BERKELEY, Calif. -- It appears the Buffs will have to win four games in Las Vegas instead of three to repeat as Pac-12 Tournament champions.

Tad Boyle said Colorado's 62-46 loss to Cal on Saturday at Haas Pavilion squashed his hopes for a top-four finish and bye at the conference tournament.

That means the Buffs (19-9, 9-7) will begin play at the MGM Grand on Wednesday, March 13, likely as the No. 5 (vs. No. 12) or No. 6 (vs. No. 11) seed.

CU beat Utah, Oregon, Cal and Arizona at the Pac-12 Tournament in Los Angeles last season to earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

The feeling inside the Buffs locker room, despite settling for a split of the Bay Area road trip, is that the program is in position for an at-large berth in two weeks on Selection Sunday.

"Last year was pretty exciting but this year we have more control of what we can do," CU guard Sabatino Chen said. "After our last road trip it came down to we weren't going to the tournament unless we won four games in four nights. That's very hard to do. ...

"Being in better position helps us with a young team being more relaxed because we don't have to be in do-or-die mode right now. That's definitely to our advantage."

CU was swept by Oregon and Oregon State to close out the regular season a year ago. The Ducks and Beavers visit the Coors Events Center this week.


"We've got two homes games we need to take care of before we can start thinking about the tournament. They are both great opportunities for our team," Boyle said. "Oregon is coming in on Thursday and they're a top-25 team. We have to take care of whatever we need to take care of and get ready for the Ducks. Then we have senior day against Oregon State. Two big games."

Bears that escaped

Cal's seventh consecutive victory had a lot to do with the performances of freshman guard Tyrone Wallace (16 points, 11 rebounds) and sophomore forward David Kravish (14 points, 11 rebounds).

Boyle wanted Wallace and Kravish to be Buffs.

"Both those kids were on recruiting visits to Colorado and came to Cal instead," Boyle said. "That stings a little bit."

Super recruit Jabari Bird was planning to visit Boulder last fall, but the Richmond, Calif., standout canceled the trip and has also committed to Cal.

Bird, a 6-6 guard, has has since been named a McDonald's All-American. He joins Matt Beeuwsaert (1984), Jason Kidd (1992), Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1995) and Leon Powe (2003) as Bears selected to play in the annual showcase of the nation's top high school players.

Glass half empty

The Buffs shot 23.1 percent from the field despite coming down with 20 offensive rebounds, which only led to 11 second-chance points.

Six of Josh Scott's 11 rebounds were on the offensive glass.

"We got 20 offensive rebounds, but we couldn't convert on them," Boyle said. "It was an unbelievably physical game and we weren't able to get to the free throw line."

The Bears were a perfect 10-for-10 at the free throw line while the Buffs went 10-for-15.

Cal won the overall battle of the boards 46-36 with 14 offensive rebounds.


The CU-Cal series is now tied 11-11 with the Buffs falling to 1-9 all-time in Berkeley. ... It was a season low for CU in points (46), field goals (15) and field goal percentage (23.1). ... Andre Roberson had five rebounds and is 36 away from breaking Stephane Pelle's CU record.

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