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Original Issue


Your projected field of 65 NCAA tournament teams includes just nine from the six conferences in the west. You have eight teams making the tournament from the Big East alone. You've got to be kidding. I will be sure to remind you of your picks come March.

Ward Bouman, San Diego

How could you leave Wisconsin out of your NCAA tournament field (Filling the Brackets, Nov. 23)? In eight years coach Bo Ryan has a .726 winning percentage and has appeared in eight consecutive tournaments, and he's done it with talent that has generally been judged as inferior by the experts. Ryan could take a team consisting of me, three dwarves and a Cheesehead plucked from a Lambeau tailgate and find a way to win 20-plus games.

Matt Klecker, Chicago

You ranked Syracuse No. 35, and as a further insult, in the key game section of the scouting report for No. 11 Cal you wrote, "Cal has some tough challenges—including either North Carolina or Ohio State in the 2K Sports Classic," ignoring the fact that Cal would first have to get past Syracuse. The Orange destroyed Cal and North Carolina to win the tournament.

Jeff Lesserson

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

How could you leave a Pitt team that made last year's Elite Eight out of your field of 65?

Bryan Reeves, Irwin, Pa.

Where's Xavier? The Musketeers have only been to eight of the last nine tournaments and have made the Elite Eight in 2004 and '08. Thanks for the bulletin-board material. See you in March.

Justin Feldkamp

Lynchburg, Va.

I was bummed to see that you didn't include Cleveland State. This year's team will be even better than the one that made the tournament last year.

Matt Luecke, Columbus, Ohio

Controversial Calipari

Kentucky's new basketball coach, John Calipari (The Very Best of Enemies, Nov. 23), in talking about the problems at his previous stops, says, "We run a class program ... but there are times when things happen...." Right—and the NCAA violations and probations always seem to happen wherever Calipari goes. Coincidence?

Tom Urbaniak, Holland, Mich.

Just the hiring of Calipari, not to mention a highly talented recruiting class, has the Big Blue Nation believing that championships are soon in store. Rick Pitino never had that kind of instant impact.

Darrin Pursley, Benton, Ky.

The easy prediction is that Kentucky will make the Final Four with Calipari as coach; the tougher call is guessing when that season will be vacated.

Pete Dalldorf, Greensboro, N.C.

Far Out

Your item One Weird Trip (SCORECARD, Nov. 23), about a short film on the Internet, perpetuates the urban legend that Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter on LSD. Anyone who has used the drug knows that such a feat is beyond impossible. Perhaps he pitched the day after taking LSD, but not the day of. Glorifying this terribly dangerous recreational drug is a disservice to young readers.

John Pfeiffer, Denver

Boise Makes Noise

Once again Boise State complains about being overlooked (Boise States Its Case, Nov. 23) but it has no one to blame but itself. After facing Oregon (at home), it chose to play two MAC weaklings and UC-Davis, which is new to Division I. Boise State wants respect? Schedule more impressive nonconference opponents, Broncos, and then we can talk.

Kevin Druckenmiller

Fremont, Ohio

The Big Ten has needed a 12th team for more than a decade, and since the obvious candidate (Notre Dame) is too chicken, maybe Boise State should apply for membership. Then the Broncos could get more respect and the Big Ten could have a conference championship game.

Jeffrey K. Anderson

Middleton, Wis.

If Boise State expects to be taken seriously, it has to lose that silly blue field.

Jim Lein, Minot, N.D.

Minimum Effort

There is no question that signing for the league minimum, as Chris Ballard suggests (POINT AFTER, Nov. 23) is the right decision for LeBron James. In a time when the nation as a whole is suffering from economic troubles, it would be a terrific statement if one of sports' biggest stars made that choice.

Zach Tomp, San Diego

The assertion that LeBron James should opt for the proverbial one-dollar salary as Steve Jobs did misses one crucial point: In the business world careers are several times as long as those of professional athletes—and a lot more resilient. Jobs got sick with cancer and is still running Apple. James is one torn knee ligament away from unemployment.

Jude Dozor

Huntington Beach, Calif.

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