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Bay Area Sports Beat: What You Need to Know Right Now

Cal vs. Stanford. Photo courtesy of the Examiner

Oh, that's right, Cal and Stanford aren't exactly BFFs. Courtesy of the Examiner. 

March Madness

Way to put the “mad” in March Madness, Cal and Stanford.

The two teams took their historic rivalry to strange, new heights on Wednesday night as Stanford put a big dent in Cal’s plan of winning the Pac-12 in an 83-70 victory over the Bears in Berkeley.

In the waning minutes of an already blowout game, Cal star Allen Crabbe got tangled with Stanford’s Dwight Powell over a loose ball and all you-know-what broke loose to finish off the night.

In the grand scheme of things, the “brawl” between the men’s basketball teams meant little, even if the results did.

Cal’s surprising showing against the Cardinals opened the proverbial door for UCLA to win the outright regular season Pac-12 title. Still, Cal (20-10, 12-6 Pac-12) finished in second place in the Pac-12 and will face either Utah or USC in the Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday at 6 pm in Las Vegas.

Stanford (18-13, 9-9 Pac-12) plays Arizona State at noon on Wednesday in the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament…

Golden State Warriors

So much for that whole we be-sleeve thing. Or something.

The upstart Warriors, vying for their first playoff appearance since 2007, fell into a slump and are clinging to the eighth and final playoff appearance in the Western Conference. Golden State dumped consecutive games to the visiting Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks 94-88 and 103-93, respectively.

It’s worth noting that the Warriors’ loss to the Rockets came while the ‘Dubs were rocking their sleeved threads. And some idiots seem to think that said sleeved jerseys are actually worth noting.

In the loss to the Bucks, Bay Area favorite and former Warrior Monta Ellis tormented his former employers to the tune of 26 points on 10-for-19 shooting–on his former stomping grounds, no less.

Karma may not have been on the Warriors’ side against the Bucks after yours truly tried and failed to spy on the Bucks’ practice Saturday morning at Sports Club LA, only to be politely told by an employee of the Bucks to “spy” elsewhere.

The Warriors are in sixth place in the Western Conference and play host to the New York Knicks tonight…

San Francisco 49ers

He came, he kicked, they showed him the door. Sure, David Akers’ second season in San Francisco put him in a toxic relationship with the fickle 49er faithful, which came to a crescendo this week when the 49ers released him.

After all, if you only make 69 percent of your field-goal attempts, you’re bound to see the door at some point. Akers, no doubt, was respected as a dude among 49ers fans, but on the bright side, the faithful can (hopefully) bid adieu to the inevitable ulcers whenever Akers lined up for an attempt…

World Baseball Classic

Relax, you guys, the Giants are almost back. Venezuela crashed out of the World Baseball Classic, but it didn’t stop San Francisco’s favorite panda, Pablo Sandoval, from going 2-for-4 with a home run in Venezuela’s 11-6 victory over Spain.

Ryan Vogelsong was hardly dominant, but was just solid enough to help the United States top Italy 6-2 in a crucial win to keep the USA in contention to advance beyond the group stage. After Sunday’s 9-4 triumph over Canada, the USA advanced to face Puerto Rico in the next round…

Yes. We. Can. @seanswaby