After a ruinous tournament, the Pac-12 looked like no more than a one-bid league. California joining Colorado in the 2012 NCAA Tournament field was both a bit of a surprise and a welcome relief for the conference. They face South Florida in the First Four for the right to face No. 5 Temple.
The Bears were the second-best team in the Pac-12 in the regular season, rolling up a gaudy 23-8 record despite losses in their final two regular season contests and going 13-5 in Pac-12 play. They lost to eventual Pac-12 Tournament champion Colorado in the semifinals of the tournament, leaving them looking very vulnerable on the bubble.
But Cal's selection to the NCAA Tournament validates the Bears' compilation of wins, even if the quality of those wins may have been lacking; a win over UCLA topping the Bears' resume doesn't matter anymore.
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