The California Golden Bears women's basketball team has had the most up-and-down season in the sport. The team came out of nowhere and skyrocketed up the rankings after winning their first 13 games. After peaking at number 20 in the AP rankings, the Golden Bears subsequently lost five of their next six games. California did not get discouraged after losing a lot of close games, and they look like they may be back on the right track after securing a win over the Arizona Wildcats in their last game.
It is tough for the California Golden Bears to get too discouraged about their lack of consistency since they have already matched their win total from last season. The recent struggles can be tied to playing a lot of very tough teams in a short time period. The Golden Bears have not lost a game by more than 10 points all season, so they certainly had their chances to win some of those games.
The success of the California Golden Bears will come down to the success of their offense on a nightly basis. California is currently the 10th best shooting team in the nation, but they consistently had trouble scoring during their recent losing streak. Hitting open shots was not a problem against the Arizona Wildcats, which is why they got an easy 11-point win.
This team simply commits too many turnovers to overcome a poor shooting day. If the Golden Bears are going to limit their offensive shots by continuing to commit a lot of turnovers, then they must be an efficient shooting team at the same time. The shots were falling during the long winning streak. Once the offense hit a cold streak, the Golden Bears started losing games.
Despite losing five of their last seven games, the Golden Bears still have a chance to get back in the top 25 rankings before the end of the season. While they are not in the rankings at the moment, they are still getting a few votes. One or two big wins should be enough to get attention of the rest of the voters. If the Golden Bears can pull off a road upset of the Washington Huskies in a few days, then they will clearly deserve to be recognized as one of the best 25 teams in women's college basketball.
Even if they are not able to defeat the Huskies, California will still get plenty opportunities to get a few signature wins. The Golden Bears have five games against ranked opponents before the end of the regular season. Winning the two home games against UCLA and Stanford should be enough to get ranked. It will also help lock up an appearance in the NCAA tournament. A lot can happen in the final 10 regular season games for the California Golden Bears. Getting the offense back on track will secure their spot as one of the best teams in the sport. If they continue to struggle, then they will miss the NCAA tournament for the second straight season.