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Cal Basketball

Pac-12 Tournament Opens With Stanford

March 12, 2024
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BERKELEY – The 2024 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament begins Wednesday in Las Vegas, with seventh-seeded California opening play against 10th-seeded Stanford at 6 p.m. PT at T-Mobile Arena. The first-round contest will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.

GAME INFORMATION

Date & Time: Wednesday, March 13 | 6 p.m. PT

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada | T-Mobile Arena

Watch: Pac-12 Network

Listen: 810 AM & The Varsity Network App | Justin Allegri (PxP)

Live Stats: Statbroadcast

Pac-12 Tournament Central: Bracket | Tournament Central

CAL AT PAC-12 TOURNAMENT

The Golden Bears (13-18, 9-11 Pac-12) finished the regular season in a three-way tie for sixth place in the Pac-12 standings and are the seventh seed in the tournament following the league’s multi-team tiebreaking procedure. It’s Cal’s best tournament seed since being the No. 5 seed in 2016-17.

Cal has never won the Pac-12 Tournament, owning an 18-25 all-time record at the event.

With a win over Stanford (13-17, 8-12) in the first round, the Bears would face second-seeded Washington State in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

 

INSIDE THE MATCHUP

Cal is 3-2 against Stanford (13-17, 8-12) at the Pac-12 Tournament. The two Bay Area squads have renewed their rivalry three times at the tournament since 2018, with the Bears most recently defeating Stanford in back-to-back first-round matchups in 2020 and 2021.

Cal and Stanford both defended their home courts to split the regular-season series. Cal overcame a 10-point second-half deficit to win the first matchup 73-71 in Berkeley on Jan. 26, before Stanford rolled to an 80-58 win that closed the regular season on March 7.

Cal head coach Mark Madsen – a Stanford alumnus and 2019 Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame inductee – earned All-America honors twice while leading the Cardinal to four NCAA Tournament appearances between 1996-2000, including the 1998 Final Four.

Stanford head coach Jerod Haase was a freshman guard on Cal’s 1992-93 Sweet 16 squad.

 

LAST TIME

Stanford snapped a six-game losing streak and won for just the second time in its last 10 games with an 80-58 win over Cal last Thursday.

The loss was Cal’s third straight on the road to conclude the regular season.

Fardaws Aimaq scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds while Jaylon Tyson added 15 points.

Stanford scored nine straight points to take an early 14-7 lead and the Bears trailed the rest of the way.

The Cardinal shot 47% (27 of 57) from the field and hit 12 of 24 from 3-point range.

Cal was held to 35% shooting and committed 17 turnovers, its most since a double-overtime loss at Butler on Dec. 9.

 

NOTEWORTHY

Cal’s tie for sixth place in the Pac-12 standings is its best regular-season finish since tying for fifth in 2016-17. The Bears were picked 11th in the 2023-24 Pac-12 Preseason Media Poll in October.

The Bears’ 9-11 record marked their most conference wins since going 10-8 in 2016-17, and all nine wins came against different opponents.

Jaylon Tyson established himself as one of the top players in the country this season, being the only major-conference player averaging at least 19.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. Tyson finished the regular season ranked third in PPG and eighth in RPG among Pac-12 players.

Tyson’s first season as a Golden Bear ranks among the program’s best ever in terms of scoring. His 17 20-point games are the most by a Golden Bear since Jerome Randle (17) in 2009-10, and his 589 total points are the 12th most by a Cal player in a single season. Tyson is just four points shy of tying Mark McNamara for 10th on the program’s single-season scoring list.

Fardaws Aimaq finished the regular season ranked atop the Pac-12 and fifth nationally in both rebounds per game (11.0) and double-doubles (19). He’s on pace to become the sixth Golden Bear ever to average at least 11.0 RPG in a season and the first since McNamara in 1981-82. Aimaq’s 342 total rebounds this season are the fourth most in program history, and he’s only six boards shy of passing Bob Presley (1967-68) for third all-time.

Aimaq is one of five major-conference players averaging a double-double this season. Of those five players, Aimaq is one of two averaging at least 14.7 PPG and 11.0 RPG, joining Purdue’s Zach Edey, the reigning consensus National Player of the Year. Aimaq’s 19 double-doubles are the most by a Pac-12 player since Arizona’s Deandre Ayton had 24 in 2017-18, and he’s one shy of tying the program single-season record, shared by McNamara (1981-82) and Ansley Truitt (1971-72).

21 of Cal’s 31 regular-season games were decided by single digits, tied for the most nationally. Cal has won six of its last seven such games.

Cal is 9-3 when holding opponents to fewer than 75 points. The Bears have allowed 69.7 PPG in 13 wins versus 81.7 PPG in 18 losses.

The Bears scored 80-plus points in seven conference games this season, tied for their most since doing the same in 2010-11.

Jalen Cone is 16 points shy of 2,000 for his career. Cone, who averages 13.2 PPG this season, is third in the Pac-12 with 2.71 3-pointers made per game. He averaged 15.3 PPG with 10 total 3-pointers made across Cal’s most recent three wins, which came consecutively between Feb. 17-24.

Jalen Celestine’s 44% 3-point clip (44 of 100) is third among qualified Pac-12 players. The lefty has made two-plus 3-pointers in 14 games.

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Pac-12 Tournament Opens With Stanford

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