After seemingly having a top four seed in the Pac-12 tournament and at least a low NCAA tournament seed in place sown away a few weeks ago, Cal completely fell apart in the final three weeks of the season, dropping four of their final five games and losing every chance to pick up signature RPI wins. Cal will enter the Pac-12 tournament almost assuredly being on the wrong side of the bubble, and will have to score some upsets to get back on the right.
Cal’s first opponent will be the Oregon State Beavers, which is just a terrible match for the Bears in every way. Cal should win going away, but the Bears take an RPI hit regardless—The Beavers have won a grand total of five games, one in conference play. There is nothing to be gained from playing Oregon State at this late juncture.
If Cal wins, their next matchup will be against four seed Utah, a team they literally just played and got dismantled by 30 points in Salt Lake and barely squeaked out a win against in Berkeley. Not encouraging.
If Cal wins there, their next matchup will be against the Pac-12 regular season champion. It’s looking like it’ll be Oregon unless Oregon State pulls off an upset for the ages. The Ducks swept Cal in the regular season. If Oregon loses, Arizona would be the 1 seed, and the Wildcats also swept Cal in the regular season.
Cal probably has to pull off an upset in the Pac-12 semifinal to land their signature win and put themselves back on the right side of the bubble. Cal currently has only two wins against RPI Top 50 opponents: USC and Princeton. A strong finish to the season is imperative more than ever.
Cal’s game against Oregon State will be on Wednesday at 2:30 PM Pacific on Pac-12 Networks. Here is the potential schedule for Cal this weekend.
- Wednesday: Cal vs. Oregon State, 2:30 PM PT, Pac-12 Network
- Thursday (if Cal wins): Cal vs. Utah, 2:30 PM PT, Pac-12 Network
- Friday (if Cal wins): Cal vs. Oregon (or 8/9 upset), 6 PM PT, Pac-12 Network
- Saturday (if Cal wins): Pac-12 championship, ESPN