Well, the kiss of death still lives. You tried not to jinx the UCLA-North Carolina State game by putting both Bill Walton and Tom Burleson on the March 25 cover. The game (two overtimes) was as close as the jinx allowed. Your picture of Walton was [1/16]" wider than your picture of Burleson.
In his article (Down and Out, Back Up and Ready) Barry McDermott did not foresee the one deciding factor in the UCLA-North Carolina State game. N.C. State Coach Norm Sloan started two Hoosiers ( Monte Towe and Tim Stoddard), who played a fine game for him, while John Wooden kept his Hoosier (Pete Trgovich) on the bench. You might say that Everett Case finally got his revenge. It works this way: when John Wooden was a senior at Martinsville ( Ind.) High School in 1928, his team defeated Frankfort 30-13 in the semifinal game of the Indiana State Basketball Tournament. Frankfort was coached by Everett Case, who went on to coach Frankfort to four state titles. As mentioned on the UCLA-N.C. State national telecast, Case gave Norm Sloan his start in basketball. Thus, 46 years later, in another semifinal game, Wooden and UCLA lost to Sloan and N.C. State. By the way, Sloan also played high school basketball in Indiana and was named to the Silver Anniversary Hall of Fame team in 1969.
Another famous name popped up in that 1928 game. One of the two officials was Birch Bayh Sr.
WILLIAM L. CRAWFORD
SI cover-story jinx or no, it was written in the stars that the N.C. State Wolfpack was going to win the NCAA basketball championship. When Coach Norm Sloan wore that loud sport coat that unjinxes everything, we knew the Pack would win. If you did not notice, Norm wore the same coat during the last two ACC games, through the ACC tournament, through the Eastern Regionals and through the championships.
ALBERTO R. QUISUMBING
Please tell Barry McDermott that we did stop all the plows down here in North Carolina that Saturday, but in the process we stopped a few other machines simultaneously, namely, Big Red and his factory and sporty Al McGuire.
Barry can talk corn pone, grits and tobacco smoke all he wants to, just as long as he gives our NCAA champions—North Carolina State—their due respect. We don't mind. We're good sports, good supporters and, one thing for sure, darn good basketball players.
Tell Barry we still love him, though. Till the cows come home, that is.
LORENA H. COPELAND
While your magazine has done some irritating things before, your March 25 issue takes the cake. Not only did you slight the University of Dayton by suggesting that its triple-overtime loss to UCLA was a fluke, you gave it only minor coverage. When one of the finest college games of all time merits no more space than that given to a photo of Bill Walton lounging by poolside, something is wrong. And Barry McDermott's words "in the next two overtimes Dayton had few chances at victory" amaze me, for I sat at courtside as a member of the press and saw the Flyers miss several golden opportunities. What game was Mr. McDermott viewing?
After Dayton soundly beat Notre Dame, you gave the game one line. Then when the Flyers play UCLA even for 50 minutes, you give the game a brief paragraph. We all know that Dayton lost and we all know that losers complain a great deal, but how about some credit where credit is due?
JOHN A. MATLAK
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Mark Mulvoy's article on the Montreal Canadiens (A Dynasty Imperiled, March 25) was degrading. The fact that the Canadiens have been plagued by injuries has hurt their season, but when the regulars were out, there was plenty of talent on the bench. How about Steve Shutt? He, along with Yvon Lambert and Dave Gardner (since traded to St. Louis), did a fine job when the Habs' big line of Cournoyer-Lemaire-Lefley was injured. Pierre Bouchard also did an outstanding job on defense when All-Stars Guy Lapointe, Serge Savard and veteran Jacques Laperriere were out.