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Most eyes will be on the coaches when California and rival Stanford meet on the Cardinal's home court in the Pac-12 Conference regular-season finale for both teams Thursday night.

The Golden Bears (13-17, 9-10 Pac-12) will be shooting for an improbable .500 finish in conference play while the Cardinal (12-17, 7-12) hope to end a six-game skid when the San Francisco Bay Area teams duel in a Pac-12 regular-season game for a final time.

Both Cal and Stanford have agreed to join the Atlantic Coast Conference next season.

It's possible they could see each other again in next week's Pac-12 tournament. With a win Thursday, Cal could finish as high as the fifth seed in the 12-team event, while Stanford is battling Washington and Southern California for the ninth, 10th and 11th spots.

Cal entered the conference tournament as the bottom seed last season when it had one of the worst records in the nation (3-29). If the Golden Bears were to beat Stanford for a second time this season, their 14 wins would equal the school's most since it went 21-13 under Cuonzo Martin in 2017.

First-year Cal coach Mark Madsen, a former star player at Stanford, gets much of the credit for Cal's turnaround, which has featured the play of four upperclassmen transfers, including conference Player of the Year candidate Jaylon Tyson, who played last season at Texas Tech.

Madsen has been so impressive, he's not only a Pac-12 Coach of the Year favorite but also mentioned as a candidate should Stanford move on from Jerod Haase.

Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton clearly will fight any such move.

"This is where we want to be," Knowlton said after being among the 8,710 in attendance at Cal's 73-71 home win over Stanford on Jan. 26. "For Mark and what he's doing ... he just has that magnetic personality."

The possibility of a coaching change at Stanford revolves around a sixth straight non-winning season in Pac-12 play for the Cardinal. Getting swept by the rival, especially with a former Stanford star at the head of the bench, could be Haase's last straw.

Haase, a former Cal player who is in his eighth season at Stanford, hasn't discussed his future with the Cardinal. Rather, he remains focused on finishing out this season headed in a positive direction.

"I need to find solutions," he said of the losing streak. "It's my job. My job. My job. My job. My job to try and find solutions to this and then be able to get the guys to execute what I want to do and have done."

--Field Level Media

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