Asked Thursday night whether Cal can have success at the Pac-12 tournament, Stanford coach Jerod Haase didn't hesitate. "I don't know why not," Haase said.
The Bears had just beaten Stanford 64-59 in a game Cal led 19-2 out of the gate.
That victory came on the heels of wins over Pac-12 champion Washington, then Washington State -- surprising results after a program-worst 16 straight defeats.
Defense has been the difference. The Bears allowed just 67.0 points per game on 42% shooting during their three-game win streak. Over the previous 16 games, Cal's opponents scored an average of 79.8 points and shot nearly 42 percent.
The 12th-seeded Bears open the Pac-12 tournament against No. 5 Colorado on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in Las Vegas. The game will be shown on the Pac-12 Networks.