California Golden Bears at Stanford Cardinal – NCAAM March 10

Pac-12 Tournament, Round 1

(6) Stanford (14-12, 10-10) vs. (11) Cal (8-19, 3-17)

  • Time: 7 PST – 9 CST – 10 EST
  • Place: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
  • TV: Pac-12 Network

Opening Tip:

Stanford and Cal meet for the third time this season as the Cardinal took a 70-55 decision in Berkeley on Feb. 4 and then staved off the Bears at Stanford on Feb. 20.

The Cardinal has been on a four-game losing streak to end the season which started with that triple overtime loss to Washington State. Stanford has suffered through some late season injuries which have disrupted it’s chemistry.

The Bears have also dropped four in a row, and 12 of the last 13. The last four have been by an average of 13.8 points per game.

Both teams have split four games in Pac-12 Tournament play as Cal dropped Stanford, 63-51, in last season’s opening round. The Bears and Cardinal meet in the opening round for the third time in the last four seasons.

Vs. The Spread

Cal:

  • The Bears are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 13 of the last 20 Bears games
  • Cal is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings with Stanford

Stanford:

  • The OVER has been the play in 13 of the Cardinal’s last 18 outings
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of the last six games between the Cardinal and Bears
  • Stanford is 1-6 ATS in it’s last 7 games in March

Last Time Out

California closed the regular season on Feb. 27 with a 74-63 loss at the hands of Oregon. Ryan Betley led four Bears in double figures as the Cal defense struggled with Oregon’s athleticism. The Ducks shot 52.7 percent from the floor and led wire-to-wire.

USC routed Stanford, 79-42, last Thursday as the Trojans jumped to a 17-2 lead and the Cardinals was never able to stop the USC offense or solve the Trojans’ defensive game plan. Stanford shot 25.4 percent from the field in dropping it’s fourth in a row.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
California +6 (-105) +220 O 132 (-110)
Stanford -6 (-115) -260 U 132 (-110)

Advantage, Cal:

California Golden Bears Logo 101x101The specter of the rivalry and losing two games that were close overall should be a motivator for the Bears. Coach Mark Fox is in the second year of a rebuild in Berkeley and with the rigors of covid, California has not progressed the way it wanted to. Matt Bradley (18.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg) is the leader for the Bears and needs to have a solid start to give them confidence as he has taken 112 free throws while netting 36 threes. Bradley is a tough matchup both inside and out. Andre Kelly has scored double figures in his last four games and he is second in the league in field goal percentage with 58.3 from the field.

Key Bears Stat:

Cal hopes to get Ryan Betley (48 3s) and Makale Foreman (44 3s) rolling as the two is sixth and ninth, respectively, in three-pointers made and they have both made multiple triples in 13 different games. They face a Stanford three-point defense that only allows opponents to make 32.9 percent of three triples, but opponents have made about eight per game.

X-Factor:

Cal wants to see Grant Anticevich (8.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg) get rolling once again as he has made only 3-of-10 shots and grabbed five rebounds in his last two games. He could be used in a reoccurring role as a three-point shooter or as a burly defender with his 6-8, 230-pound frame.

Advantage, Stanford:

Stanford Cardinal LogoFirst, it’s a huge advantage for the Cardinal if Daejon Davis, Bryce Wills and Oscar de Silva (18.8 ppg) are ready to come back from injuries. Davis and Wills look set while de Silva is still listed as day-to-day with a lower leg injury. Defensively, the Bears have had lots of flaws as they allow opponents to make 38 percent of their triples. Stanford is better at taking teams all the dribble and using their size in the post, but Spencer Jones could find shots on the perimeter as he is the Cardinal’s leading three-ball maker with 43.

Key Cardinal Stat:

Stanford is 12-3 when the Cardinal gets multiple assists from at least three players. Stanford also posted at least 15 assists in five of it’s Pac-12 wins. Ball security is a key as Stanford does turn the ball over 15 times per game on average but the Bears force only 11.7 per game. Freshman Michael O’Connell has done a solid job as the leading assist man with 68.

X-Factor:

How Stanford has rebuilt it’s chemistry due to the ongoing injury issues during the season will be an important part of reminding it’s continuity. The turnovers, the struggles in the three-point game and the lack of a rebounding prowess are all things that were part of those injuries and then the displacement to the Santa Cruz Warriors G-League facilities until it was safe enough for them to come back into Maples Pavilion and Santa Clara County in order to play.

Winner: Stanford (-6) 71, Cal 63

The Bets
Stanford -6
-115
Stanford
-250
OVER 132
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.