The California Golden Bears earned the fifth seed in the Pac-10 after they obliterated the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday in Haas Pavilion and the Washington St. Cougars fell to the UCLA Bruins in Pullman. It was a season filled with trepidation and difficulty--Cal had to replace five seniors and deal with the departure of three others, the transfer of Gary Franklin mid-season, and have to play a band of freshmen, walk-ons, and transfers to rally around Jorge Gutierrez, Markhuri Sanders-Frison, Harper Kamp and Brandon Smith. Nevertheless, Mike Montgomery teams have always been pretty resilient, and the end result to this season was a 10-8 record in the conference and a 17-13 overall finish. Cal will end up playing the USC Trojans in their first game, a team they've beaten in Galen Center by two and lost at home to by three.
The Stanford Cardinal had a promising start to conference play, beating Cal and going 3-1, including an upset of Washington. But they've tanked down the stretch, winning only four of their final 14 games and dropping all the way from 10-5 to 15-15 overall on the season. As the eighth seed, they draw the ninth seeded Oregon St. Beavers and will play them on Wednesday night.
Both teams pretty much have to win out to go to the NCAA tournament. They'll definitely have tough roads ahead.