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March Madness Bubble Team: California

The California Golden Bears are one team that will likely see the final four games determine their fate. The Bears sit with an 18-8 record and have failed to pick up much in the way of quality wins this season. That could change tonight with a home game against Oregon.

The Bears are 1-6 against teams in the RPI top 50. California does have an easy game scheduled next up against a 5-23 Oregon State on Friday. The Bears close out the season with road games at Utah and Colorado.

California was a popular play among sports bettors in its last game against Stanford, but fell to a 13-13 Cardinal team on the road as 2.5-point favorites. The Bears have shown the ability to bounce back this season, as they are 11-3 straight up after an ATS loss, although they are only 5-9 against the number in those games.

What could work in the Bears’ favor is a few early season injury problems. The Selection Committee tends to look at players missing and account for that when analyzing teams. The Bears weren’t devastated by injuries, but weren’t a full strength, either.

The battle for the at-large spots in the NCAA Tournament is going to be pretty fierce. There are a number of teams on the bubble right now. The Bears do get a slight nod over Houston due to having played a slightly tougher schedule. It’s teams like TCU, Texas Tech, Arkansas and Seton Hall that could spell problems for the Bears.

A win over the Ducks tonight would go a long way to marking the Bears down for a spot in the tournament. The Bears have fared well against the Ducks at home in recent years, sporting a 7-2 record. The Bears are 6-1 at home in conference play this season, losing only to Arizona 67-62 in December.

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