College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, January 21, 2010
The PAC-10 is having a down year. Not a single team in the conference is ranked in the Top 25, but, since they will be sending three or four teams to the NCAA Tournament, it's a good idea to keep tabs on which teams are likely to get bids and potentially pull off an upset.
The league is pretty wide open at this early date, though a number of teams, including Washington, Washington State, Cal and Arizona State have winning records and may be headed to the field of 65.
On Thursday, the Cal Golden Bears, led by 21 points from senior guard Patrick Christopher, mauled the visiting, defenseless Ducks from Oregon, 89-57. Christopher, who was one of five Cal players in double figures, also chipped in with 6 rebounds, 3 of them on the offensive end.
With the outcome of the game almost never in doubt past the opening minutes, Cal took a 48-21 lead into the half and cruised from there for their 12th win against 6 losses. The Bears are tied for first in the PAC-10 with Arizona State at 4-2, but, after 4-3 Washington State, a pack of four teams are in pursuit, at 3-3. The conference may not be one of the best in the nation, but it appears to be highly competitive.