Cal is just 7-9 in the Pac-12, yet most people believe the Bears have done enough to get an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament. That's because the Pac-12 is so strong in women's basketball.
To ensure a spot on the NCAA Tournament, the Bears need to win both games on its road trip against the Washington schools to wind up the regular season.
Winning these two games in the Northwest as well as a first-round game in the Pac-12 tournament would give the Bears 19 wins. That, along with a very favorable RPI ranking, presumably would be enough to get Cal into the NCAA Tournament with plenty of room to spare. It would also aid Anigwe's bid to be selected to one of the All-American teams.
A loss Friday probably would not keep Cal out of the NCAA Tournament, but with just two good wins -- Stanford and Arizona State -- a bad loss to a team at the bottom of the Pac-12 standings would not look good on the resume. The at-large pool could shrink considerably if there are upsets in the conference tournaments, so Cal should not leave anything to chance. Besides Cal does not want to close its season with a loss to a team that will finish at or near the bottom of the conference standings.