Zack LaVine, Bryce Alford

UCLA's Zack LaVine, left, and Bryce Alford, right, walk off the court after the Bruins' loss to Florida, 79-68, on Thursday in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / March 27, 2014)

Not sure which game Bill Plaschke was watching when he wrote such glowing compliments of UCLA's Sweet 16 performance against Florida. Defense wins games in the tournament, and the Bruins' defense, absent for much of the season, was AWOL as Florida nailed jump shot after jump shot. But at least Steve Alford made great halftime adjustments .... oh, wait. UCLA lost to a less-talented, better-prepared, better-coached team. But they did beat the 12th and 13th seeds to get there.

Another Steve-16 for UCLA ... just with a different Steve.

Tony Siracusa

San Gabriel

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The UCLA-Florida tournament matchups are starting to feel very much like the Celtics-Lakers playoff series in the 1960s when Boston broke our hearts year after year. It took something very special to finally beat the unbeatable foe. And while Kyle Anderson is a terrific player, I'm afraid there was no Magic in the arena.

Jerry Leibowitz

Culver City

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OK, it's not the coach's fault when Parker misses a key free throw, or LaVine and Anderson miss layups at crunch time, or they make only three out of 18 three-pointers and get out rebounded by 10 boards, but when you finally close in to one point and you put your son in and take out your best player, that ain't kosher, Coach.

Alan Segal

San Diego

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I have been a UCLA basketball fan since the days of Walt Torrence and Willie Naulls. This year's team exceeded my expectations, acquitted themselves well in the tournament, and I hope that Steve Alford has a long and illustrious career in Westwood. The days of John Wooden's success cannot be revisited and we can no longer look to his achievements as a standard by which to compare today's teams.

Michael Davidson

Altadena

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Dear Zach LaVine,

Did you ask Shabazz Muhammad how the splinters are on the NBA bench while he develops his game? And remember, Reeves Nelson and Tyler Honeycutt are still saving you a seat at their table at the Todd Marinovich Cafe.

Jeff Black