Coach Mike Krzyzewski's decision to have Brian Zoubek purposely miss his second foul shot with 3.6 seconds left against Butler was one of the worst decisions in the history of the NCAA tournament. I'm surprised at how rarely it has been called into question, because if Gordon's Hayward's shot had gone in and Duke had lost, Coach K's reputation would have been changed forever.
Joe McCarthy, Coventry, R.I.
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Wow, what a great story about last year's NCAA final (A Fling and a Prayer, March 21). I love the way Tim Layden vividly walked you through what Hayward did, from making long-range shots in practice to the final seconds of the title game, when he had the ball in his hands behind midcourt. Even though I knew the outcome, I was taken back to that moment, hoping the last shot by Hayward would hit ... nothing but net.
Terry Jensen, Caldwell, Idaho
Back to the Future
As I read Joe Posnanski's story on future prospects in Kansas City (Royals, Flush, March 21) I took time to close my eyes and imagine the glorious scenario he painted. I envisioned the parade cruising down Ward Parkway with World Series MVP Eric Hosmer waving excitedly to the crowd. By the time I finished reading I had tears in my eyes. As a lifelong Royals fan I want to thank you for the inspiration and for making my spring.
Ryan Bartlett, Minneapolis
With all of the great possibilities in the Royals' farm system, I'm happy for Kansas City fans, who have long suffered with their team. But as a die-hard fan of another AL Central team, the Twins, I am now worried about what will happen to mine.
Steve Rushin feels my pain (SCORECARD, March 21). Having small children and a partner who has no interest in sports, I have lived for years with the challenge of trying to avoid the news and calls from friends regarding games that I looked forward to watching on TiVo. The worst-case scenario, however, happened to me twice last fall when my wife and I paused a Giants playoff and World Series game to put the kids to sleep, only to learn the outcomes when I heard the neighbors erupt into cheering, pot-banging and horn-honking.
Scott Hummel, Fairfax, Calif.
Like the author, I usually answer the phone, "Please do not mention the score of the game or anything regarding today's sports," if I am waiting to watch a game that I missed. Unfortunately, my dad never did warm to this concept. He would always reply, "O.K., I won't mention the game, but you are not going to like the outcome."
Penny Schroeder, Minong, Wis.
While discussing with my father your article on troubled college coaches (SCORECARD, March 21) he expressed how surprised he was by Jim Tressel's involvement in the scandal at Ohio State. Unfortunately I was not. With coaches like Tressel making millions of dollars, knowing that their jobs depend on how often they win, there's almost nothing they wouldn't do to protect their players and keep their programs on top.
David E. Johnson
Mount Vernon, Wash.
A university president like Ohio State's E. Gordon Gee's dismissing the possibility of firing Tressel clearly demonstrates to prospective athletes that the rules can be broken without consequences and that big names in the athletic department will be protected by their institutions.
I believe Tressel felt the need to treat the information he received last April about his players' trading memorabilia as a private matter, and thus decided to resolve the problem internally for the sake of their careers, even though he knew that would cause him trouble. As a player, I'd want a coach who is willing to sacrifice his own interests for my future. As a fan, I admire a coach willing to make such difficult decisions.
Bill Marting, Akron
Call to Action
If a new labor agreement (INSIDE THE NFL, March 21) isn't reached in time for the upcoming NFL draft later this month, I think the fans should boycott that event and several games thereafter in order to have our voices heard. After all, it is some of our money they're fighting over, and in many ways we're the ones who will lose the most.
Ryan Caffrey, Chicago
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