Colorado upsets Cal 70-59, reaches Pac-12 final

By Greg Beacham

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, March 10 2012 12:05 a.m. MST

Colorado's Carlon Brown walks off the court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against California in the semifinals of the Pac-12 conference championship in Los Angeles, Friday, March 9, 2012.

Jae C. Hong, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Carlon Brown scored 17 points, Andre Roberson had 17 points and nine rebounds, and Colorado extended a remarkable run in its first Pac-12 tournament all the way to the final with a 70-59 victory over second-seeded California on Friday night.

Austin Dufault scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half while playing in his school-record 133rd game for the sixth-seeded Buffaloes (22-11), who seized control with a 10-0 run down the stretch.

Brown scored five consecutive points during that run, and Colorado broke open a tight game by limiting the Golden Bears (24-9) to one field goal in an 8 ½-minute span of the second half. Brown punctuated the win with a windmill breakaway dunk with 58 seconds to play.

After beating Cal for the second time in less than two weeks, Colorado will play for the title Saturday against third-seeded Arizona, which eliminated ninth-seeded Oregon State.

Allen Crabbe scored 18 points and Justin Cobbs had 15 for the Bears, whose NCAA fate will be up in the air for the next two days. Cal coach Mike Montgomery thinks his team's resume is strong enough to make its third NCAA appearance in his four seasons, but the Bears won't know for sure until Sunday.

Colorado's athletic director already has met with NIT officials about a bid — but the surprising Buffs might not need it.

Pac-12 player of the year Jorge Gutierrez had just 10 points for the Bears, who committed 17 turnovers and couldn't answer Colorado's second-half surge.

Colorado has made a splash in its new league's tourney, knocking off Utah on Wednesday before beating third-seeded Oregon on Thursday night despite blowing a sizable late lead.

Colorado showed no fatigue early in its third game in three days, racing out to a 12-2 lead, capped by Nate Tomlinson's second 3-pointer, to open the game. Cal responded with nine points from Cobbs, whose stellar defense one night earlier shut down Stanford freshman star Chasson Randle.

Roberson provided the first half's biggest highlight with a soaring one-handed dunk over Harper Kamp, although Dufault also managed an impressive two-handed jam down the lane. Cal finished the half on a 10-2 run, pulling within 28-27 on Cobbs' 3-pointer with 26 seconds left.

The Bears stumbled into the postseason with their first consecutive losses of the season, including a 70-57 defeat in Boulder on Feb. 26. Cal recovered from its loss to Stanford last Sunday by beating the Cardinal in the quarterfinals, but couldn't manage a second straight revenge win.

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