California Golden Bears vs. Oregon Ducks Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 24th 2024

The only thing Oregon can do to gain the attention of the NCAA selection committee is continue to win, and Thursday’s 78-65 victory at Stanford helped that cause.

Now the Ducks (18-8, 10-5 Pac-12 Conference) eye a sweep of the Bay Area’s conference schools when they take on California (12-15, 8-8) on Saturday in Berkeley, Calif.

Oregon has won the last five meetings at Haas Pavilion, but Cal is no pushover this season despite the Golden Bears’ overall record. Under first-year coach and former Stanford and NBA player Mark Madsen, the Bears have won four of their last six games and sit in sixth place in the conference.

Saturday’s game could be a long-distance shootout, as Cal knocked down 16 3-pointers to tie a school record in its 81-73 win Thursday over Oregon State. Cal trailed the Beavers by as many as 11 points but rallied to win.

“We have done it multiple times where we get down double digits and come back because we have that fight in us,” the Bears’ Jalen Cone told the Cal athletics website. “We also have that belief in one another with the pieces we’ve got, we can come back from anything.”

Cone hit five of Cal’s 3-pointers.

Oregon was frigid from beyond the arc the previous two games, but got hot at Stanford with 12 3-pointers. Jadrian Tracey hit four of them on his way to a season-high 20 points.

“We shot the ball well, that always helps,” Oregon coach Dana Altman told “But I thought we did a lot of good things defensively.”

Oregon likely needs to win its final five games to get strong consideration for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. But Cal has two of the top-10 scorers in the Pac-12 in Jaylon Tyson (19.8 points per game) and Fardaws Aimaq (14.9).

No team has been able to completely stop Ducks big man N’Faly Dante (15.1 points, 8.4 rebounds), who was still working himself into game shape after a knee injury when Oregon hosted Cal on Jan. 13. The Ducks won that game 80-73, coming back from an 18-point deficit.

–Field Level Media

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