As the '59-60 season rolled toward the mid-term exam break, the East had two of the nation's four major unbeaten teams—and both came from Philadelphia. Villanova, continuing to sparkle with Sophomore Hubie White in the lineup, ran over Duquesne 87-65 and Muhlenberg 74-46 to run its string to nine, while Dudey Moore's LaSalle veterans beat Canisius 82-68, Duquesne 68-65 for eight in a row. Temple also looked good, outscored Pitt 82-74, Lafayette 82-70.
St. Joseph's, perhaps the best team in the Philadelphia area, was not so fortunate. Fresh from a satisfying 82-77 win over St. John's, the Hawks couldn't handle Seton Hall, lost 89-88 when sophomores Art Hicks and Hank Gunter scored 48 points between them, controlled both boards.
The chase was on in the Ivy League, and Dartmouth, back in its own class, began to look as good as it was expected to be. Thriving on Chuck Kaufman's outside pops and Gary Vandeweghe's corner shooting, the Indians trounced Cornell 77-59, threw up a tenacious zone defense to hold off an improved Columbia team 84-78. But the Big Green may well cast a wary eye at Brown, which eased past Penn 63-62, Princeton 79-61.
January 18, 1960
NYU cracked Navy's zone defense in the second half, won 69-61; Army, enjoying its best season in years, got by Colgate 91-86 and Fordham 74-59. The top three:
1. NYU (8-2)
2. ST. JOSEPH'S (9-3)
3. VILLANOVA (9-0)
The Big Ten title may have been decided when big, rambunctious Ohio State won a 96-95 cliffhanger from Indiana. Larry Siegfried's short jump shot in the closing seconds was the margin. The Hoosiers, upset earlier by Northwestern 61-57, managed to contain State's Jerry Lucas but became singularly ineffective against Ohio's zone press. At week's end, preseason co-favorite Indiana moved deeper into the Big Ten cellar. Michigan State beat Michigan easily 89-58, and Purdue drubbed Wisconsin 99-69 to share the lead with the Buckeyes.
Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson was running up against the usual trick defenses, but college basketball's most talented scorer turned feeder, passed often enough to lead the Bearcats safely past Wichita 76-69 and Tulsa 83-50. Bradley had its own troubles with Tulsa, was forced into a full-court press before winning 71-58, then edged Wichita 71-70 while St. Louis was beating Houston 76-46, North Texas State 75-65.
Kansas State and Iowa State shared the early lead in the Big Eight; Notre Dame beat Detroit 75-63; Marquette defeated Louisville 61-57. The top three:
1. CINCINNATI (12-0)
2. BRADLEY (10-1)
3. OHIO STATE (9-2)
There was still no stopping Georgia Tech in the Southeastern Conference. The busy Yellow Jackets took on defending champion Mississippi State, whacked the sophomore-heavy Maroons 82-60 after Roger Kaiser broke up a close game with nine quick points in the first half. But dark horse Tulane, with 6-foot 9-inch Jack Ardon leading the attack (he scored 46 points and rebounded well), inundated Florida 71-55 and Tennessee 61-56 to hold first place. Kentucky boosted Adolph Rupp's flagging spirits, downed Vanderbilt 76-59, LSU 77-45.
North Carolina's Frank McGuire worked on defense all week, and it paid off. Strategically shifting in and out of man-to-man and zone defenses, N.C. put York Larese on Wake Forest's Billy Packer, won 62-59 on Lee Shaffer's three pointer in the last 29 seconds. Duke meanwhile beat North Carolina State's slow-down 47-34, slipped into the Atlantic Coast lead.
West Virginia, back home from the West, where it suffered its first loss, bumbled for a while against Furman, finally pulled itself together to win 95-79 for its 55th straight Southern Conference victory. Later it barely beat Penn State 75-73. The top three:
1. WEST VIRGINIA (12-1)
2. GEORGIA TECH (10-1)
3. NORTH CAROLINA (7-3)
"One thing about these kids, they're coachable and adapt quickly," said California's Pete Newell (see page 46) last week. Cal proved his judgment when USC, UCLA and Stanford ganged up their defenses on 6-foot 10-inch Darrall Imhoff. They took him outside, they double-teamed him underneath, and generally made life miserable for the big fellow. But the adaptable Bears refused to panic. They tightened up their bear-hug defense, stuck to their methodical ball-control game and beat USC 60-45, UCLA 59-47 and Stanford 52-43. USC snapped back to edge hard-luck Washington twice, 53-52 and 69-68, and shared the Big Five lead with Cal.
Hounded and harried by Utah State's tight one-three-one zone and sudden victims of an attack of cold shooting (26 for 80), Utah's Runnin' Redskins found themselves slowed down to a walk as they were upset by the durable Aggies 73-61. Colorado State, after defeating New Mexico 88-67, nestled in the Skyline lead. The top three:
1. CALIFORNIA (12-1)
2. UTAH STATE (11-2)
3. USC (10-4)
Texas A&M started fast in the Southwest Conference. The hot-handed Aggies, enjoying the usual lift from Sophomore Carroll Broussard, brushed off Baylor 68-51, mended their defenses in the second half to beat TCU 65-52. Texas and Arkansas each won twice to keep pace with Texas A&M but found the going much rougher.
New Mexico State got off on the right foot in its quest for Border honors, winning over Arizona 70-53 while co-favorite Arizona State used its speed to down Texas Western 84-63. The top three:
1. TEXAS A&M (10-0)
2. TEXAS (8-3)
3. NEW MEXICO STATE (11-3)
Although no longer a novelty, Philadelphia's gangling Wilt Chamberlain continued to amaze even his teammates. In his best week yet, Wilt dunked, dipped and hooked for 206 points, including 52 against the Lakers (left), while the Warriors stretched their winning streak to eight. As a result, Philadelphia trailed Boston by only 3½ games in the East. In the weaker West, St. Louis stood 10 games ahead of slumping Detroit.