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Working toward winning season in Pac-12, Cal visits Colorado

Cal could take a giant step toward an improbable winning season in Pac-12 Conference play when it visits Colorado on Wednesday night in Boulder, Colo.

The Golden Bears (13-15, 9-8 Pac-12), who finished just 2-18 in league play last season, need two wins in their final three regular-season games to claim a winning record in the Pac-12 for the first time since the 2016-17 campaign, when they went 10-8.

Cal finishes the season with two more road games -- Saturday at Utah and March 7 at Stanford.

The Golden Bears have won a season-best three games in a row, including an 82-80 decision at Washington on Feb. 17 in their most recent road outing. They then swept Oregon State and Oregon at home last week to move above .500 in conference play and take over sixth place.

Repeating their success of Jan. 10 -- when they beat Colorado 82-78 in Berkeley, Calif. -- would vault the Golden Bears over the Buffaloes in the Pac-12 standings.

Cal got good news in the aftermath of Saturday's win over Oregon when star Jaylon Tyson, who injured his wrist during a 27-point effort against the Ducks, declared himself ready to go for the trip to Colorado.

"It feels better with a win," Tyson said of the wrist. "You can chop my arm off and I'll play."

Colorado (18-9, 9-7) still has a chance to catch No. 6 Arizona (12-4 in Pac-12 play), No. 19 Washington State (12-5) and Oregon (10-6) atop the Pac-12 standings. The Buffaloes have four games remaining, including Sunday's at home against Stanford before an Oregon trek next week.

More realistically, the Buffaloes need two wins in the four games to wrap up a 20-win season before the conference tournament.

KJ Simpson will take the court Wednesday as the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week after contributing 28 points, including five 3-pointers, to an 89-65 home win over Utah on Saturday.

Colorado coach Tad Boyle would like to see more than just regional eyes on his star over the remainder of the season.

"I can't say enough about KJ Simpson. He's playing like an All-American," Boyle said. "Bottom line: He gets no national love at all, which really (upsets me)."

Tyson outscored Simpson 30-12 in the earlier meeting between the teams.

--Field Level Media

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