NCAA

Cal fades late, falls to Colorado 70-59

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Cal fades late, falls to Colorado 70-59

BOX SCORE
LOS ANGELES -- Carlon Brown scored 17 points, Andre Roberson had 17 points and nine rebounds, and Colorado extended a remarkable run in its first Pac-12 tournament all the way to the final with a 70-59 victory over second-seeded California on Friday night.Austin Dufault scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half while playing in his school-record 133rd game for the sixth-seeded Buffaloes (22-11), who seized control with a 10-0 run down the stretch.Brown scored five consecutive points during that run, and Colorado broke open a tight game by limiting the Golden Bears (24-9) to one field goal in an 8 12-minute span of the second half. Brown punctuated the win with a windmill breakaway dunk with 58 seconds to play.After beating Cal for the second time in less than two weeks, Colorado will play for the title Saturday against third-seeded Arizona, which eliminated ninth-seeded Oregon State.Allen Crabbe scored 18 points and Justin Cobbs had 15 for the Bears, whose NCAA fate will be up in the air for the next two days. Cal coach Mike Montgomery thinks his team's resume is strong enough to make its third NCAA appearance in his four seasons, but the Bears won't know for sure until Sunday.Colorado's athletic director already has met with NIT officials about a bid - but the surprising Buffs might not need it.Pac-12 player of the year Jorge Gutierrez had just 10 points for the Bears, who committed 17 turnovers and couldn't answer Colorado's second-half surge.Colorado has made a splash in its new league's tourney, knocking off Utah on Wednesday before beating third-seeded Oregon on Thursday night despite blowing a sizable late lead.Colorado showed no fatigue early in its third game in three days, racing out to a 12-2 lead, capped by Nate Tomlinson's second 3-pointer, to open the game. Cal responded with nine points from Cobbs, whose stellar defense one night earlier shut down Stanford freshman star Chasson Randle.Roberson provided the first half's biggest highlight with a soaring one-handed dunk over Harper Kamp, although Dufault also managed an impressive two-handed jam down the lane. Cal finished the half on a 10-2 run, pulling within 28-27 on Cobbs' 3-pointer with 26 seconds left.The Bears stumbled into the postseason with their first consecutive losses of the season, including a 70-57 defeat in Boulder on Feb. 26. Cal recovered from its loss to Stanford last Sunday by beating the Cardinal in the quarterfinals, but couldn't manage a second straight revenge win.

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.