NO. 1 CATS
How about them Cats? Congratulations to coach Rollie Massimino and his upstart NCAA champions. Villanova truly is a team of destiny. Curry Kirkpatrick (Shooting The Lights Out, April 8) did such a masterful job of capturing the character of Villanova and its basketball program that we 'Nova fans might forgive you for the lack of respect afforded the Wildcats in your weekly polls during the regular season.
I don't watch much television. Did Villanova really win the NCAA title or is this another of your stupid April Fools' jokes?
GARY L. JAMES
In retrospect, it was significant that Villa-nova's Dwayne McClain seemed to soar above St. John's and Georgetown on your April 1 cover. This year's NCAA tournament proved what many had been saying all along—the Big East is the strongest conference in the land. All six NCAA bids were deserved. The league has balance. The talent and coaching are exceptional, and, as many an errant elbow has shown, the competition is fierce. Who says parity is boring?
JOHN M. JARNOT
Your April 1 cover failed to treat Memphis State as a member of the Final Four. Any squad that finishes 31-4 and was ranked by both wire services all year long deserves far better than to be compared to Seton Hall, the Big East cellar dweller.
I hope that Villanova's defeat of Georgetown, a clearly superior team, stimulates renewed appreciation for what UCLA accomplished during the late 1960s and early '70s. For years everyone gunned for the Bruins, hoping for an upset like Villanova's over Georgetown, and for years UCLA defeated all comers. UCLA beat its NCAA tournament opponents 38 consecutive times.
My late friend and client Harry Chapin would have been thrilled to see the use of his lyrics from Cat's in the Cradle in Curry Kirkpatrick's story on Villanova's NCAA victory. Harry was a true basketball fan, and we often played pickup games. He played the same way he lived: flat-out, with every ounce of energy he had. As his brothers, Tom, Steve and Jeb, will tell you, Harry's only drawback was that he loved to shoot and rarely passed the ball. Tom, by the way, was the leading rebounder on his State University of New York, Pittsburgh team.
ANOTHER EASTERN POWER
Hats off to Jack Falla for his excellent article (Textbook Engineering, April 8) on RPI's NCAA hockey championship. It almost makes up for SI's virtually ignoring the Engineers all season. I hope RPI's playoff wins over the CCHA's Lake Superior, the WCHA's Minnesota-Duluth and Hockey East's Providence will silence critics of ECAC hockey.
Jaime Diaz's story about the Cavs (Moving Up In The World, April 8) was a long time coming. I've been a loyal fan, even through the rough years, and it was a tremendous pleasure to see the Cavs recognized as something other than the joke of the NBA. Yes, the Cavs are for real!
Pepper Pike, Ohio
The Cavs are having a good season and your piece was fine, except that you slipped up in crediting them with "...a blowout of the Bucks in Milwaukee." When the teams last met in Milwaukee, the Bucks won by 35 points, their biggest margin of this "rebuilding" season. Earlier the Cavs beat the Bucks 128-106, but that game was played in Cleveland. The Cavs won that one without World B. Free and Lonnie Shelton, proving how far they've come since their 2-19 start.
THE SAGA OF SIDD FINCH (CONT.)
One hundred and sixty-eight thanks to George Plimpton for his delightfully absurd expos� of the phantom phenom, Sidd Finch (The Curious Case Of Sidd Finch, April 1). When I found out the story wasn't true, I was enraged. I'd been such a fool. I didn't feel any smarter when, in reviewing the story, I realized that the most amazing thing about it was that anyone believed it. For example, I'd wager that most French horn virtuosos who sleep on yak fur and speak fluent Sanskrit would rather be in the American League.