Given the fate of the three Pac-12 teams who did receive bids, it seems the NCAA tournament selection committee did USC a favor by not inviting them. The Trojans will be able to bask in the glow of at least one postseason win.
From international incident to national embarrassment, it was a UCLA season that needs to be forgotten.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would see the day where my alma mater, Cal State Fullerton, would win as many NCAA tournament games as the combined number of the Pac-12 schools.
From an auspicious start, through an up-and-down season, to a fittingly frustrating final defeat, the Bruins' 2017-18 season is finally laid to rest by a team UCLA could have beaten, should have beaten, and would have beaten except for one glaring problem: The Bruins were a one-man team, and one-man teams seldom win championships.
Lawrence Martin Kates
Indications that next year's recruiting class will allow Steve Alford to remain as head coach for another season reeks of UCLA's shortsightedness. The hallmark of Alford's 23-year history as a Division I head coach has been underperforming, and there's no reason to believe that will change next season.
Bruin football finally realized that a complete change was needed. Same goes for basketball. Time to find a legitimate coach rather than the first available guy who needs a job.
Brian C. Gura
Can Chip Kelly coach basketball? I think a lot of us would like to see him try.
The Bruins can forget March Madness because they engaged in November Madness, setting frequent-flyer mileage records pursuing P.R. and goodwill opportunities in China (top location for foreign student applicants!), along with, it turned out, big-time international drama.
Logical end result: attrition, stress, fatigue, and exhaustion come March. I speculate that Wooden would have declined an invite to China.
Bill Plaschke wrote the UCLA Bruins "did not show up" in their NCAA Tournament game. Huh? The score was tied at 58 with 1:11 left, and the exhausted Bruins were giving their all.
In the NIT game it was a Trojan who didn't show up. In a pitiful example of poor sportsmanship Chemezie Metu decided to avoid playing for his team. Why this selfish quitter was allowed to sit on the USC bench with real fighting Trojans is a mystery to me.
UCLA folded up against St. Bonaventure like a Cub Scout pup tent. Gifted freshman Kris Wilkes was late for the team bus because, "My phone was dead and I didn't wake up on time"? The statement epitomizes the reason the Bruins lost. They weren't prepared.
Put the blame where it belongs, on Scoutmaster Alford. The season started with his players shoplifting and ended with oversleeping.
Bob Lanier, the most famous St. Bonaventure alum who played in a Final Four with UCLA in 1970, was known for his size-22 shoes. Little did we know that there was one other person on that floor who had bigger shoes. Since 1995 Gene Bartow, Gary Cunningham, Larry Brown, Larry Farmer,Walt Hazzard, Jim Harrick, Steve Lavin, Ben Howland and now Steve Alford combined have yet to fill the wizard's shoes.
I am as stalwart and true a Bruin basketball fan as one can imagine since I attended college there during the Wooden era, and therefore one can imagine my attitude toward USC. Yet, fair is fair. The Trojans belonged in the tournament.
As a USC fan I was surprised we weren't invited to the NCAA tournament. The NCAA has always been so good to us.
This is the last straw. USC should retaliate against the NCAA by restoring Reggie Bush's awards and appointing OJ Mayo as an assistant coach.
I salute the Times for their stories on Cal State Fullerton basketball and understand why USC not making the tournament garnered more prominent coverage than CSUF making the tournament. However, I want your readers to know that regardless of what happens in Detroit, when you look at what really matters in higher education — providing equitable access to it — Cal State Fullerton has already won. Case in point: Every year, Robert Kelchen, a professor at Seton Hall, takes the 68 schools in March Madness and fills out a bracket based on their net price of attendance, using data from the U.S. Department of Education to crown a national champion of college affordability. This year's winner? Cal State Fullerton.
Not sure if that'll put our name above the fold in The Times, but it will put more than 11,000 names on college degrees this May, and from my perspective, that is front-page news.
President, Cal State Fullerton
The pro side
So, let me get this straight. With Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart out with injury, the Lakers bring Alex Caruso up from the G League and sign Travis Wear and Derrick Williams. Meanwhile, Luol Deng sits. To Deng's credit, he's been the consummate professional. The Lakers have not. The Lakers should just do the right thing and release him, so he can go to a team where he can actually play.
The Lakers and Clippers have both cleared cap space in the hope of attracting a star or two this summer. Job one should be to use some of that space to keep the stars they already have: DeAndre Jordan and Julius Randle.
QUESTIONS: 1. In the NBA, what has Paul George ever won? 2. How has the OKC experiment with George playing alongside two future Hall of Famers, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony, worked out? 3. Who is the only Laker who brings fierce physicality and toughness to every game? 4. What is the Lakers' highest priority after signing King James?
ANSWERS: 1. Nothing. 2. Train wreck 3. Julius "the Beast" Randle. 4. Keep and feed the Beast (sign and pay Randle)!
I learned a few things this week. The first is that Bill Walton's prediction that UCLA was a Final Four team, and maybe the national champion, did not come true. The second is that loyalty is not important. Chimezie Metu got a full scholarship worth about $70,000 per year, then deserted his team, and was welcomed to sit on the bench with the teammates he deserted.
Lastly that Lonzo Ball has gone back to his 30% shooting average and that no one seems to write or talk about it.
The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be brief and become the property of The Times. They may be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms will not be used.
Mail: Sports Viewpoint
Los Angeles Times
202 W. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Fax: (213) 237-4322