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Colorado’s win vs. Cal sets up Pac-12 for a looooong Sunday

Carlon Brown

Colorado’s Carlon Brown celebrates his team’s 70-59 win against California after an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Pac-12 conference championship in Los Angeles, Friday, March 9, 2012. Colorado won 70-59. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)


One of the Pac-12’s newest members might be its only school in the 2012 NCAA tournament. Makes sense. Been that kind of season for the conference.

Colorado’s 70-59 win against Cal in Friday’s Pac-12 tournament semifinals sets up a championship game against Arizona on Saturday in which the loser won’t be in the Big Dance. The Buffs, the tournament’s sixth seed, got 17 points from Carlon Brown, another 17 from Andre Roberson and gave the second-seeded Bears a fit during a key 8½-minute stretch in the second half that proved to be the difference.

Not many would’ve seen this coming, either.

Arizona’s seniors shoot it into title game

Colorado (22-11) lost three of its last four games to close the regular season and was on the wrong side of the tournament bubble. But it beat Utah, Oregon and Cal (for the second time in three weeks) for the automatic berth.

As for the Bears (24-8), they’re faced with a long wait until the brackets are announced Sunday evening at 6 p.m. Coach Mike Montgomery said afterward that he thinks his team’s profile merits an at-large bid, but that’s far from a sure thing.

Cal finished second in the regular-season standings behind Washington. That may not sit well with the committee, which could very well leave out the top two teams from a BCS conference for the first time since the field expanded in 1985.

Told you it was a strange season.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.