Bracket Projection: California

Bears have a star in Crabbe, but could have trouble winning opening game

Updated: March 21, 2013, 3:07 PM ET
By Charlie Creme | Special to ESPN Insider
Allen Crabbe Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesAllen Crabbe was named Pac-12 Player of the Year after leading the league in scoring.

The California Golden Bears were an afterthought a third of the way into the Pac-12 season. Then, after a loss at Arizona State, something fell into place. Seven straight wins followed and, eventually, so did a second-place conference finish. With the regular season success in the rearview mirror, can Cal use that momentum to win multiple games in the NCAA tournament for the first time under Mike Montgomery?

ESPN Insider has your answers, as Joe Lunardi has enlisted a team of Bracketologists to compile advanced metrics, key scouting intel and best- and worst-case tournament scenarios for all 68 teams, in order to help you make smart picks in your bracket. Plus, as Lunardi fills out his bracket, he'll give you his prediction on how each team will fare.

PROFILES FOR ALL 68 TEAMS | BRACKET PREDICTOR


Lunardi's Logic

Cal was one spot ahead of Oregon on the NCAA's true seed list, so its season sweep of the Ducks was apparently more important to the committee than Oregon's conference tournament title. Unnoticed is that both were true 11-seeds on that seed list, so both Oklahoma State and UNLV are paired against tougher teams than necessary (especially when at least one could have been a No. 11 in Salt Lake City).

TOURNEY PROFILE

Best wins: at Arizona, UCLA, at Oregon, Colorado

Worst losses: Harvard, at Stanford, Washington, Colorado, at Arizona State, Stanford

Charlie Creme | email

Women's College Basketball
Charlie Creme projects the women's NCAA Tournament bracket for ESPN.com.