So. After falling twice to Stanfurd, even an improbable weekend sweep would probably leave our Bears well off the NCAA tournament bubble. Thus, the only motivation is the intrinsic value of good basketball as a springboard to next season, and the opportunity to exact some revenge upon Oregon, who played a major role in sending Cal into their tailspin with an improbable comeback win in Berkeley.
The Ducks, at 8-8, will perhaps feel that this is a must-win game for them to secure an NCAA tournament spot for themselves. They were on a 3 game winning streak that had seemingly propelled themselves off the bubble before a surprise loss to Colorado complicated matters.
As you already know, it’s the Ionescu show. The inevitable Pac-12 freshman of the year is averaging 14 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists/game and has notched multiple triple doubles. I’ll pause while you all gnash your teeth and rend your garments in frustration.
The Ducks are roughly 7 point favorites at home. For a game at the end of a tough season, this would be an immensely satisfying win - wound a rival, keep Cal above a cluster of teams trying to avoid finishing in last place in the conference, and end the season with a positive note on the road. Those are all pleasant goals prior to the conference tournament next week. Go Bears!