FACTS & STATS: Site: Maples Pavilion (7,391) -- Stanford, California. Television: FSN. Home Record: California 17-1, Stanford 13-3. Away Record: California 5-5, Stanford 5-6. Neutral Record: California 1-1, Stanford 1-1. Conference Record: California 13-4, Stanford 9-8. Series Record: California leads 144-114.
GAMES NOTES: The storied rivalry between the California Golden Bears and the Stanford Cardinal will be renewed in a regular season finale in the Pac-12 Conference at Maples Pavilion that has conference title implications.
This will be the 259th meeting all-time between these two West Coast schools and the second this season. California took that game by a 69-59 score and now leads the all-time series by a 144-114 margin.
California took a loss to Colorado its last time out but can still claim a share of the Pac-12 regular-season crown with a win this evening. The Golden Bears trail Washington by only a half game in the standings following Washington's loss to UCLA on Saturday. With a victory, Cal would win a tie- breaker for the top-seed in the upcoming conference tournament by virtue of its regular-season win over the Huskies.
Stanford has had a respectable season thus far with a 19-10 overall mark and a 9-8 Pac-12 record. The Cardinal are locked into the seventh-seed for the Pac-12 Tournament after losing two of its last three games, including last weekend's 58-57 heartbreaker at Utah.
California had won six straight before falling on the road to Colorado by a 57-57 final score. The Golden Bears finished shooting at just a 38.0 percent clip and failed to find any consistency from three-point range (5-of-16) in the losing effort.
The Pac-12 has a number of high-scoring offenses this season and California is right near the top. The Golden Bears are scoring 72.0 points per game which is third in the conference while leading the Pac-12 in assists (16.1 apg) and field goal percentage (.481). Defensively California is also strong, allowing just 60.8 points per game. The Golden Bears are a team that focuses on production from its guards with its three major contributors all playing in the backcourt. Allen Crabbe (15.2 ppg) is the team's leading scorer and filled that role again against Colorado putting in 16 points to lead three players in double figures. Behind Crabbe, Justin Cobbs (13.0 ppg, 5.0 apg) and Jorge Gutierrez (13.0 ppg, 4.1 apg) have also been capable, while Cobbs is currently second on the conference leader board in assists. Senior forward Harper Kamp (11.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and freshman David Kravish (6.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg) anchor the team in the paint.
Stanford has been off since last Saturday when the Cardinal fell 58-57 on the road to Utah. The Cardinal had plenty of chances in the second half, holding the Utes to only nine field goals in the last 20 minutes, but turned in only a 28.6 percent shooting performance in the second period in the loss.
As a team Stanford is just above the middle of the Pac-12 offensively, at 69.8 points per game. Although not as strong as California's defense, the Cardinals are respectable, surrendering 62.1 points per game. Chasson Randle and Josh Owens have formed a solid duo that powers the Cardinal this season. Randle, a freshman guard, is leading the team with 13.0 points per game and is coming off a 19-point effort in the loss to Utah. He is averaging 17.5 points per game in the last four contests. Owens, a senior forward (12.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg) is the elder statesmen and leads the Cardinal on the boards. Aaron Bright (11.0 ppg, 3.6 apg) gives the team another option and has shown flashes of scoring ability during the season.
Beating Stanford at Maples Pavilion is a tough task as the Cardinal own a 13-3 mark at home. With its strong guard play and a share of the conference crown and top-seed hanging in the balance, the Golden Bears should have plenty of motivation.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: California 68, Stanford 64
03/04 10:37:02 ET
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