BERKELEY -- For the second straight year, Stanford likely derailed Cal's hopes for a Pac-12 Conference co-championship in the final game of the season.
The visiting Cardinal picked apart a Cal defense that had keyed a seven-game win streak, beating the Bears 83-70 victory before 11,877 fans at Haas Pavilion on Wednesday night.
Cal (20-10, 12-6) had gotten some of the help it needed earlier in the evening when Washington State upset UCLA, knocking the Bruins out of a first-place tie with Oregon.
It didn't matter. Stanford (18-13, 9-9) used a 19-4 run starting the second half to blow open a three-point game on the way to a regular-season sweep of the Bears.
A year after losing at Stanford on the final day of the season to miss out on a co-title, the Bears now need a lot to fall into place to earn a share of the crown: Oregon must lose at Colorado on Thursday and at Utah on Saturday, and UCLA would have to lose Saturday at Washington.
"I guess we just didn't come prepared to play the way we should have played tonight," Cal star Allen Crabbe said. "We've just got to move on from it."
Things got ugly with 5:04 left and Stanford leading 72-53 when Crabbe wrestled Stanford's Aaron Bright for the ball. Bright appeared to elbow Crabbe before Dwight Powell waded in and shoved Crabbe out of the way.
Mayhem quickly ensued from there with players and coaches from both benches coming onto the court.
After officials reviewed video, six technical fouls were assessed -- three on players from each team. Additionally, Stanford's Gabe Harris and Cal's Richard Solomon were ejected for leaving the bench, as were Cal assistant Gregg Gottlieb and Stanford assistants Mark Madsen and Charles Payne.
Because no one was ejected specifically for fighting, none of the players' actions are cause for automatic suspension, according to a Pac-12 spokesperson.
Crabbe and Bright -- whose tangle triggered the skirmish -- remained in the game.
"Emotions run high," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "It's a rivalry game with a lot on the line for both teams. I don't think anybody did anything flagrant. It's just unfortunate."
"It's the game of basketball," Crabbe said. "Stuff happens."
The outcome had long since been decided. Cal got no closer than 13 the rest of the way.
Stanford's point total was a season-high against the Bears, who had surrendered just 46 in three of their previous four games.
"Stanford played extremely well, played with a lot of confidence. When they shoot the ball, they're good," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. "I just thought we were passive."
Stanford guard Chasson Randle, who scored 20 points, said the Cardinal got no extra joy in puncturing the Bears' title hopes.
"We know they're a tough team," Randle said. "We wanted to prove we're tough, too. And I think we did that."
Stanford, which beat Cal in Berkeley for the first time in five seasons, dominated the opening minutes of the second half to stun the home crowd. The Bears had won nine of 10 games but lost composure as the margin quickly escalated.
The Cardinal scored on its first seven possessions of the half to surge into a 47-35 lead.
Everything went wrong for the Bears. Solomon was whistled for his third and fourth fouls, the latter with 16:40 left. And point guard Justin Cobbs, who shared scoring honors with Crabbe at 24 points apiece, suffered a poor floor game.
"It's hard to win when your point guard has eight turnovers," Cobbs said. "I take part of the blame."
While Cal endured an 8-minute stretch during which it scored just one field goal and had five turnovers and a technical foul called on Montgomery, the Cardinal clipped along.
The margin reached 19 points when Randle buried a 3-pointer with 13:15 left.
Follow Jeff Faraudo on Twitter at twitter.com/CalBearsBANG.
Pac-12 tournament at Las Vegas, matchups and times TBA.
For a slideshow of Wednesday's game between Cal and Stanford, go to www.mercurynews.com