NCAA Bracket 2012: How Cal Basketball Got To March Madness

March 8, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal guard Chasson Randle (5) defends California Golden Bears guard Justin Cobbs (1) during the second half of the quarter finals of the 2012 Pac 12 Tournament at the Staples Center. California won 77-71. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Cal made the 2012 NCAA Tournament, giving the Pac-12 multiple dancing squads.

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.

For more on Pac-12 basketball, if you are a masochist, be sure to visit SB Nation's Pacific Takes. For more on the Bears, please visit California Golden Blogs. Join our 2012 NCAA Bracket pool to compete against the best and brightest from around the network.

For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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