Is Cal-Stanford destined for a revived rivalry?

March 8, 2012, 6:25 am
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Somebody tell Jorge Gutierrez that a rivalry is about to be born. Again.You might recall the Cal guard opining after the Bears' win over Stanford on January 29th that he didn't think this was a rivalry because, "Whoever is on top is our rival." I'm guessing the Cardinal gleaned some motivation from that last Sunday, when they beat Cal at Maples and denied the Bears a regular-season conference title.Now, it's the Bears who will be motivated by revenge when the two rivals - yes Jorge, it's true - meet for a third time this season on Thursday. Cal will also be playing to secure its status as an NCAA tournament team. Personally I think the Bears are in regardless, but losing three straight to end the season is not the best way to announce your presence with authority to the selection committee.Expect an all-out war at Staples.PAC-12 Tournament notes:
Stanford is supremely confident right now, having won three of the last four in impressive fashion. Perhaps nobody is feelings it more than Chasson Randle, whose 27 points in the first half against ASU were a tournament record for points in a half. Randle finished with a career-high 30.At the other end of the confidence spectrum is Josh Owens. The fifth-year senior - and all conference performer - has scored a total of six points in the last two games. He's committed eight fouls during that stretch.Former Stanford coach - and current Cal coach - Mike Montgomery looked awfully calm as he sat courtside during Wednesday's game, enjoying a tub of popcorn. I am guessing Monty will be substantially less calm before tipoff.The crowd at Staples was modest at best, even for the battle of hometown teams! UCLA and USC. The crowd at the MGM Grand will likely be much more impressive next season, if the tournament moves to Vegas as expected. That topic has been by far the most buzzworthy this week.One team nobody seems to want a part of right now: Oregon. The Ducks have won four straight and six of seven, and with an RPI of 51 might well be one win away from an at-large NCAA bid. And for what it's worth, they pass the eyeball test.

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