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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover the Pac-12 for The Salt Lake Tribune.

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Pac-12: UCLA's search will define program's status

Even with Arizona and Oregon advancing to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16, the biggest news in Pac-12 basketball this past weekend was UCLA's firing of coach Ben Howland.

The move drove home the point that failing to reach the Sweet 16 for five straight years trumps playing in three consecutive Final Fours. Howland, a former Weber State player, was dismissed after the Bruins lost badly to Minnesota in the round of 64.

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It's a bold move by UCLA's administration, and what comes next will be very interesting. This coaching search will serve as a gauge of what UCLA - "those four letters," to use one of Howland's expressions - mean in the marketplace these days. It's a test of the program's status in college basketball. If the Bruins can lure one of the profession's rising stars or another proven coach, they can re-establish themselves as a Pac-12 power.

Wait. They won the conference championship this year, right? That's not good enough in Pauley Pavilion, where the only banners represent NCAA titles. But the quality of coach UCLA is able to land undoubtedly will affect everybody else in the conference.

PAC-12 Links
Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Arizona Wildcats' Lalang honored as top scholar-athlete
» Pac 12 Media Days
» Arizona football: Live blog from Pac-12 Media Days
» UA football: Cats take turn in Hollywood spotlight

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Jimmy Kimmel and Oregon Ducks' Marcus Mariota, Derrick Malone pose for picture
» Pac-12 Media Days Audible: Tyson Alger and Gina Mizell have a summary of Day 1 (video)
» Pac-12 Media Days: Complete coverage by Oregon, Oregon State reporters (links)
» USA's Tyler Brown and Lamar Bruton-Grinnage cruise into 400 finals: IAAF World Junior Championships 2014

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» Oregon State hires longtime trainer hired Fred Tedeschi
» Beavers hire Mark Massari as deputy athletics director
» Oregon State hands out Bennys to top athletes, coaches and teams
» OSU fishing: MacDonald, Martinez win conference tournament

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott disputes remarks by Big 12's Bob Bowlsby
» DirecTV still saying no to Pac-12 Network
» Stanford, SJSU game might move to Levi's Stadium
» Oregon picked over Stanford to win Pac-12 North

UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» College Football: Position coach Adrian Klemm says UCLA offensive line a work in progress
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame

USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'

Washington (Seattle Times)
» Washington to play Oklahoma in Las Vegas
» Jayda Evans' power rankings: Week 10 Edition (VIDEO)
» Live chat from Pac-12 football media days at 3 p.m.
» USC's Steve Sarkisian on the Huskies: 'I can honestly say I'll be rooting for them this fall'

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Notes, quotes and stories from media day
» (Transcript) Mike Leach at media day
» (Video) Mike Leach at media day
» Bronze may be Sherman's favorite color



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