The Docket 1/22: Golden Bears Look To Keep Pace With No. 1


Feb 17, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears guard Tyrone Wallace (3) defends against USC Trojans guard J.T. Terrell (20) during the first half of the game at Haas Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The top-ranked Arizona Wildcats are not alone atop the Pac-12 Conference with their perfect 5-0 conference mark. No, they have company in the form of the still-unranked Cal Golden Bears.

Cal (14-4 overall) returns to Haas Pavilion Wednesday night looking to keep pace with the Wildcats when the USC Trojans visit. Actually, Cal could take the outright lead in the conference … for a day, anyway—Arizona hosts Colorado on Thursday.

The Golden Bears have won the last four times they’ve faced the Trojans, who are just 9-9  overall and 0-5 in the Pac-12 under first-year coach Andy Enfield, the darling of last year’s NCAA tournament after he took No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast to the unlikeliest of Sweet 16 appearances.

Cal swept last year’s meeting at Haas Pavilion 76-68 on Feb. 17 and last lost to the Trojans in Berkeley on Feb. 17, 2011. Cal will also be looking to extend the series lead over USC that it gained in that game last February—the Golden Bears lead the all-time series 131-130.

Tipoff is 8 p.m.

The rest of The Docket for Wednesday goes something like this:

NBA: Sacramento Kings (15-25) at Houston Rockets (28-15), 5 p.m.
The Kings have already won once in Houston this season, a 110-106 win on New Year’s Eve, and lead the season series 2-0. So they’ll be looking to clinch a win in this year’s matchup. The teams will meet once more in Sacramento on Feb. 25.

The win on Dec. 31 was the Kings’ first at Houston since April 5, 2011, and since moving to Sacramento in 1985, the Kings are just 14-44 all-time against the Rockets on the road. Sacramento got off to a bit of a rough start in the series, though, losing their first 16 meetings in Houston before getting its first win in March 1992.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: San Diego State Aztecs (16-1) at San Jose State Spartans (6-12)
The Aztecs ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press poll and are the last unbeaten team in the Mountain West Conference at 5-0. The Spartans are the last winless team in the Mountain West at 0-6. So, yeah, something has to give, right?

This will be the first meeting between San Diego State and San Jose State this century—they last played on Feb. 27, 1999. The Aztecs lead the all-time series 14-10, but the Spartans did win the last three meetings between the teams in San Jose, including an 82-57 blowout the last time San Diego State visited on Jan. 30, 1999. Relevant today? Not so much.

It’s been a tough year for the Spartans, who weren’t really a good program in the Western Athletic Conference before taking a significant step up in weight class in 2013-14, but it’s just a fact of life for athletic programs with Football Bowl Subdivision teams. Football is king.

Thursday’s Lookahead
Winnipeg at Sharks, 7:30 p.m.

Sacramento State at North Dakota, 5 p.m.
Loyola Marymount at Pacific, 7 p.m.
Pepperdine at Saint Mary’s, 7 p.m.
Hawaii at UC Davis, 7 p.m.
Stanford at UCLA, 8 p.m.