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Golden Bears Set for Pac-12 Tournament
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  03/06/2012

March 6, 2012

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Game #32
California (23-8, 13-5 Pac-12) vs. Stanford/ASU
2012 Pac-12 Tournament Quarterfinals
Staples Center | Los Angeles, Calif.
Thursday, March 8 - 6 p.m. PT
Radio:
NewsTalk 910AM (Roxy Bernstein and Todd McKim)
Satellite Radio:
TBA
TV:
Fox Sports Net • Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
    
(Steve Physioc, Marques Johnson, and Rebecca Haarlow)
Live Stream:
www.Youtube.com/Pac12Conf
Opponent Web:
www.Pac-12.org

BERKELEY - The Golden Bears (23-8, 13-5 Pac-12, T-2nd) seek redemption after narrowly missing out on the first-ever Pac-12 regular-season title. Cal still has a lot to play for and can claim its own first as it quests for a Pac-12 Tournament crown. As the second seed in the bracket, the Bears received a first-round bye and await the winner between seventh-seeded Stanford and 10th-seeded Arizona State.

Cal has advanced to the championship game twice (2006 and 2010) and has won nine games since the tournament moved to the Staples Center. Washington won the league's regular-season championship and is the two-time defending tournament champion. Each time, the Huskies have taken out the regular-season title holder to win the crown; Cal in 2010, and Arizona in 2011.

The Bears need one more win to match its 24-win total from the 2009-10 championship season, but have been denied, twice. Cal lost two games in a row for the first time, this year, but has had four winning streaks of at least four games. In fact, the Bears have beaten everyone but Arizona at least once, this season. Under head coach Mike Montgomery, the Bears advanced to the championship game with a pair of impressive wins following its regular-season title in 2010.

Cal will invade Los Angeles led by senior Jorge Gutierrez fresh off Pac-12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors. Cal's offense features sophomore Allen Crabbe who received All-Pac-12 first-team recognition as the league's fifth-leading scorer (15.4 ppg). Senior Harper Kamp earned Pac-12 second team honors for the second time and has been on a tear of late with 82 points to lead the Bears with a 16.4 ppg average in the last five games. Sophomore G Justin Cobbsis having an outstanding year as the league's second-leading assist man (5.1 apg) and climbed into the top 10 at Cal for single-season assists with 157.

GAME RECAP (STANFORD): The Golden Bears dropped their second game in a row for just the first time, this season, in a 75-70 loss to Bay Area rival Stanford. The Cardinal celebrated its Senior Day by claiming its 20th win of the season and by denying Cal a piece of the first-ever Pac-12 title. The Bears secured the second seed in the Pacific Life Pac-12 Tournament and completed the regular season with a 23-8 mark (13-5 in Pac-12 games). Stanford led by as many as 15 points in the first half, but the Bears clawed back to trail by just five points at the break. The Cardinal capitalized on Cal's mistakes and scored 20 points off Cal's 15 turnovers and out-shot the Bears, 46.7 percent to 40.7 percent. Still, a free throw by sophomore G Allen Crabbe put Cal within two points at the one-minute mark of the game. In the end, Stanford caught all the bounces and secured the win at the charity stripe. Senior F Harper Kamp logged his 50th-career double-digit scoring game with 19 points and added seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Crabbe led all players with 20 points and hit on four of his nine three-point attempts. Freshman F David Kravish added 13 points and grabbed eight boards, but Cal's guards were held in check as senior Jorge Gutierrez had eight points and four turnovers and sophomore Justin Cobbs had six points on 3-for-14 shooting. Cobbs did have eight assists and a career-best eight rebounds in the losing effort. For the Cardinal, Chasson Randle led the way with 17 points, but senior F Andrew Zimmermann had a career night with 13 points on 12 shots. Aaron Bright was the difference down the stretch as he scored from the line to complete his 12-point outing.

GUTIERREZ NAMED PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Senior G Jorge Gutierrez was named the Pac-12's Player of the Year and was also honored as the league's Defensive Player of the Year. It was the first time in conference history that the same player has received the two awards, let alone in the same year. The only other time that the same team has earned both awards was in 2007-08 when UCLA's Kevin Love was chosen for Player of the Year and Russell Westbrook was named Defensive Player of the Year. Gutierrez also received his second nod for All-Pac-12 first-team honors and earned his third appearance on the All-Defensive Team.

PAC-12 POSTSEASON AWARDS: Sophomore G Allen Crabbe parlayed last year's Pac-10 Freshman of the Year award into a selection to the Pac-12 All-Conference First Team, this season. Senior F Harper Kamp earned his second All-Pac-12 second-team honor and sophomore G Justin Cobbs received all-conference honorable mention. Forward David Kravish was selected to the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team. This year was the third time in four years that Cal has had at least two first-team representatives. Patrick Christopher and Jerome Randle were each first-team selections in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

BUILDING A CASE: Although the Pac-12 has played through the national perception that it is a weak conference this season, the Bears have climbed the ratings as the year has progressed. As of March 5, Cal was rated 22nd in the Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings (www.kenpom.com) and 30th in the Sagarin Ratings Index (www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/bkt1112.htm). The Bears opened the season ranked in both the AP and Coaches Top 25 polls but have been unranked for several weeks.

MURRAY RECEIVES PAC-12 HONOR: The Pac-12 Conference will induct former Cal standout Lamond Murray into the Pac-12 Hall of Honor presented by Bank of the West during the 2012 Pacific Life Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament. Murray left Berkeley as one of the most prolific scorers in Golden Bears history. In his three seasons with Cal (1992-94), he helped his team to two appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including the Sweet 16 in 1993. He was a two-time All-Pac-10 first-team selection, a U.S. Basketball Writers second-team All-American, and an AP third-team All-American. He earned Pac-10 All-Freshman recognition in 1992. Murray still holds several school records, including most 20-point games in a season (23) and a career (46), most consecutive double-figure scoring games (51) and most points in a season (729 in 1993-94). Murray declared for the 1994 NBA Draft after his junior year and went to the Los Angeles Clippers as the seventh overall pick and played 11 seasons in the NBA (1994-2006).


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