Cal botches chance to share Pac-12 title, hurts at-large hopes

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Stanford’s win Sunday over Cal gave Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins a huge win against his school’s rival and his first 20-win season since 2009.

But the outcome was even bigger for Washington.

Instead of sharing the Pac-12 title with the Bears, the Huskies claimed it outright. It’s just their second outright league crown in the last 59 years – and boosts their chances for an at-large NCAA tournament berth. An outright title is something the NCAA seeding committee has favored in the past.

As for the Bears (23-8, 13-5 in Pac-12), they were barely even in this game. Stanford never trailed after taking a 6-4 lead and led by as much as 15 before Cal made it close at the end. But it scored just one point in the final 1:52, committed a turnover and allowed Stanford to grab two crucial offensive rebounds.

Cal could still earn an automatic bid – it’ll be the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament – and an at-large berth remains a possibility. But at this point, the Bears can’t plan on anything.

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