Although many of the nation's college basketball players were busy with midyear exams, some mixed baskets with books. This versatility was best demonstrated by Ohio State, which methodically stretched its winning streak to 18. However, DePaul, after 11 in a row, reluctantly left the unbeaten ranks.
While St. John's and Ivy League leader Princeton sat out the week in the classrooms, St. Bonaventure tuned up its fast break and whipped Canisius 96-76. The quick Bonnies, led by eager sophomore Fred Crawford and casual Tom Stith, ran Canisius bowlegged, left their New York neighbors far behind before the reserves took over.
Providence, forced into double overtime by ambitious Niagara, finally won 76-74 when big Jim Hadnot calmly dropped in two foul shots with four seconds to play. Pitt, suddenly emerging from obscurity, tossed a scare into West Virginia before losing 73-68, then outfought Temple 80-75 in overtime. Army, bigger and more talented than in recent years, edged Williams 60-58 on Ron Hannon's buzzer shot and beat Columbia 48-40 with superior defense for its sixth straight. Penn tied up Villanova's Hubie White with a tight zone and surprised the Wildcats 63-62, but lost to LaSalle 67-63. The top three:
January 30, 1961
1. ST. BONAVENTURE (14-1)
2. ST. JOHN'S (10-2)
3. PRINCETON (9-2)
Taunted by rivals (Maryland cheerleaders spelled out P-R-O-B-A-T-I-O-N), NCAA-banned North Carolina nevertheless went grimly about its business. York Larese and Doug Moe scored 14 of the Tar Heels' 18 field goals as North Carolina beat Maryland 58-52. But Coach Frank McGuire was far from pleased: "I told them to stop standing around admiring Larese and Moe and give them some help." Against North Carolina State, the Tar Heels did just that. Larese and Moe scored 27 each, Jim Hudock helped out with 20, and North Carolina won handsomely, 97-66, to tie idle Duke for the Atlantic Coast Conference lead.
It seemed unlikely, but Mississippi State was in command in the Southeastern Conference. The young Maroons gave Georgia Tech's Roger Kaiser the long shots (and 31 points), concentrated on stopping the Jackets inside and beat them 62-61 in overtime on six points by Jerry Graves. Mississippi was next, and State flurried for 26 points in the last six minutes to win 63-40.
"They could kick up quite a fuss," said West Virginia's George King before his team played Virginia Tech. But Tech kicked up a fuss long before the game started. Coach Chuck Noe suspended starters Bucky Keller and Bob Ayersman for disciplinary reasons ("they were more than an hour late for a normal squad function"), and Tech was no match for the Mountaineers at Morgantown. Rod Thorn and Jim McCormick wrecked the VPI slowdown, scored 41 points between them, and West Virginia won 83-72 to break a tie for first in the Southern Conference. Earlier, Furman upset The Citadel 92-84 to knock the Bulldogs out of first place.
Louisville, beaten by Xavier 84-77, picked a nationwide TV date to snap a two-game losing streak. The Cardinals cracked Dayton's zone, caught the Flyers in a cold spell and won 63-50. The top three:
1. NORTH CAROLINA (12-2)
2. DUKE (13-1)
3. LOUISVILLE (14-2)
Utah Coach Jack Gardner rarely has to worry about his offense. He just turns loose Billy McGill and considers the job done. But his defense is another matter. It sometimes leaks like a wind-whipped umbrella. Last week Brigham Young found it that way. With Gary Earnest jump-shooting accurately from behind a split-second screen for 26 points and Dave Eastis matching McGill's 32 points, BYU took advantage of Utah's too loose man-to-man and upset the Redskins 91-86. Next night the Utes closed up the gaps and easily beat Montana 72-56. But it was too late to keep Colorado State U., a 60-53 winner over New Mexico, from taking the Skyline lead. The top three:
1. USC (12-2)
2. UTAH (11-5)
3. UCLA (10-3)
It is now clear that Texas is the team to beat in the Southwest Conference. Last week the aggressive Longhorns weren't quite up to the task of containing Texas A&M's brilliant Carroll Broussard, who flipped in 37 points despite a harassing, fouling defense—but 37 wasn't enough. Albert Almanza and pesky little Jimmy Gilbert outhustled and outscored the other Aggies, and Texas won 81-76 to take over first place.
Texas A&M and Broussard had no more luck against independent Houston. The Cougars "held" Broussard to 26 points and beat the Aggies 89-85 after Ted Luckenbill pulled them out of an 83-83 tie with three minutes to go. Then Houston faltered at Miami and lost to the hot-shooting Hurricanes 89-78. The top three:
1. TEXAS (10-5)
2. HOUSTON (10-6)
3. OKLAHOMA CITY (11-5)
For a few wild moments Minnesota's tricked-up three-two offense, which sent the little Gopher guards scurrying for the basket and kept Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek away from the boards, had Ohio State on the run. Then the Buckeyes adjusted their defenses, Lucas led them on a 10-point tear, and soon thereafter Minnesota was finished. Lucas scored 22 points, Havlicek got 16, and Ohio State won 75-56. But things didn't work out as well for Iowa. Purdue hounded the usually vigorous Hawkeyes with a nagging zone, slowed them down with a cautious ball-control game, and talented Terry Dischinger did the rest. Terry snared 17 rebounds, scored 19 points and led the Boilermakers to a 47-41 victory.
Big Eight leader Kansas, upset by Oklahoma State 54-49, made a comeback against Kansas State. The Jayhawks muddled a bit until their patterns began to work, then used the rebounding and scoring of Bill Bridges and Wayne High-tower to beat the Wildcats 75-66.
DePaul's hopes for a return to the glory of the George Mikan days died at Notre Dame. The rough-tough Irish, who almost never lose at home, simply overpowered DePaul to win 61-58. And it was even worse at Kalamazoo, where Western Michigan whipped the Blue Demons 85-60. The top three:
1. OHIO STATE (13-0)
2. BRADLEY (13-1)
3. IOWA (12-2)
Boston's glib Red Auerbach, who had confidently predicted, "We'll win because we're better," ruefully munched his own words after the West outran, outshot, outrebounded and generally outhustled Auerbach's East team 153-131 in the annual NBA All-Star game at Syracuse. It was no contest after the West unleashed a withering first-quarter attack for a 47-19 lead. St. Louis' sturdy Clyde Lovellette was too much for Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain, who was boxed, battered, bumped and outmaneuvered under the boards and held to two field goals. When Wilt dropped off Lovellette shot over him for 21 points. When he moved outside Cincinnati's quick Oscar Robertson (23 points) and St. Louis' magnificent Bob Pettit (29 points) sliced in for swirling thrusts at the basket. Not even Boston's Bill Russell, who rebounded well and scored 24 points, could slow up the hot-handed Westerners. When it was over boyish West Coach Paul Seymour had the last word ("we beat 'em good, and that's what they needed"), and Robertson had the Most Valuable Player trophy.
Meanwhile, the NBA Board of Governors voted to expand with Chicago and Pittsburgh next season. And a storm broke. Pittsburgh Promoter John Harris, who blandly admits, "I know nothing about basketball," soon had his foot in his mouth. His announcement that Boston's Bill Sharman would be his coach drew an angry blast from Celtic Owner Walter Brown. "I was never consulted," said Brown. "Sharman is under contract to me. I may want him for a coach myself." Next day Harris threw up his hands, decided that pro basketball was indeed too confusing and withdrew his bid. At last look Chicago was still in for 1962; Boston led the Eastern Division by 2½ games; St. Louis led the West by 8½.