The California Golden Bears are set to square off against UNLV in the round of 64 set to begin on Thursday.
According to USA Today's expert, Patrick Stevens, UNLV's 76-75 win early in the season at Berkeley wasn't a fluke and will carry over into this year's NCAA Tournament. But Cal at the time had yet to navigate all the way through the difficult and underrated Pac-12 Conference.
That means it's Cal against the basketball-watching world, and it's no different from the overall disdain that everyone outside of the West Coast has toward the Pac-12 in general.
Fortunately, the games have to be played, and Pac-12 Player of the Year Allen Crabbe could showcase his superstar form and will the team to a win in its first tournament game. He's that good. Coach Mike Montgomery's squad is battle-tested, and, if they play their best, can compete with anyone. Fortunately in a 40-minute game, that's all that's necessary to win one game.
That's always the goal in March -- to follow the old cliche.