The Docket 2/1: Tough Task For Reeling Cal Golden Bears


The Cal Golden Bears have followed up a 5-0 start in Pac-12 Conference play with three straight losses, including a home-court defeat at the hands of Arizona State on Wednesday night.

Next up for Cal (14-7): No. 1-ranked Arizona (21-0).


It is Cal’s first meeting against a top-ranked team in the Associated Press poll since an 84-69 loss at Kansas on Dec. 22, 2009. The Golden Bears are just 29-55 all-time against the Wildcats and have lost the last two at Haas Pavilion. However, Cal did beat Arizona in Tucson in the teams’ only meeting last season, 77-69, on Feb. 10. Their last win at home over the Wildcats was a 95-71 win on Feb. 25, 2010.

Cal is now 5-3 in conference play, while Arizona has opened up a two-game lead over UCLA with their 8-0 Pac-12 mark and are one of three unbeaten teams left as the season rolls into February (Syracuse and Wichita State are the others).

Tipoff at Haas Pavilion is 7:30 p.m.

The rest of The Docket as we open February goes like this:

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Arizona State Sun Devils (16-5) at Stanford Cardinal (13-7), 1 p.m.
A couple of teams fighting to stay in the top half of the Pac-12 Conference battle at Maples Pavilion Saturday afternoon. The Sun Devils are 5-3 in league play after a win at Cal on Wednesday, while Wednesday’s loss to No. 1 Arizona dropped the Cardinal to 4-4 in the Pac-12.

Stanford is 44-31 all-time against Arizona State, with the teams splitting two meetings a year ago. The Cardinal won in Tempe 62-59 on Feb. 9, but then lost 89-88 in overtime in the first-round of the Pac-12 tournament on March 13.

The Sun Devils haven’t visited Maples Pavilion since Feb. 2, 2012, a 68-44 win for the Cardinal and Stanford has won the last two meetings at home.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Pacific Tigers (11-9) at San Diego Toreros (13-10), 1 p.m.
The Tigers are last in the West Coast Conference at 2-7, while the Toreros are still in the bottom half of the league at 4-6 after their win over Saint Mary’s on Thursday.

This is Pacific’s first visit to San Diego since Feb. 21, 2009, but the Tigers own a 5-4 advantage in the all-time series. Their only win at San Diego was a 63-57 victory on Dec. 5, 1996, and Pacific did win the last meeting between the teams, 56-55, at Stockton on Nov. 16, 2009.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: UC Davis Aggies (7-14) at UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (13-6), 4 p.m.
The Aggies take on the Big West co-leading Gauchos, who are 4-2 in the league, after climbing out of the cellar with a thrilling comeback win at Cal Poly on Thursday to get to 2-4 in Big West play.

UC Davis is 4-15 all-time against the Gauchos but won at The Thunderdome on Feb. 7, 64-56, to gain a split last season after losing to UC Santa Barbara at home 66-59 on Jan. 12, 2013. The win last February snapped a string of nine straight wins in the series for the Gauchos.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: San Jose State Spartans (6-15) at New Mexico Lobos (16-4), 5 p.m.
The Spartans visit Albuquerque still looking for their first win in their new conference; they’ve opened their inaugural Mountain West campaign with nine straight losses. The Lobos are 7-1 in league play, including a 69-65 win at San Jose State on Jan. 11, and trail No. 5 San Diego State by just a half-game.

The Spartans are 0-7 all-time against New Mexico, including an 0-4 mark on the road. Their last visit to The Pit was Feb. 11, 1999, which ended with an 82-46 victory by the Lobos.

NBA: Sacramento Kings (15-31) at San Antonio Spurs (33-13), 5:30 p.m.
Something has to give—the Kings come in with six straight losses and the injury-riddled Spurs have lost a season-high three in a row.

This is the second of the three meetings between Sacramento and San Antonio this season. The Kings lost at the AT&T Center in San Antonio 112-104 on Dec. 29 and will host the Spurs March 21.

