athletics.

The recent connection that has been drawn between the ongoing contract discussions with UC Berkeley's head men's basketball coach and the current situation regarding the notice of intent to terminate Assistant Coach Hufnagel are inaccurate. Coach Martin is the Cal men's basketball coach. We look forward to finalizing his contract.

The two time NIT champ is no more

Goodnight sweet prince. One of the most decorated coaches in college basketball, Johnny Dawkins is now out at Stanford. He shall be missed. Sort of.

""This decision was not easy and it was a very difficult discussion for both Johnny and me, but like everything else during his tenure at Stanford, he handled it with class, respect and the utmost concern for his student-athletes," said Muir. "There are so many great things that Johnny was able to accomplish on The Farm, including improving the graduation rate, achieving an Academic Progress Rate of 1000, an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance and two NIT championships. The student-athletes Johnny coached during his tenure at Stanford represented the University with class and humility."

"I want to thank the Stanford community for playing such an important part in the lives of Tracy and I and in the lives of our four children," said Dawkins, who compiled a 156-115 record in eight seasons at the helm. "While I am disappointed that we could not achieve the desired high level results, I leave proud of the tremendous young men who have given their all to the program and I know the future is bright for Stanford basketball.""

One of the most frustrating things about Dawkins was while he kept Stanford pretty mediocre, the Cardinal proved they could beat Cal on a pretty consistent basis during his tenure. Cal only swept Stanford once in the Dawkins era (2010, the Pac-10 championship season). The Trees kept Cal from winning a share of two straight Pac-12 titles in 2012 and 2013 on the final game of the regular season.

Also, Dawkins somehow lucked his way into a Sweet 16. Nothing drives me crazier than Johnny Dawkins going to the tournament ONCE and ending up in the Sweet 16.

Still, Stanford wasn't very good with Dawkins, as they backtracked from the glory days of Mike Montgomery. The Cardinal certainly have the deep pockets to hire a good coach. I do not want Stanford to have good coaches in the two major sports. We'll see who they go with.

Top 25!

In the meantime, Cal finished the regular season in the top 25 for the first time since 1994. Good times! Below are the AP and the Coaches Polls.

AP Poll

RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Kansas Jayhawks (63) 30-4 1,623
2 Michigan State Spartans (2) 29-5 1,552
3 North Carolina Tar Heels 28-6 1,488
4 Virginia Cavaliers 26-7 1,384
5 Oregon Ducks 28-6 1,371
6 Villanova Wildcats 29-5 1,283
7 Oklahoma Sooners 25-7 1,215
8 West Virginia Mountaineers 26-8 1,193
9 Xavier Musketeers 27-5 1,127
10 Miami-Florida Hurricanes 25-7 920
10 Kentucky Wildcats 26-8 920
12 Purdue Boilermakers 26-8 873
13 Utah Utes 26-8 870
14 Indiana Hoosiers 25-7 828
15 Texas A&M Aggies 26-8 682
16 Louisville Cardinals 23-8 585
17 Arizona Wildcats 25-8 559
18 Maryland Terrapins 25-8 489
19 Duke Blue Devils 23-10 383
20 Seton Hall Pirates 25-8 374
21 Baylor Bears 22-11 347
22 Iowa State Cyclones 21-11 317
23 California Golden Bears 23-10 270
24 SMU Mustangs 25-5 84
25 Iowa Hawkeyes 21-10 82
Others receiving votes: Texas 69, Notre Dame 61, Saint Joseph's 60, Connecticut 34, Stephen F. Austin 12, Dayton 11, Wisconsin 9, Wichita St 9, Gonzaga 8, Arkansas-Little Rock 5, Providence 4, Valparaiso 3, Butler 3, Cincinnati 3, Yale 3, Monmouth 3, Saint Mary's 3, Stony Brook 2, Michigan 2, Akron 1, Northern Iowa 1

USA Today Coaches Poll

RK TEAM RECORD PTS
1 Kansas (31) 30-4 799
2 Michigan State (1) 29-5 761
3 North Carolina 28-6 732
4 Oregon 28-6 673
5 Virginia 26-7 665
6 Villanova 29-5 610
7 Oklahoma 25-7 588
8 West Virginia 26-8 575
9 Xavier 27-5 548
10 Purdue 26-8 466
11 Miami 25-7 459
12 Indiana 25-7 421
13 Kentucky 26-8 418
14 Utah 26-8 379
15 Texas A&M 26-8 343
16 Arizona 25-8 323
17 Maryland 25-8 306
18 Baylor 22-11 227
19 Iowa State 21-11 199
20 Duke 23-10 172
21 Seton Hall 25-8 158
22 Texas 20-12 113
23 California 23-10 108
24 Iowa 21-10 100
25 Saint Joseph's 27-7 46
Others receiving votes: Notre Dame 41, Connecticut 36, Providence 25, Wichita St 21, Gonzaga 17, Saint Mary's 17, Wisconsin 15, Stephen F. Austin 11, Northern Iowa 9, Dayton 9, VCU 3, Yale 2, Butler 2, Cincinnati 1, Fresno State 1, Arkansas-Little Rock 1