“Perform at your best when your best is required. Your best is required each day.” — John Wooden.
That’s what UCLA players did in their Final Four game. I’m a proud Bruin fan. UCLA played better than many writers, announcers and oddsmakers ever imagined. Charles Barkley and many others noted it was the best Final Four game they ever saw. The UCLA athletic program won because the Final Four game will inspire future players, students, alumni, coaches and fans, as John Wooden did for us. The players for both teams truly did their best when their best was required and their efforts will inspire people well beyond athletics.
College basketball junkies across the U.S. got their fix and plenty more last Saturday night.
The UCLA-Gonzaga game was easily the wildest, most entertaining NCAA game I have watched in my life. It defined March Madness. A roller coaster ride like I have never experienced before. I was glued to my old plasma TV from start to finish sucking on a white towel like Jerry Tarkanian of the UNLV’s Runnin’ Rebels.
Most Final Four post-mortem analyses are emphasizing the storied legacy of incomparable coach John Wooden. So then, why compare him? Mick Cronin’s contribution to UCLA’s basketball present and future is its own story. I was there during UCLA’s championship years and knew Coach Wooden. He, perhaps more than anyone, would want to see today’s light shine on Cronin and his team, casting no shadow from the past. It’s a new day, and I can’t wait for next season.
April Anson Dammann
With all due respect to Baylor and its basketball program, Baylor did not beat Gonzaga for the NCAA championship, UCLA did. The emotional thrill of beating the Bruins was too much for Gonzaga, as if it won the title during that Final Four game. Suggs, who threw up the buzzer beater, did not score in the championship game till half time and little was left in the tank.
H. Courtney Hughes
Coach Cronin said, “I think it would be great,” referring to hanging a Final Four banner inside Pauley Pavilion alongside their 11 national championship title banners. Please, no way! UCLA goes to the NCAA tournament to win it all. It would tarnish the history of UCLA basketball. Do you think Gonzaga is thinking about hanging a 31-1 banner for this year?
As a longtime Bruins fan, now I know how the Missouri fans felt when Tyus Edney tore their heart out in 1995 on the way to our last championship.
As I read Monday’s Sports section re my alma mater and the Gonzaga game, I continually tear up and not sure why. After giving it some thought, maybe it’s because this university changed my life, provided me with an education and a living and perhaps most importantly, lifelong friends and an appreciation for what is referred to as “The People’s School.” It is certainly that, as the opportunities it presents and gifts is there for all who attend.
Monday’s sports section was one of the best that I have read in a long time. The articles about UCLA’s basketball team and Coach Cronin gave credit for an amazing effort during March Madness.
Speaking of lucky shots, after firing three airballs in failing to lure John Calipari, Jamie Dixon or Rick Barnes to Westwood, Dan Guerrero finally nailed a Hail Mary in hiring Mick Cronin.
My girlfriend (now my wife) and I were attending UCLA when John Wooden won his first NCAA championship. We were both disappointed by their recent loss to Gonzaga; however, neither of us understands the entire front page of the April 5 sports section being nothing but UCLA basketball. After the NCAA showed their overwhelming chauvinism by denying the women equal workout and nutrition amenities the L.A. Times adds insult to injury by giving the losing men the front page and relegating the winning women to the fifth page.
One Dodger problem
What is the thinking of the Dodgers brain trust that keeps Kenley Jansen being used in critical situations? There was a time when that would have been a good move. Those days are a memory. Time to face reality.
The Dodgers are such a talented team it’s almost scary. Only their loyalty to Kenley Jansen as a closer could be the Achilles’ heel in their well-constructed armor.
Corona del Mar
Enough dumping on Kenley Jansen!
Wednesday’s loss to Oakland was a team effort. Three measly runs? Thirteen men left on base? Max Muncy meekly throwing to first versus third when the A’s bunted in the top of the ninth? Please.
A closer’s job is to save ballgames, not be a savior to compensate for an overall weak team performance.
With the embarrassment of starting pitching riches the Dodgers have this season, why not preserve the arm of of one of the greats and fill a big need: Clayton Kerahaw to closer for part of the season?
With so many states attempting to enact voter suppression laws, MLB may have to hold all future All-Star games in Canada.
Many states have voter ID laws and the majority of Americans, including Black Americans, support them. Shame on MLB for moving the All-Star game and getting involved in a controversial political issue. There used to be a time when sports united Americans instead of dividing us, but I guess we “woke” up to that silly idea.
Sadly, MLB lost a wonderful opportunity to highlight and honor the rich history of Atlanta’s civil rights movement and its’ people (i.e. King, Abernathy, Lewis). Instead, they played politics.
I’m happy that Tiger Woods survived his horrible auto accident, when he was driving double the speed limit on a winding California road. I also saw that no criminal charges will be filed. I wonder if the same would be true if the person causing the accident were Ralph Woods, Kenneth Woods, or any other Woods not named Tiger.
Bill Self: coach at Kansas University. Possible investigations of five Level One infractions for inappropriate benefits and conduct at the university’s men’s basketball program. Price: $54.1 million
Joni Taylor: coach at University of Georgia women’s basketball program. Price: $4.25 million.
I guess you do get what you pay for these days.
Whenever anyone near me expresses the opinion that “government should be run like a business” my immediate response is always “Dean Spanos” and the argument ends.
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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.