That opportunity comes this weekend, as the two squads take turns against big program Southern California teams that have seen better days.
The USC Trojans, Stanford’s opponent tonight and Cal ’s opponent Saturday, are operating at nowhere near full strength.
Guard Dwight Lewis is recovering from a sprained ankle and is questionable. Forward Taj Gibson is battling pneumonia. And shooting guard O.J. Mayo is hobbled by a contractual obligation with the Memphis Grizzlies and not available to play.
For the Golden Bears, this road trip is an opportunity to gain ground and establish momentum for their surprising season.
For the Cardinal, it's either no worse than a split or else "Hello, NIT!"