I loved your March
20 cover featuring all 65 teams in the NCAA tournament--and those two cover
challenges you included this year were just perfect for those of us looking for
something to keep us focused on March Madness during commercial breaks!
Jimmy Nall, Lexington, Ky.
I think you need
to add something to your SPORTS ILLUSTRATED�Cover Challenge: Contest 3
(very, very hard--in fact, impossible): Find more than two female NCAA
basketball players. Cheerleaders don't count!
Allie Cook, North Reading, Mass.
To Have and Have
Possession Obsession (March 20) made a good case for the value of efficiency
ratings. Seven of the 10 power conference teams with the highest efficiency
margins made it to the Sweet 16. Twelve of 27 teams in the Good Offense--Good
Defense quadrant of The Efficiency Matrix advanced that far, while not one of
the 13 in the Bad Offense--Bad Defense quadrant made it. Next year I'll be sure
to check the efficiency ratings before filling out my brackets. Maybe that will
save me from taking grief from my wife, who spends much less time watching
college basketball than I do, yet successfully picked 13 of the Sweet 16 this
Steven Z. George, Gainesville, Fla.
I really like
using possession efficiency to evaluate basketball teams. Basketball rules
provide each team with an equal number of possessions in any game--with one
exception: Offensive rebounds can upset a game's equilibrium. For those who
subscribe to the theory of possession efficiency, that stat is key.
Robert E. Rich, East Lansing, Mich.
Efficiency Matrix for roto geeks. I'm sticking with my tried and true method of
using uniform colors, the number of vowels in mascot names and the ranking of
each school's music department to fill out my brackets.
Fred Cunningham, Simpsonville, S.C.
With all due
respect to the estimable Dean Smith, dubbing him "the most successful coach
in the history of Division I college basketball" is akin to placing Marv
Levy or Bud Grant on a higher pedestal than Vince Lombardi. Longevity and
tournament games won are admirable, but Smith won two national titles in 36
years as a head coach; John Wooden won 10 in 27 at UCLA. As a mark of true
greatness, I'll take the Wizard of Westwood's numbers.
Kent Cowgill, Houston, Minn.
I grew up in
Southern California and became a Los Angeles Dodgers fan for life. But my
oldest son, at the age of 10, became a Minnesota Twins fan for reasons I
couldn't begin to fathom and hung pictures of centerfielder Kirby Puckett in
his bedroom. After reading Steve Rushin's tribute to the greatest Twin of them
all (Air and Space, March 20), I now understand why my son chose Puckett as his
Ralph S. Brax, Lancaster, Calif.