NCAA

Pac-12 hoops: Who and what to look for in '11-'12

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Pac-12 hoops: Who and what to look for in '11-'12

For the college sports fan, there is nothing better than the confluence of football and basketball seasons. While we in the Bay watch Stanford chase perfection and Cal struggle with mediocrity on the gridiron, its fair to wonder whether the reverse will be true on the hardcourt.The Bears are among the favorites in the inaugural go-round of the Pac-12. Allen Crabbe destined for stardom in his sophomore season; Harper Kamp has emerged as one of the conferences top post players; Jorge Gutierrez is an experienced leader not to mention a mega-pest on the defensive end; Brandon Smith has blossomed into a solid point guard. Both Crabbe and Gutierrez are on the Wooden Award Watch List.As it turns out, Cals biggest asset is also its biggest question mark: will Mike Montgomerys health allow him to coach at the start of the season? Montgomery underwent a surgical procedure last Wednesday, and the school has not released any further information.UPDATE: Montgomery had cancer surgery
Regardless, expect Cal to challenge UCLA and Arizona for tops in the Pac.Across the Bay, Stanford is moving in the right direction. Last years epic recruiting class is now a year older, with a lot of experience under its collective belt. Anthony Brown spent his summer playing for the US Under-19 team at the World Championships. Dwight Powell is a freak athlete, though admittedly still somewhat raw. Keep an eye on Josh Huestis, a get after it wing player who might well lead the team in rebounds if he gets enough minutes.The Cardinal also have a huge luxury in four experienced seniors they had none last season. Josh Owens is the face of the franchise. He needs to stay aggressive and be a guy who can put this team on his shoulders if need be. Oh, and freshman Chasson Randle will have an immediate impact.RELATED: Stanford Basketball Preview ShowStanford will be back in the NCAA Tournament next season. Question is, are the Fab 5 sophomores ready to lead them there now?Burning questions from around the conference:Arizona: Will freshmen Josiah Turner and Nick Johnson live up to expectations?UCLA:How many black eyes will Josh Smith and Reeves Nelson cause? Bonus question: Will that number eclipse the number of Nelsons (visible) tattoos? Washington: Can Abdul Gaddy and Tony Wroten Jr. co-exist in the backcourt? Oregon: To what extent will the new toned down court at Matthew Knight Arena cut migraine recurrence in Eugene? Oregon State: Did Calvin Haynes, Omari Johnson, and Lathem Wallace finally use up their 8 years of eligibility? If so, outside of Jared Cunningham, whos left?USC: Brazilian tour felt more like Brazilian wax when Jio Fontan tore his ACL. How will depleted Trojans replace his production?Colorado: Will 2011 NCAA tournament snub be the closest the Buffs get to Dancing for foreseeable future? Washington State: Are Marcus Capers, Reggie Moore, and Abe Lodwick enough to compete without Warriors first-round pick Klay Thompson and low-block-menace DeAngelo Kasto?Arizona State: Why are the Solar Satans playing a road exhibition game? Grand Canyon University demanded a home-and-home?Utah: Will Utahs hoop team win more games than its football team? Welcome to the Pac-12, friends.

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

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AP

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

BOX SCORE

PALO ALTO — Bryce Love rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown despite missing most of the fourth quarter after aggravating an ankle injury, and No. 20 Stanford held off California 17-14 on Saturday to keep its Pac-12 title hopes alive.

K.J. Costello completed 17 of 26 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown, Ben Edwards made a key interception in the fourth quarter and Cameron Scarlett rushed for 49 yards on the final drive in place of Love to help the Cardinal (8-3, 7-2 Pac-12) milk the clock and win its eighth straight Big Game.

Stanford can earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship game against USC but needs some help.

The Cardinal can get there if No. 15 Washington State loses to No. 16 Washington next week. If the Cougars — who beat Stanford 24-21 on Nov. 4 — beat the Huskies, they get the nod because of the tiebreaker.

The nation's leading rusher going into the game, Love was held in check most of the game by Cal's defense and sat out the final 11:43 after re-injuring his ankle that has bothered him for the past month. He did stay on the field long enough to score a 57-yard touchdown — his 11th run of 50 yards or longer this season.

Scarlett, Love's primary backup all season, also came up big for Stanford. Scarlett rushed for 61 yards, the majority coming on the Cardinal's last drive that took the final 7:25. Scarlett's 2-yard gain on 4th-and-1 kept the drive going.

Patrick Laird ran for 153 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while Ross Bowers passed for 182 yards and a touchdown for California. The Golden Bears (5-6, 2-6) need a win in their final game to become bowl eligible in coach Justin Wilcox's first season.

THE TAKEAWAY

California: The Bears made the Cardinal sweat and kept the game a lot closer than many thought possible. Wilcox's defense did a good job bottling up Love most of the game but couldn't stop Scarlett on the final drive which was huge. Still, there are plenty of positives for Cal to take out of this one.

Stanford: It wasn't the best game for David Shaw's team but the Cardinal gritted it out and held off a pesky Cal team that had plenty to play for. The conference title can still happen but before that Stanford has a pretty big game coming up against Notre Dame.

UP NEXT

California: Ends the regular season at UCLA on Saturday.

Stanford: The Cardinal stay home and will host No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday. Stanford has won the last two and six of last eight against the Irish.

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

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AP

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The New Orleans Saints say running back Daniel Lasco has feelings in his extremities after suffering a spinal injury making a tackle on a kickoff return during today's game at Buffalo.

Lasco was loaded into an ambulance on the field and taken to a hospital.

He was hurt six minutes into the second quarter when he appeared to lower his head while tackling Bills returner Brandon Tate. 

Lasco played four seasons at the University of California, Berkeley. He gained 1,471 yards from scrimmage with 14 touchdowns his junior year. In 2015 as a senior, Lasco was limited to nine games and only totaled 355 yards. 

The Saints selected Lasco in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Associated Press contributed to this report