Cal Awaits NCAA Fate After Loss

The waiting game has begun. California had a great shot to improve its seeding in the NCAA Tournament with a solid run in the Pac-10 Tournament. However, after Thursday night's 79-75 loss to USC in the quarterfinals, the Golden Bears are likely a No. 8 or 9 seed at best. Jerome Randle led the Bears with 18 points. Cal drops to 22-10...

After an uninspiring performance in the first half, the real California Golden Bears stood up after the break to overcome a 15-point deficit to pull even late. However, two late missed free throws and a turnover both by Jerome Randle, led to a frustrating four-point defeat in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament on Thursday evening at the Staples Center.

The Golden Bears never led in a game in which they were embarrassed in the rebounding department 53-27. As they have all season, Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher led Cal in scoring, 18 and 15 points, respectively. Jorge Gutierrez had what for him would be considered an offensive explosion , adding 14 points and five assists before fouling out with 30 seconds remaining in the game.

USC's Taj Gibson was a monster all evening scoring 21 points and posting 16 boards. Guard Daniel Hackett, who has had trouble late in games from the charity stripe, made four free throws in the final four seconds to ice the game for the Trojans.

Cal finished third in the Pac-10 this season and seems to be a lock for the NCAA tournament, but with such a quick ousting in the conference tournament, I don't think anyone is counting his or her chickens yet.

Game Notes

  • USC Head Football Coach Pete Carroll was in attendance, along with Los Angeles Laker Owner and USC alum Jerry Buss.
  • USC broke a string of six straight losses in the opening game of the Pac-10 Tournament.

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