NCAA

Stanford blows lead, falls to Utah in regular season finale

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AP

Stanford blows lead, falls to Utah in regular season finale

BOX SCORE

SALT LAKE CITY -- Lorenzo Bonam scored 26 points as Utah rallied to defeat Stanford 67-59 on Saturday afternoon.

The Utes (20-10, 11-7) will go into the Pac-12 Tournament as the No. 4 seed and a first-round bye despite a choppy season. They were picked to finish eighth in the conference preseason poll.

Stanford (14-16, 6-12) must wait to find out its seed in the tournament.

Both teams were sloppy throughout, but Bonam took over down the stretch on both ends of the floor to put the Cardinal away. The Utes used a 14-2 run late in the game, including nine from Bonam to take an eight-point lead after trailing most of the day. Bonam had back-to-back steals and layups to go up 62-54. Stanford never led again.

Kyle Kuzma added 16 points for the Utes.

Dorian Pickens paced Stanford with 20 points

The Cardinal took a 28-26 lead into halftime, but led by 11 midway through the first half. Stanford built the lead with an 11-2 run as the Utah offense was dreadful, missing several layups. The Utes scored just two points during the nearly six-minute stretch.

Utah responded with a 14-3 run of its own, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers from Kuzma and Gabe Bealer, to tie the game at 26.

BIG PICTURE:
Stanford: The Cardinal didn't play particularly well despite shooting 53.3 percent from 3-point range. The entire season has been a struggle for Stanford and it now hopes to put together a run in the Pac-12 tournament.

Utah: Saturday meant nothing for the Utes after California lost to Colorado before the game even started and the No. 4 seed was locked up. The biggest concern lies with starting center David Collette, who had to be helped to the locker room with an injury in the first half and never even returned to the bench.

UP NEXT:
Stanford: The Cardinal must wait for the final standings to find out when it will play in the Pac-12 Tournament next week.

Utah: The Utes will play the winner of the No. 5 seed versus No. 12 seed on Thursday in the Pac-12 Tournament.

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.