BY THE NUMBERS
A big bow to SI's basketball research (Scouting Reports, Dec 2). Louisville Coach Denny Crum has finally gotten the big man he's needed, and should Ricky Gallon live up to his potential the Cardinals will have the country's most exciting team. It will be UCLA vs. Louisville this spring.
MASON W. FUHR
Louisville may have some Cards, but North Carolina State has the whole Pack.
GEORGE L. COMER
Thank you for not picking North Carolina State No. 1. That just about clinches the championship for the Wolfpack again. Honestly now, is there anyone in the world who can stop David Thompson?
Lexington Park, Md.
In 1969, after Lew Alcindor had left UCLA, South Carolina was your preseason No. 1 pick. In 1971, when Sidney Wicks, Curtis Rowe and Steve Patterson had left, you chose Marquette to be No. 1. Now the Walton Gang has graduated and you predict that Louisville will be the champion. Will you never learn? UCLA will once more take the NCAA title, not only because it has size, speed and talented players, but because it still has the most important individual in its long string of championships, Coach Johnny Wooden.
All I want to say is that by season's end Marquette, your No. 18 team, will have beaten your No. 1 team, your No. 5 team (twice), your No. 11 team, your No. 13 team (twice) and your No. 17 team.
I am appalled that you failed to list the University of Dayton in your top 20. Last season the Flyers upset Notre Dame, and in the NCAA tournament it took UCLA three overtime periods to defeat us 111-100, a very misleading score. We have Johnny Davis, Joe Fisher and Allen Elijah, so the team should be as powerful as it was last year.
Having spent half a dozen years covering basketball in the Western Athletic Conference and having developed a special affection for the blunt and colorful coaching crew in the conference, I offer my congratulations to Curry Kirkpatrick for his fine article Somewhere Out West Is the Wacky WAC (Dec. 2). He captured the wild and intangible flavor of the WAC in superb fashion.
As for the Fox, the Bear and the Hippie, even Aesop might have blinked at some of the fables that have grown around them. In the process, however, they have enriched the game of basketball on and off the court. And if their egos are as wide as the Fox's lapels, you can only drag out the old quote: "If you can do it, it ain't braggin'."
Again, cheers for Kirkpatrick. Seldom have I been so entertained by a sports article.
P. J. ERICKSON
The Arizona Republic
As an alumnus of Yale who had the misfortune to witness the Harvard "explosions" of 1968 and 1974, I read Robert H. Boyle's article (Explosion at The Game, Dec. 2) with interest and appreciation. The Game was without a doubt the most important event not to be televised this season. Dating back to 1875, it represents one of the oldest football rivalries in the nation. More important, The Game consistently provides the perfect combination of athletic skill, convulsive unpredictability and general collegiate insanity on and off the field. For many of us, it is as close to the ultimate as we would care to get. Besides, nowhere else will you hear a pregame statement like that of Yale's Gary Fencik, who reputedly said that the fair catch "impugns my integrity."
New Milford, Conn.