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Cal tries to stay hot Wednesday vs. Stanford
By: Robert Livingston - StatFox
Published: 2/5/2014  at  4:56:00 AM
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Haas Pavilion - Berkeley, CA
Tip-off: Wednesday, 9:00 p.m. ET
Line: California -3.5, Total: 143

After dealing then-No. 1 Arizona its first loss of the season on Saturday, California will look to translate that momentum Wednesday into an important Pac-12 victory against a tough Stanford squad that barely fell to the Wildcats by three points just three days earlier.

The Cardinal narrowly lost 60-57 to Arizona last Wednesday, but came back with a 76-70 victory against Arizona State, part of a three-game ATS winning streak. Stanford is 12-6-1 ATS overall (6-3 ATS in Pac-12) and 4-2 ATS on the road. The team is also 3-2-1 ATS as underdog and 8-1 ATS after having won two of its past three games this season. Californiaís 60-58 victory against Arizona snapped a three-game losing skid (SU and ATS), which was preceded by a six-game winning surge (SU and ATS) for this streaky squad. Overall, the Golden Bears are 11-10 ATS (6-3 ATS in Pac-12) with a 7-4 ATS mark at home. When these two teams played earlier in the season on Jan. 2 at Stanford, six-point underdog Cal won outright, 69-62, upping its record to 7-4 (SU and ATS) in the past 11 meetings of this rivalry. However, the Cardinal won both meetings SU and ATS last season, including an 83-70 rout in Berkeley when they made 9-of-17 threes (53%) and 26-of-30 free throws (87%). The only significant injury in this matchup is to Cal SG Ricky Kreklow (hand), but he has been upgraded to probable for Thursday.

Which team will prevail in this rivalry game and move up the Pac-12 standings? For the latest college basketball picks, check out The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts selections every week throughout the entire 2013-14 season. The StatFox Experts have been rolling in college basketball Best Bets this season with a 59% ATS (191-132-5) mark, including a stellar 62% ATS (159-98-3) record since Nov. 23. StatFox Brian is at 64% ATS (41-23-2) in Best Bets for the season and 68% ATS (34-16-1) since Nov. 26. StatFox Dave is 62% ATS (40-25-1) for the season and 70% ATS (23-10) since Dec. 18, while StatFox Scott is a hefty 60% ATS (39-26-1) for the season and 63% ATS (29-17-1) since Dec. 2. StatFox Zach is a strong 58% ATS (37-27-2) on Best Bets this season, including 61% ATS (31-20-1) since Nov. 22, while StatFox Gary is 52% ATS (34-31-2) for the season, and 56% ATS (28-22) since Nov. 29.

Stanfordís offense averages a respectable 76.0 PPG (73rd in Div. I) on 47.1% shooting (51st in nation). The Cardinal outrebound their opponents by a 3.4 RPG margin, and have won the battle on the glass in five of their past seven games. Defensively, they yield a subpar 69.7 PPG (168th in Div. I) on 41.3% shooting (36.2% threes), and tally a meager 4.8 steals per game (320th in nation). Their star is junior SG Chasson Randle (18.8 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.4 APG), who is coming off a 21-point effort (8-of-14 FG, 2-for-5 threes) against Arizona State and is averaging 19.4 PPG during a five-game streak of 12+ points. He struggled at home against the Golden Bears in the first meeting, scoring 15 points on 6-of-16 shooting while turning it over four times, twice his season average. Randle is joined in the backcourt by swingman Anthony Brown (12.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG), who adds some size to the perimeter at 6-foot-6, and has knocked down 49% threes (33-of-68) this season. The teamís top passer and second-leading scorer is senior SF Dwight Powell (14.9 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 3.9 APG), who had a monster game against the Sun Devils on Saturday with 28 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals. He led the Cardinal against the Golden Bears with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting the first time out. Also down low, watch out for senior PF Josh Huestis (11.2 PPG, 8.3 RPG), who paces the squad with 1.9 BPG. In the home loss to Cal last month, Huestis chipped in nine points, eight rebounds and three blocks.

California averages similar offensive numbers to Stanford, putting up 75.1 PPG (87th in Div. I) on 46.3% shooting (78th in nation) despite a subpar 34.4% clip from beyond the arc. They hold teams to 68.5 PPG (128th in Div. I) and 41.0% shooting (35.5% threes) defensively, though the Bears showed their defensive potential against Arizona when they held the Wildcats to 32% FG and 18% threes despite getting outrebounded by nine. Cal is a decent rebounding team with 36.9 total RPG (97th in nation) and a +2.7 RPG margin. PG Justin Cobbs (15.7 PPG, 6.0 APG) is the teamís top scorer and passer, and is averaging 19.0 PPG over the teamís past four contests. He scored 18 points (6-of-13 FG) with five assists in the first meeting with Stanford, while SG Tyrone Wallace (11.5 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 3.1 APG) led the way with 20 points (6-of-13 FG), five boards and four steals. The teamís other two double-digit scorers come down low, where PF Richard Solomon (11.6 PPG, 10.6 RPG) averages a double-double. He also averages 1.4 BPG and 1.4 SPG defensively, and dominated the glass against Stanford last month with 13 boards (4 offensive) to go along with his 14 points. Solomon is joined in the paint by SF David Kravish (11.7 PPG, 7.7 RPG), who had a monster game against Arizona on Saturday with 14 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks and four assists. Kravish wasn't much of a factor in the Jan. 2 win at Stanford though, scoring just eight points with three rebounds in 29 minutes before fouling out.

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