BOULDER, Colo. -- Cal's basketball team, beaten 70-57 at Colorado on Sunday afternoon, now waits.
The Golden Bears will know whether or not they're still in the hunt for the Pac-12 Conference crown even before playing again.
The Bears (23-7, 13-4) dropped a half-game behind idle Washington, and will await the results of the Huskies' games Thursday at USC and Saturday at UCLA. Cal needs the Huskies to lose at least once in order for its game Sunday at Stanford to be part of the championship equation.
Senior Harper Kamp, who called the setback one of the worst losses he's experienced, said the waiting "is going to be bad."
"We were planning on winning the championship," he said. "It's not really in our hands anymore. That's disappointing."
If UW pulls off a Southern California sweep, the Bears can do no better than second place.
Should the Bears and Huskies wind up sharing the title, Cal would earn the No. 1 seeding for the March 7-10 Pac-12 tournament based on its victory over UW.
"The issue of finishing first is still on the horizon," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. "This makes it more difficult."
Sophomore Allen Crabbe said he will become a USC and UCLA fan for one week.
"We just have to wait to Saturday to see where we stand," he said, "and hopefully (Washington) can get a loss."
Three nights after being blasted 74-50 by Stanford, Colorado reclaimed its home floor, where it had won 13 of its first
The Buffaloes led 5-0 out of the game and 32-25 at halftime. Their crowd, silenced by Stanford's dominating performance, was loud and excited.
Cal, which had a six-game win streak snapped, got 13 points from Kamp, 15 from Justin Cobbs and 16 from Crabbe, who was held without a field goal three nights earlier in a win at Utah.
But senior guard Jorge Gutierrez was held scoreless on the floor where he had 18 points to lead Denver's Lincoln High to the 2007 Colorado 5A state title. Playing in front of 200 kids, parents and faculty members from Lincoln, Gutierrez had nine rebounds but missed all seven of his shots for his first scoreless game since Jan. 2, 2010.
"Everybody says he's the heart and soul of the team," Crabbe said of his teammate, who has been considered a candidate for Pac-12 Player of the Year. "You just feel for him because he works so hard. The great players, they have bad nights. It's just unfortunate it was on this night."
Montgomery acknowledged that the Bears don't perform as efficiently when Gutierrez isn't scoring. "He's been having trouble shooting the ball, and it gets in his head," Montgomery said.
Picked to finish 10th in its new league before the season, Colorado (19-9, 11-5) climbed into fourth place. That's significant because the league's top four finishers earn byes into the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament.
Senior forward Austin Dufault and freshman guard Spencer Dinwiddie each scored 15 for Colorado.
Cal made its first three shots of the second half. Seemingly each time, the Buffaloes answered. Cal got within 56-52 with just under 7 minutes left, but went four possessions without scoring, and CU regained momentum.
"They had too much confidence. We allowed that to happen," Kamp said. "They were making plays and we were not getting stops. That was the key."