NCAA

Cal faces Stanford with share of title on the line

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Cal faces Stanford with share of title on the line

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Sundays game between Cal and Stanford with title implications will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area at 2:30 p.m.

BERKELEY -- The mood went from hopeful to resolute in Haas Pavilion on Saturday afternoon after learning that a win at Stanford on Sunday would net Cal a share of the inaugural Pac-12 regular season title.It feels good, senior forward Harper Kamp told CSNBayArea.com. Tomorrows game is very important to us to start with, but seeing the result of the UCLA-Washington game, it just means a little more to us.Cal (23-7, 13-4 Pac-12) entered Saturday a game behind Washington in the standings, but a resurgent UCLA squad upset the Huskies 75-69 in Los Angeles, resulting in a jubilant atmosphere among the players in the locker room.
I dont think theres much to say, Kamp added. I think everyone knows whats on the line. I think we play well with high energy. We got to come out with some fire and just be ready. To play on another teams home court is always hard, so we just got to come out with some energy.Two years ago, Cal celebrated their first conference championship since 1960 on the Maples Pavilion floor with a 71-61 victory. Now the Golden Bears have the opportunity to replicate the feat in the same hostile environment.I feel like everythings going our way right now, sophomore point guard Justin Cobbs said. Now its all in our hands, to take care of business Sunday against Stanford, and if we get that win, all our dreams come true with a Pac-12 championship, so Im excited.The Cardinal (19-10, 9-8), currently in seventh, would love nothing more than to spoil their archrivals dreams. Stanford is hoping to erase the memory of a heartbreaking one-point loss to Utah on the road last Saturday.In addition to a share of the title, Cal will be playing for the top seed in the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament, which takes place March 7-10 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Bears have already clinched second place, but will clearly be aiming for more at Maples.

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

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AP

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has placed coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave amid a federal bribery investigation.

Jurich is on paid leave, while Pitino is on unpaid leave. The coach’s attorney, Steve Spence, told the Courier-Journal Wednesday that Louisville has “effectively fired” Pitino.

Pitino’s exit comes after the school acknowledged on Tuesday that the men’s program is part of a federal investigation into alleged bribery of recruits. The 65-year-old coach was not named in the indictment that resulted in the arrest of 10 people including four assistant coaches at other schools and an Adidas executive.

It is the latest black eye for the Cardinals program. Pitino and Louisville are in the middle of appealing NCAA sanctions following an embarrassing sex scandal.

Jurich has supported Pitino through his transgressions during the athletic director’s nearly 20-year tenure at the university.

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

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AP

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

BOX SCORE

BERKELEY -- Stephen Carr ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown two plays after Southern California's defense forced one of its six turnovers and the fifth-ranked Trojans won their 13th straight game, 30-20 over California on Saturday.

USC (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) has dominated the series with its in-state rival by winning 14 straight against the Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1), but this was one of the tightest matchups in years as the game was tied early in the fourth quarter.

Sam Darnold threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans but also had an interception and was under pressure for much of the day.

It was the defense that stepped up for USC, intercepting a pass from Ross Bowers in the first quarter to set up a field goal and then delivering the big play early in the fourth quarter after Chase McGrath gave the Trojans a 16-13 lead with his third field goal of the game.

Josh Fatu knocked the ball out of Bowers' hand and Uchenna Nwosu recovered the fumble at the 3. Carr ran it in two plays later from the 2 to make it 23-13.

Ykili Ross then intercepted Bowers' pass on the next possession, setting up Darnold's 4-yard TD pass to Deontay Burnett that put away the game.

Bowers finished 22 for 50 for 303 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and two lost fumbles.

THE TAKEAWAY

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The Trojans struggled for much of the game without starting RB Ronald Jones (ankle) and WR Steven Mitchell (groin) but managed to pull away late in their first road game of the season.

CALIFORNIA: The Bears used an improved defense to start 3-0 under first-year coach Justin Wilcox but this was supposed to be the test of how far they had come. Cal showed plenty by sticking with a national title contender for three quarters. A sequence on the opening drive of the second will haunt the Bears. Patrick Laird dropped a potential TD in the end zone and Matt Anderson then missed a 29-yard field goal that kept the game tied at 13.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

A win against an unranked team should do little to alter USC's poll position.

UP NEXT

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 18 Washington State on Friday.

CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 24 Oregon on Saturday.