NCAA

Cal picked 2nd in Pac-12 media poll, Stanford 6th

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Cal picked 2nd in Pac-12 media poll, Stanford 6th

The Pac-12 men's basketball preseason media poll was announced on Friday, and the California Golden Bears have been picked to finish 2nd, and the Stanford Cardinal 6th.

In 2009-2010, Mike Montgomery's second season at Cal, the Bears were the preseason pick to win the league. They backed it up by winning the school's first conference title since 1960.
RELATED: Montgomery had cancer surgery

The Bears are led by the trio of Jorge Gutierrez, Harper Kamp, and Allen Crabbe. Of the 10 players named to the All-Conference team last season, Gutierrez is one of two players who returned to school. The other is UCLA's Reeves Nelson.

"I like our basketball team," Montgomery said at Pac-12 Media Day Friday morning. "We're not too worried about what anybody else thinks about us. I think we've got to stay healthy. We've got to develop some depth, and we've got to have our key people perform, which I don't think is unusual that anybody would say anything differently."

Stanford's sixth-place projection is the highest since 2007-2008 when it was tabbed 5th. Led by Brook and Robin Lopez, the Cardinal exceeded expectations, finished 2nd behind UCLA, and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

REISS: Pac-12 Hoops -- What to look for in '11-'12

Stanford will be paced by Josh Owens, Anthony Brown, and Dwight Powell. Jeremy Green, an All-Conference selection last year, elected to forego his senior season and enter the NBA Draft. He went undrafted.

"We are very excited about the season. I thought our kids have done a great job this preseason of working hard to get better. I thought it started last spring and continued through the summer and through our trip to Spain, in which our team got closer."

Both the Cal and Stanford Basketball Preview shows will air on CSNBayArea in early November.

In addition, CSNBayArea.com will release the Stanford Basketball 2011-2012 Preview on Thursday, November 10, and the Cal Basketball 2011-2012 Preview on Friday, November 11.

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.