SI's basketball research rates a top salute! I have just reviewed your 1970-71 Top 20 selections (I kepi the Nov. 30, 1970 issue out of curiosity). You hit on 14 of the 20 in the final standings—with your pick of UCLA for No. 1 and your cover photo of Sidney Wicks also on target. That is superb research!
Thus, I viewed your new Top 20 (College Basketball's Giant Season, Nov. 29) with great interest. I watched Lew Alcindor ( Kareem Jabbar) play every frosh game at UCLA, as I did Bill Walton. I thought Walton was better as a frosh, much more competitive. Also, watch Henry Bibby. Again, I salute your reportorial team.
MASON W. FUHR
Thanks so much for finally giving Jimmy Chones and the rest of the Marquette Warriors the praise and credit they deserve. Curry Kirkpatrick's fine article showed Jimmy as the real person he is. Also, thanks for ranking the Warriors No. 1. That's where the deserve to be, and I'm sure they'll show everyone that you are right!
West Allis, Wis.
Since you have said that the Milwaukee Bucks are the best team in the NBA, that the Marquette Warriors are most likely to be the NCAA champions and that the Eau claire Blugolds are probably the best small-college team in America, is it not possible to conclude that Wisconsin has suddenly become the basketball capital of the world?
West Bend, Wis.
Congratulations on your selection of the Long Beach Slate 49ers as a member of your top five. It became obvious to West Coast basketball fans after last year's near miss vs. UCLA that Long Beach is becoming the strongest power in Southern California, replacing the young Bruins and the injured Trojans. SI's foresight in placing the 49ers ahead of UCLA and USC will be substantiated when Jerry Tarkanian's team becomes the Cinderella team of the NCAA finals.
JAMES C. FROMM
Long Beach, Calif.
You have put every team in its place, except for one little mistake. UCLA doesn't have Sidney Wicks and Curtis Rowe, but the Bruins are No. 1.
Now that the 1971 football season is coming to an end, I want to thank you for all the chuckles you have given me. I laughed through the first third of the season as each week SI came out ranking Notre Dame ahead of Nebraska, but I roar at the thought of it, now. I was grinning the whole month of November when you insisted on putting Oklahoma above Nebraska, but I absolutely rolled in the aisles when your Nov. 29 issue came out listing Oklahoma No. 1. Now I suggest you all sit back and watch Nebraska make it two years in a row.
I thought the article by Dan Jenkins, This Year's Game of the Decade (Nov. 22), was excellent and can't wait to see how you will now handle the Orange Bowl.
CARL LINDEMANN JR.
New York City
A few years ago Oklahoma won 47 straight football games and you ran a cover story on the Sooners. The next week None Dame Stopped the win streak. A little later, in the mid-'60s, Tex Maule did a cover story on the Dallas Cowboys predicting that they would win the division title, but the Cowboys, alas, didn't read the story. The cries around the land each time were quick and pointedly blunt, "The SI jinx has struck!"
Also during the '60s, Dan Jenkins stuck his neck out and predicted that Texas would be the 1963 season's national champion. Texas proved him right! And a little while later, in the bowl predictions for Jan. 1, 1967, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED said that ferocious Georgia would better SMU in the Cotton Bowl. And Georgia did! Then this year, Dan Jenkins threw his whole body on the line and said that if Oklahoma fumbled three times Nebraska would win. (Man, talk about a writer with guts!) Oklahoma did fumble three times and Nebraska won.