California, which has played with its back to the NCAA tournament wall for most of an erratic Pacific 10 season, couldn't deliver a knockout when it needed to against No. 11 Arizona Saturday at Tucson.
The Golden Bears blew an 11-point late in the second half, missing four free throws in one-and-one situations in the final 3 1/2 minutes of a 71-68 loss. As a result, they might miss the NCAA tournament.
Cal is 17-10 overall, 11-7 in the Pacific 10 and 2-5 against nationally ranked teams--records that may not be good enough to receive an NCAA at-large bid. Arizona (24-6, 13-5 and 4-4 against nationally ranked teams) figures to receive a high regional seeding. The tournament field will be announced today.
"It was a disappointing loss considering we had a chance to win the whole way through," said Cal Coach Todd Bozeman, whose team's NCAA hopes were damaged in a loss at Arizona State Thursday. "It was important to execute and a couple times at the end, we didn't. But if we make our free throws, we're not even in that situation."
Arizona went on a 14-3 run in the final six minutes, with Corey Williams putting the Wildcats ahead to stay, 67-65, on a tip-in with 33 seconds left.
Twenty seconds later, Michael Dickerson made a steal, was fouled and made two free throws to give Arizona a 69-65 lead.
Randy Duck responded with a three-point basket for Cal with 6.8 seconds but Miles Simon countered with two free throws at 5.7 seconds.
Cal's Jelani Gardner then lofted a three-point shot that fell short at the buzzer.
Cal freshman Shareef Abdur-Rahim had nine points on four-for-nine shooting and seven rebounds.
Stanford 67, Arizona State 53--Forward Andy Poppink had 24 points, including seven in a late 15-0 run that allowed the Cardinal (19-8, 12-6) to pull away at Tempe, Ariz.
Arizona State (11-16, 6-12) had defeated Stanford on its home court the last six meetings.
Ron Riley, the Sun Devils' all-time leading scorer, had 27 points in his final college game.
Oregon 62, Oregon State 46--The Ducks (16-13, 9-9) assured themselves a fifth-place conference finish with the victory at Corvallis.
Oregon State (4-23, 2-16) shot 26% in compiling its lowest victory total since 1919.