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Letters: Madness or just badness?

Trojans' quick exit comes as little surprise to readers

March 18, 2011
  • USC forward Alex Stepheson exits the UD Arena court in Dayton, Ohio, after the Trojans were defeated by Virginia Commonwealth in an NCAA tournament first-round game on Wednesday night.
USC forward Alex Stepheson exits the UD Arena court in Dayton, Ohio, after… (Gregory Shamus / Getty Images )

Caught the Trojans' March Madness drive-by Wednesday against crummy Virginia Commonwealth. First time I've seen USC levy self-imposed NCAA sanctions ... for 40 minutes.

Jack Von Bulow

Temple City

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USC's football team could have scored more than 22 points against VCU in the first half. On the positive side, maybe the Trojans will make the field of 64 next year.

Konrad Moore

Bakersfield

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Coach Kevin O'Neill may have overlooked the simple reason the Trojans did not win in Dayton. They had an exhausting schedule in the Pac-10 tourney, having to stay at the new Marriott across the street from Staples Center rather than travel the 1.2 miles back to campus. Then they had to fly the whole entourage to Ohio, including the band, and face that veteran team from, uh, who again?

Kevin H. Park

Encino

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To add to its rich men's basketball tradition, USC can now hang a "First Four" banner in the Galen Center.

Alan Abajian

Alta Loma

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As an alum, I sincerely hope that Athletic Director Pat Haden will tell Coach Kevin O'Neill that his services will no longer be needed; adding USC to the multitude of universities and professional teams on the list.

Paul Westphal, anyone?

Howard P. Cohen

North Hills

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Watching UCLA almost blow a 23-point, second-half lead, it struck me that Ben Howland must be a big NFL fan and an even bigger fan of the "Prevent Defense." The coach had his semi-talented squad go into a shell over the past eight minutes, and if the game was 30 seconds longer they would already be back in Westwood. The good news, he did save that one timeout in the game. By the way, Ben, how about signing a guard who can shoot, pass and dribble...

Fred Wallin

Westlake Village

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All hail to UCLA's Malcolm Lee and his defensive skills! He's made true the old saying, "They can't win if they can't score!"

Sandra Smith

Yorba Linda

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I just don't buy it when coaches use the excuse "my team was not tournament tested." With all due respect, all teams play about 30 games on a regulation basketball court in an arena from October until the NCAA tournament begins in March. It is simple, you play defense, score more than your opponent, you win. You don't, you lose. It's not rocket science.

Jerry Baruch

Los Angeles

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Once again the Duke Blue Devils have been handed the path of least resistance to the Final Four. The West Region is filled with enough cupcakes to rival the Sprinkles franchise. It must be nice to know that every year the tournament committee will ensure that your team will face no more than four real challenges on the road to a championship while everyone else must fight through six legitimate opponents.

Maury D. Benemie

Corona

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Did anyone else find it amusing that the year the NCAA tournament was expanded to 68 teams there was more griping than ever about teams that were left out? Maybe they should go to 69 or 70 next year. I'm sure that'll make everyone happy.

Rob Osborne

Redondo Beach

Time to swing

Monday's sports section of the Times provided us with a pretty ugly picture of the Dodgers we're going to see during the coming season.

It seems the plan is to platoon Jay Gibbons and Marcus Thames in left field, rest Casey Blake at third by using Juan Uribe as a backup, and backing Uribe up with Jamey Carroll while Rafael Furcal also rests, as do James Loney and Andre Ethier when facing a "tough lefty." It looks as if (once again) the Dodgers are trying to put a new hem on an old dress and sell it to us "as is" for opening day, along with a pitching staff that resembles the leftovers on a table in the bargain basement.

Shel Willens

Los Angeles

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I enjoyed the "Full Coverage" piece about the Angels outfield. It puzzles me when I hear people say they didn't do anything in the off-season.

They addressed two of their biggest needs; outfield defense and the bullpen. Now if the lower third of their lineup can just hit somewhere hopefully well above the Mendoza line, they may be in business.

Ron Reeve

Glendora

Laker love

Dear Kobe,

I have been following your career for many years, even in the old Forum. I am now 83 years old, and I want to thank you for the many happy hours you have given me watching you on TV. There is just no one like you.

I have a poster I got a few years ago that shows Jerry West, Kareem and you, without any names, and the caption "THEY WHO ENDURE, CONQUER." Under your picture are the dates 2004-05 and "34W, 48L." I had it framed and it is hanging in my bedroom. You are conquering now and I hope you go on to many more victories in this illustrious career.

Joanne Page

Los Angeles

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I have been arguably the most outspoken person on everything Andrew Bynum. I screamed loudly for him to be traded. I argued that his contract was the worst ever by the Lakers. I have compared his talents to Mike Smrek and Chuck Nevitt. I even let it known I was available to make sure he'd get to the airport on time not to miss his flight to whatever team would take this bum off our hands.

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