The season comes to a close. Let’s take a look through the possible postseason possibilities for Mark Fox’s team.
NCAA March Madness Tournament
With Cal ending the season 13-18, there is only one route to March Madness and that is through winning the Pac-12 tournament this week. The Bears are the 10th seed and will face off in its first game against Stanford at 6PM PST on Wednesday. If the Bears were to win, They would need to get through UCLA in the Quarterfinals and then one of ASU(3), Washington State(11) or Colorado(6) in the semi finals. Its highly unlikely and not probable, but until tip-off anything is possible.
National Invitational Tournament (A.K.A. NIT, Not-In-Tourney)
The NIT went through a requirement change in 2017, so a .500 or higher record is no longer required to get a bid for the NIT. This honestly will come down to how many Pac-12 teams make March Madness. For the sake of the argument, let us assume #1 through #7 in the conference make the tournament, That would leave Oregon State and Utah as the next best teams in the conference and the likely teams from the conference to get a bid to the NIT. The Bears would need the NIT selection committee to REALLY love the Pac-12 for the Bears to get a bid here.
College Basketball Invitational
Now this is where it gets curious. The CBI picks from the field after the NCAA and NIT selections. That would leave the Bears as a P5 selection candidate. The only barrier to entry in the 16-team tournament is the $50,000 fee to participate. The teams compete on home courts of the higher seed, which would potentially give Cal another home game to the schedule. It would be great to see the team participate in a post-season tournament if given the opportunity, and a small little consolation prize for this team that has exceeded expectations this year.