The Pac-10 has been routinely bashed all season, but you've got to give Cal's Mike Montgomery some credit.
The former Stanford head coach, who spent two ho-hum years in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors, helped the Bears win at least a share of the regular-season title for the first time in 50 years this past weekend.
Sure, UCLA is down. Arizona is in rebuilding mode. But Cal has put itself in position to get an at-large berth even if it doesn't win the Pac-10 tourney.
While Montgomery deserves credit for coaching this team, former coach Ben Braun -- now at Rice -- should get some as well for putting it together. The core -- Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher and Theo Robertson -- was all recruited by the previous regime.
TEAM OF THE WEEK: Notre Dame – The craziest part of the Irish beating both Pittsburgh and Georgetown this past week is that Notre Dame big man Luke Harangody didn't play a single minute. Harangody remains out with a knee injury, but his teammates got a pair of huge wins that helped Notre Dame get back into the NCAA tournament picture. The Irish stand at 19-10 overall and 8-8 in Big East play with a pair left: home against UConn and at Marquette.
STUD (PLAYER OF WEEK): Maryland senior guard Greivis Vasquez had a pretty impressive week with 15 points and 13 assists in a win against Clemson and then 41 points, seven boards and six assists in a double-overtime victory against Virginia Tech. Vasquez has the Terps in the mix for the ACC title with a home game this week against league-leader Duke.
DUD: Georgetown -- The Hoyas are nearly impossible to figure out. John Thompson III's club has some signature wins and some puzzling losses, the last of which came at home to a Notre Dame team that didn't even have Harangody. Georgetown has now dropped three of its last four and is just 9-7 in league play.
MOST IMPRESSIVE WIN: It's a tough call between Syracuse's dominating win against Villanova, Tennessee's victory over Kentucky and Oklahoma State's upset at home against Kansas. But actually, we're going with New Mexico's road win in Provo against BYU. This one came in a hostile environment and may have shown that the Lobos are legit. Steve Alford's club has locked up the Mountain West regular-season title and is 27-3 overall.
WEEK TO FORGET: Northern Iowa -- Ben Jacobson's team was a legitimate at-large club even if it didn't win the Missouri Valley tournament, but a loss to an Evansville team that was just 7-20 and 1-14 in league play could hurt.
NON-BCS TEAM OF THE WEEK: Stony Brook -- Steve Pikiell's team won its first-ever America East regular-season title with a victory against Vermont early in the week. The Seawolves actually lost their regular-season finale to UNH, but it didn't matter since Stony Brook had already locked up the No. 1 seed in the conference tourney.
WORST LOSS: Purdue losing their best overall player and leader Robbie Hummel for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Now the Boilermakers go from a legitimate Final Four team to one that will be fortunate just to get into the Sweet 16.
BAD LOSS: Illinois losing at home to Minnesota. The Illini (18-11, 10-6 Big Ten) should still be alright for the NCAA tournament, but Bruce Weber's team will have to finish strong or else they will be sweating it out in a couple weeks on Selection Sunday.
RECORD BOOKS: Mississippi State senior big man Jarvis Varnado became the NCAA's all-time leading shot-blocker this past week. Varnado's 536th career swat broke the previous mark, set by Louisiana-Monroe's Wojciech Mydra.
WEEK'S TOP MATCHUPS:
1. Kansas State at Kansas, Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET -- It's a rare matchup of a pair of Top 5 teams. This one comes in Lawrence.
2. Duke at Maryland, Wednesday at 9 p.m. -- A game that will determine the ACC regular-season champion.
3. UConn at Notre Dame, Wednesday at 7 p.m. -- This one has plenty on the line, maybe an NCAA tournament berth for both teams.
4. Vanderbilt at Florida, Tuesday at 7 p.m. -- Kevin Stallings's team is playing for a seed while Billy Donovan and the Gators could use this one to secure an NCAA tournament berth.
5. Georgetown at West Virginia, Monday at 7 p.m. -- The unpredictable Hoyas travel to Morgantown and face the Mountaineers.
6. Georgia Tech at Clemson, Tuesday at 8 p.m. -- Can Paul Hewitt and the Yellow Jackets get some momentum on the road?