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Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon
Kurt Kragthorpe and Kyle Goon cover University of Utah sports teams 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 Video Extra: UA football
» Greg Hansen's Video Notebook
» Arizona Wildcats Video Extra...Arizona football makes the most out of Spring practice
» Video collection: NBA decision day at McKale

Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» ASU hockey tops Robert Morris to claim ACHA crown
» ASU baseball drops series against Tennessee
» Cancer fails to pin ASU's Eskam or derail his big plans for life
» Late errors doom ASU baseball in tough loss to Tennessee

California (East Bay Tribune)
» Cal football: Espitia hopes he's found home at linebacker
» Local digest: Longtime Stanford diving coach Rick Schavone is retiring
» Local digest: Saint Mary's men's golf leads at WCC tournament
» Cal names Tennessee's Cuonzo Martin as new basketball coach

Colorado (Denver Post)
» Colorado Classics: Darian Hagan, former CU Buffs quarterback
» CU Buffs backup QB Jordan Gehrke impresses during spring drills
» Fleet freshman receivers shine in CU Buffs' spring game
» Spring games are important, Colorado's Mike MacIntyre says

Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Canzano: Oregon Ducks coach Mark Helfrich says there is no user's manual to being a head coach
» Oregon Ducks' multi-dimensional Oshay Dunmore hopes reunion with Erik Chinander ends in a breakout spring
» Austin Grebeck plays hero again as No. 23 Oregon completes sweep of Washington State
» Oregon Ducks sprinters make noise at Mt. SAC Relays

Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» OSU men's basketball: De Carolis statement on men's basketball
» Oregon State's tournament success caps a remarkably quick turnaround
» OSU gymnastics: Beavers headed to Penn State for NCAA regionals
» OSU wins seventh straight racquetball national title

Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford's Olympic diving coach Rick Schavone retires
» Local digest: Longtime Stanford diving coach Rick Schavone is retiring
» Local digest: Saint Mary's men's golf leads at WCC tournament
» Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike is WNBA's top overall draft pick

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)
» Jeff Lindquist shines but UW quarterback competition to continue
» California avoids sweep, beats Huskies in baseball
» Deontae Cooper, Lavon Coleman, Jeff Lindquist shine in UW spring game
» Videos: Deontae Cooper, Jonathan Smith after UW's spring game

Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Spring Practice Report: Day 11
» Video: Idaho's Petrino after scrimmage
» Shock clash with unbeaten Gladiators
» There are some shining lights out there



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