Since moving to Sacramento in 1985, the Kings are just 15-42 at San Antonio and have lost the last three. Their last win there was an 88-86 victory on Jan. 20, 2012, and the Kings have lost on 12 of their last 13 trips.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Gonzaga Bulldogs (19-3) at USF Dons (14-8), 7 p.m.
It’s no surprise the Zags are atop the West Coast Conference with a 9-1 mark. The stunner is that the Dons—who lost starting point guard Cody Doolin early in the season—are second in the WCC at 7-3.

The Bulldogs narrowly avoided an upset loss at Santa Clara on Wednesday night and will be looking to complete a season sweep of USF after beating the Dons 69-41 in Spokane on Dec. 30. Gonzaga holds a 47-22 edge in the all-time series and has won three straight, including a 71-61 win at War Memorial Gym on Feb. 16. USF did upset the Zags in their previous visit to San Francisco, a 66-65 win on Feb. 18, 2012.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Portland Pilots (12-10) at Santa Clara Broncos (10-13), 7 p.m.
The Broncos just missed an upset of Gonzaga Wednesday night, losing 54-52, and have dropped five straight to fall to 3-7 in WCC play. Portland is 4-6 in league play after a loss at USF on Wednesday.

Santa Clara will be looking to end their losing skid as well as complete a season sweep of the Pilots. The Broncos posted a 76-68 win at Portland on Dec. 30. Santa Clara leads the all-time series 55-30 and has won the last three meetings, including a 70-46 drubbing of the Pilots at the Leavey Center on Jan. 31, 2013, that snapped a string of four straight wins for Portland in the series.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Weber State Wildcats (11-6) at Sacramento State Hornets (7-11), 7:05 p.m.
The Big Sky Conference leaders come to The Nest having won six straight and are 8-1 in the conference race, while the Hornets improved to 3-6 in league play despite almost squandering a 25-point halftime lead to Idaho State on Thursday.

The Hornets are just 4-33 all-time against Weber State and have lost the last 12 meetings, with their last win a 105-83 triumph at The Nest on Feb. 26, 2007. The Wildcats have won the last six games at Sacramento, including a 70-55 win on Feb. 28.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks (33-10-13) at San Jose Sharks (34-15-6), 7:30 p.m.
The streaky Sharks can’t seem to make up their minds lately—they’ve lost three in a row on the heels of a six-game winning streak. The defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, meanwhile, have a slim two-point lead over the Blues in the Central Division and are now six points behind the Ducks for the best record in the league.

The Sharks are 1-1 against the Blackhawks this season as they prepare to close the season series, including a 3-2 shootout victory at Chicago on Jan. 5. This will be the teams’ lone regular-season meeting at home, where the Sharks are 24-12-5 against the Blackhawks all-time. San Jose has won four of the last five meetings with Chicago at the SAP Center, but the Blackhawks won the last time they played there, a 5-3 decision on Feb. 5.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Saint Mary’s Gaels (16-6) at BYU Cougars (14-9), 8 p.m.
What appears to be a fairly important game for seeding in the West Coast Conference will also get national television treatment on ESPN2. The Gaels slipped to 6-3 with a loss at San Diego on Thursday, while BYU improved to 6-4 in the league with a win over Pacific the same night.

Saint Mary’s is 6-8 all-time against BYU, but has won the last four meetings—all of them since the Cougars joined the conference in 2011-12. Last season’s sweep for the Gaels included a 70-69 win at the Marriott Center in Provo. BYU last beat Saint Mary’s on a neutral floor, a 74-73 win on Nov. 27, 2010, at the now-defunct South Padre Island Invitational in Texas, and the Cougars’ last home-court win over Saint Mary’s was a 70-55 triumph on Jan. 2, 2004.

Sunday Lookahead
Stanford at Cal, 1 p.m.