Perhaps success has spoiled the longtime fans of the Stanford Cardinal women’s basketball team, but it’s a surprise to see the team ranked just 19th in the Associated Press poll and 20th in the Coaches Poll at this point in the season. What chance do the Cardinal have in the women’s NCAA Tournament?
Bay Area residents generally don’t think of St. Mary’s College in Moraga as being a basketball powerhouse, but the Gaels basketball team is on the verge of making the NCAA Championship Tournament for the fifth time in eight seasons if they can make a good showing this week in the West Coast Conference tournament.
There were days not so long ago when Santa Clara was the team none of the big boys wanted to play in the NCAA Tournament. Now, the Broncos struggle to even win the West Coast Conference title, thanks to the emergence of Gonzaga. But if there had been no Santa Clara, there would not be Gonzaga today.
It’s a down year for the Pac-12 in men’s basketball, as the conference is the “worst” of the Big Five this year, and when you throw in the basketball-only Big East Conference, the Pac-12 looks even worse in league comparisons. That hurts a borderline NCAA Tournament team like Stanford and absolutely pains a long-shot squad like Cal.
The Stanford Cardinal men’s basketball team lost to the Oregon Ducks at home Sunday night by a score of 73-70, and that leaves the team with an 18-10 record this year—including just 9-7 in Pac-12 play with a road trip to Arizona looming at the end of the week. The Cardinal will need at least one win in their final two conference games to secure a winning league record, a key mark for the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee.
The Cal Bears men’s basketball team will need a big finish to the 2014-15 season if they hope to make the NCAA tournament in March. Currently sitting at 17-12 with two games left in Pac-12 play, the Golden Bears need to get to .500 in conference and 20 wins on the season to have any chance at the Big Dance. Can they do it with two road games in Arizona this week? It will be tough.
The San Francisco 49ers will bid to host the college football playoff championship game at Levi’s Stadium.
Stanford led the entire game and was up by 15 with nine minutes left to play before Cal made a late push.
Here’s a scary thought: Anthony Davis, one of the top players in the NBA, would be a college senior this season. If players were forced to stay in school for four years, what would this season look like?
Which Pac-12 teams are in a good position to earn a bid? Which have a lot more work to do? With only two teams ranked in the top 25, there might not be much conference representation at the Big Dance.