BERKELEY -- Cal's hopes of a first-round bye in the Pac-12 tournament and a place anywhere in the NCAA tournament took another hit Wednesday night with a 63-59 loss to Utah in front of 8,287 fans at Haas Pavilion.

With their fourth loss in five games, the Bears dropped to 18-12 overall and into a four-way tie for fifth place in the Pac-12 standings at 9-8.

Cal might still earn a top-four seeding and first-round bye for the Pac-12 tournament by beating Colorado in its regular-season finale on Saturday afternoon. But it's not guaranteed, depending on results elsewhere.

"We can't even win a game. I can't tell you about a tiebreaker," senior Richard Solomon said.

For now, the Pac-12 standings are a tangled mess.

Arizona State and Colorado share third place at 10-7. Cal, Utah, Stanford and Oregon are one game back at 9-8.

The Bears, who entered the day with a No. 55 ranking by RealTimeRPI, will fall a bit further off the proverbial NCAA bubble after losing to a team that had won just once on the road all season.

Once 5-0 to start the Pac-12, Cal has won just four of 12 since.

"I don't have the answer," sophomore guard Tyrone Wallace said. "Everybody's not engaged in the game at all times. We're letting our individual play affect how we play as a team.

"The season's not over yet. Yeah, we're losing right now, but it could turn around for us."


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Utah point guard Brandon Taylor, the smallest player on the floor at 5-foot-10, hit his third 3-pointer of the second half with 51.2 seconds left to push the Utes (20-9) into a 55-50 lead.

Solomon scored nine points in the final 35.9 seconds as the Bears tried desperately to fight back. But the Utes made just enough free throws to repel the Bears' comeback.

Solomon finished with 19 points -- all in the second half -- to go with 14 rebounds in his best game in weeks. Justin Cobbs had seven assists, giving him 502 for his Cal career.

But Cal shot just 39 percent and was plagued early by turnover problems, leading to a 17-4 Utah edge in points off turnovers. The Utes also dominated around the rim, outscoring the Bears 26-16 in the paint.

"We've got to find a way to play better," Solomon said.

Scoreless in the first half, Taylor made 3-pointers on either side of a dunk by Renan Lenz, and the Utes surged into a 44-38 lead with 9:03 left. The margin reached 48-42 when Taylor scored on a fast-break layup with 6:09 left.

Cal's defense held Utah scoreless on five straight possessions before two free throws by Solomon gave the Bears a 50-48 lead with 3:27 left.

Utah fought back, getting two free throws each by Delon Wright and Taylor to regain a 52-50 lead with 1:46 left.

David Kravish lost possession at the other end, and Taylor delivered the biggest shot of the game with his long 3-pointer.

Saturday's game
Colorado (21-9, 10-7 Pac-12) at Cal (18-12, 9-8), 3:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks