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SPORTS
March 19, 2014 | Chris Dufresne
It takes years to climb the mid-major success ladder and minutes for it to be pulled out from under you. Last year, Gonzaga finally got to the top rung when it entered the NCAA tournament as the top-ranked team in the nation. The Bulldogs rolled into the Salt Lake City sub-regional with legitimate national title aspirations, even though skeptics thought Gonzaga was overrated and didn't play in a tough enough conference to warrant all the fuss. The critics were only emboldened after Gonzaga was sent home on the first weekend by a scrappy, hungry, No. 9-seeded team with something to prove.
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SPORTS
March 16, 2014 | Chris Dufresne
Wichita State wrapped its perfect 34-0 season on March 9 only a few hours after UCLA mailed in one of the worst performances in program history - an 18-point defeat at lowly Washington State the previous night. You never could have imagined then that UCLA would end up packing flip-flops and baggy NCAA shorts for San Diego. Or, that Wichita State would get pickle-jar stuffed into the "group of death" region, with one of the "easier" games a possible first-weekend matchup against Kentucky.
SPORTS
March 14, 2014 | By Jim Peltz
IndyCar said Friday that telecommunications giant Verizon signed a multiyear deal to be the racing series' title sponsor, rebranding the sport as the Verizon IndyCar Series. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. "Verizon is the perfect partner for us to showcase the high level of innovation and technology that is inherent in our sport," Mark Miles, chief executive of Hulman & Co., IndyCar's parent company, said in a statement. The Verizon IndyCar Series' 18-race schedule opens March 30 with a street race in St. Petersburg, Fla., followed by another street race, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, on April 13. IndyCar's marquee event, the Indianapolis 500, is May 25 and the series' season finale takes place at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana on Aug. 30. Verizon already is the primary sponsor of the No. 12 car driven by Will Power of Team Penske.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 13, 2014 | By Wendy Smith
It's almost impossible to put down Jean Hanff Korelitz's riveting new novel for the first 200 pages as it dismantles the comfortable existence of a couples therapist over the course of a few nightmarish weeks. We first meet Grace Reinhart Sachs ensconced in her office, being interviewed by a Vogue writer about her forthcoming book, "You Should Have Known. " This book-within-a-book argues that women get themselves into bad marriages by failing to see the clear signs that were there from the beginning about their spouses' failings.
SPORTS
March 9, 2014 | Eric Sondheimer
There were reports of teenage zombies walking around Woodland Hills on Sunday morning. It had everything to do with El Camino Real winning its first City Section Division I championship in boys' basketball Saturday night with a dramatic 58-56 victory over 12-time champion Westchester. Afterward, players decided to hang out at the Woodland Hills home of junior guard Brandon Russell munching on pizza, listening to music and not letting their moment of triumph vanish until about 5 a.m. Sunday, when players started going home.
SPORTS
March 8, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 The City Section Division V in boys' and girls' basketball is all about View Park Prep, which won both titles on Saturday. Tramel Wilson scored 25 points to lead View Park past Douglass, 85-59, in boys' Division V. In the girls' final, Maresha Farmer scored 27 points in a 74-51 win over Douglass.   Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com  
SPORTS
March 8, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Stewart Ramirez and Judith Espinoza are the king and queen of Eagle Rock basketball after leading the boys' and girls' teams to City Section Division III championships on Saturday. Ramirez scored 35 points in Eagle Rock's 68-56 victory over Hamilton. Espinoza scored 39 points in Eagle Rock's 60-51 win over Garfield.   Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com  
SPORTS
March 8, 2014 | By Steve Galluzzo
The sequel turned out to be just as exciting as the original, but it featured a different ending. After last year's memorable meeting in the City Section Division I boys' basketball championship game, Westchester and Woodland Hills El Camino Real returned to the same court for the rematch Saturday night at L.A. Southwest College. Under first-year Coach Joe Wyatt, the second-seeded Conquistadores took an eight-point lead into the fourth quarter and hung on for a 58-56 victory that avenged last season's six-point defeat.
SPORTS
March 8, 2014 | Eric Sondheimer
Playing tough defense, hustling for loose balls and displaying the unselfishness always present in a championship team, Santa Ana Mater Dei won its 31st consecutive game Saturday night, holding off scrappy Chino Hills, 48-44, in the Southern Section Open Division final at the Honda Center. It was a wild fourth quarter, but in the end, Stanley Johnson of Mater Dei rose up and lifted his team to victory. He finished with 28 points and clinched the victory by making two free throws with 4.9 seconds left, giving him eight in a row in the fourth quarter.
SPORTS
March 8, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 All hail the Trinity League. A third team, Santa Margarita, won a Southern Section title on Saturday night, with the Eagles defeating Brea, 53-46, in the 3AA championship game. Mater Dei and JSerra earlier won titles. Devonte Klines scored 15 points for Santa Margarita (23-8), which saw Brea rally and tie the game at 46-46 in the fourth quarter. But a three-pointer from the top of the key with 2:02 left by Joe Furstinger broke the tie, and Santa Margarita went on to victory. Jonathan Wallace led Brea with 12 points.
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