Today’s tipoff at Maples Pavilion may be the final regular-season game of Pac-12 Conference play, but with the conference tourney looming, both teams — Cal and Stanford — have much to play for.
For Cal, whose 70-57 loss against Colorado last weekend ended a six-game winning streak, it’s simple — win and create as much momentum as possible heading into the postseason.
But whatever may be on the line today, Bears coach Mike Montgomery argues that the point is moot.
“The mentality of the thing is, we’ve got a highly competitive game against a quality opponent on Sunday,”
Montgomery said, whose team has battled Washington all year in the race for the regular-season crown.
For Stanford, a win would avoid them being Cal’s red carpet into the postseason, which is what they were in 2010 when Cal defeated the Cardinal in their final regular-season game to win the title.
“They have some experienced guys that have led them through the season, and they’ve played consistently well,” Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins said of Cal.
But where Cal has executed consistently, Stanford has not.
Stanford showed potential after drumming Colorado 74-50 a week ago, but days later the Cardinal fell 58-57 against lowly Utah.
“We’ve been in that position a few times this year,” Dawkins said, chalking up his team’s fickle play to inexperience and immaturity on the perimeter and backcourt. “And when you do that … you’re going to have moments where they take you to some amazing places, and unfortunately, you’re going to have moments where they take you to some amazing places the other way. You just gotta work through it.”
But the Cal skipper isn’t sleeping on erratic Stanford.
“I don’t see where those two games [Colorado and Utah] have anything to do with preparing for a team,”
Montgomery said, noting Stanford’s formidable depth. “They’ve got real legitimate talent … they have a lot of combinations of different people that provide different sorts of problems for you. So you have to prepare that way.”
Cal vs. Stanford
WHEN: Today, 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: Maples Pavilion, Stanford
TV: Comcast SportsNet California
RADIO: KTCT (1050 AM), KNEW (910 AM)