NCAA March Madness Odds: Stanford Cardinal vs California Golden Bears
Thursday, March 08, 2012
by Mike Stewart
That defeat cost the second-seeded Golden Bears the Pac-12 regular-season title and the seventh-seeded Cardinal strive to hand their heated rivals another devastating setback.
A one-and-done showing in the conference tourney could keep the Golden Bears from landing an at-large NCAA tournament berth. Stanford defeated Arizona State on Wednesday behind 30 points from freshman guard Chasson Randle.
California Golden Bears (23-8): Senior guard Jorge Gutierrez was named Pac-12 Player of the Year, but he struggled down the stretch and scored just eight points on 3-of-13 shooting in the Golden Bears’ regular-season ending losses to Colorado and Stanford. It goes without saying that California needs Gutierrez (12.9 points, 4.0 assists) to re-emerge. “Jorge is really fighting demons right now and isn’t able to get much done,” Golden Bears coach Mike Montgomery said. “We need Jorge. He defended extremely well. He gets himself in trouble, he gets frustrated – we need him.” Sophomore wing Allen Crabbe averages a team-best 15.4 points and joined Gutierrez on the All-Pac-12 first team.
Stanford Cardinal (21-10): Randle set a Pac-12 tournament record by scoring 27 first-half points in the 85-65 victory over Arizona State. The 30 points were a career-best performance for a player who averages a team-leading 13.6 points. Randle hit 7 of 11 field-goal attempts (including six 3-pointers) and was 10 of 12 from the free-throw line. “He came out focused,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. “I thought his teammates were terrific. They did a great job of finding him, recognizing he had it going and they delivered the ball to him in some excellent places and he completed the plays.”
1. Stanford’s win on March 4 was just its second in the last seven contests against California.
2. Crabbe averaged 19.0 points in the two meetings with Stanford – scoring 20 in one and 18 in the other.
3. Cardinal senior forward Josh Owens averages 11.8 points but tallied just 13 points in two games against the Golden Bears.
NCAA BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Golden Bears 69,Cardinal 63.
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