It was another frustrating week for the favorites. Cincinnati fell before Bradley, USC lost to Washington, Villanova was upset by Xavier, and Mississippi State's unbeaten streak was ended by Vanderbilt. Meanwhile, Ohio State won its 12th straight to become the nation's only undefeated major-college team.
When Villanova and Temple met before 9,225 in Philadelphia's Palestra, it seemed like the old days. Both teams defended tenaciously, Villanova with a scrambling zone and Temple with a switching combination, but the Wildcats were more adaptable on offense. They put aside their usual race-horse game, concentrated on getting the ball to rubbery Hubie White, who slipped through the Owls for 22 points, and Villanova won 60-53. But the Wildcats ran into trouble in the Midwest, where bigger Xavier beat them badly off the boards, and won 87-66.
Duquesne continued to impress. Sophomore whiz Willie Somerset hounded Dayton with his ball-stealing, rattled the Flyers with 32 points, and the Dukes won easily, 79-59. St. Joseph's, too, earned an intersectional feather for the East. The Hawks gave up 24 points to Wake Forest's talented Len Chappell but still outlasted the Deacons 65-53. St. John's took care of another invader, beating Creighton 72-52.
Seton Hall, despite 38 points by sophomore Nick Werkman (who also scored 43 against Loyola at Baltimore), lost to Georgetown 84-83. Things were just as tough for St. Bonaventure. Since 1948 the Bonnies had lost only twice at their cozy gym in Olean, N.Y., both times to Niagara. Last week Niagara did it again, 71-51. The top three:
1. DUQUESNE (11-1)
2. VILLANOVA (13-2)
3. TEMPLE (10-2)
Kentucky's Adolph Rupp couldn't have been more pleased. His Wildcats have one of the year's best sophomores in Cotton Nash, an 11-game winning streak after beating Vanderbilt 77-68 and LSU 84-63, and there didn't seem to be a worthwhile SEC challenger in sight. This was especially true after Vandy ended Mississippi State's 10-game winning streak, 100-86.
However, the ACC was up to its neck in contenders. Duke, running magnificently but paying scant attention to defense, outscored Clemson 104-96, then tightened up to beat Maryland 84-68 as Art Heyman scored 38 points. Wake Forest, more formidable now that 6-foot-10 Bob Woollard has matured enough to give Len Chappell some rebound help, beat North Carolina 91-72. But the Tar Heels went back to give-and-go against Virginia, sent Guards Larry Brown and Don Walsh storming through for 44 points and whomped the Cavaliers 100-71. South Carolina helped to confuse the issue, losing to Virginia 98-95 and then surprising North Carolina State 62-56.
Rod Thorn led fast-breaking West Virginia past Virginia Tech 85-81 and George Washington 120-68. The top three:
1. KENTUCKY (12-1)
2. DUKE (11-2)
3. WEST VIRGINIA (11-3)
Cincinnati's national champions were ambushed in Peoria by a young but rugged Bradley crew that now leads the conference. The Bearcats let Bradley sophomores Joe Strawder, Rich Williams and Lavern Tart bamboozle them for 45 points and eventually lost, 70-68, in overtime.
In the Big Ten, Michigan's runty invaders took some early liberties with Ohio State, but the Wolverines succumbed meekly enough, 89-64, once Jerry Lucas and his friends got their fast break working. However, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Purdue, whose Terry Dischinger scored 45 points in a 96-89 win over the Illini, were still in the running, anyway.
Kansas State, its defenses up again, beat Kansas 70-45 and Oklahoma State 50-44 to get back in the Big Eight race, while Bowling Green disposed of another Mid-American challenger, whipping Miami (Ohio) 85-73. The top three:
1. OHIO STATE (12-0)
2. BRADLEY (10-2)
3. CINCINNATI (11-2)
The SWC was still anybody's race as Texas Tech and Texas A&M joined Rice and SMU in first place. Tech swarmed all over the Owls and beat them 85-66, then stalled out a 55-51 squeaker over Baylor. The Aggies also had troubles with the Bears but finally won 54-52. SMU was easier for A&M. Jerry Windham hog-tied the Mustangs' big Jan Loudermilk in the pivot, and the Aggies won 75-55. Arizona State beat Texas Western 62-55 and New Mexico State 94-81 to move closer to the Border title; Houston (12-3) defeated Tulsa 69-61. The top three:
1. TEXAS TECH (9-2)
2. TEXAS A&M (9-4)
3. ARIZONA STATE (11-3)
Although the NCAA laid a heavy hand on Utah (a one-year probation for illegal payments to a player), there was simply no stopping the Redskins or Billy McGill. McGill hooked and dunked for 42 points against Denver and Utah won 95-70. He added 36 more as New Mexico fell 72-65.
On the West Coast, Santa Clara and USC were both surprised. The Broncos' tantalizing zone defense was ripped apart, first by Pepperdine 63-44, then by Loyola 61-58; USC was upset by Washington 85-67 but got even with the Huskies, winning 78-64. However, Oregon State never looked better. Jay Carty and football star Terry Baker gave 7-foot Mel Counts a helping hand as the Beavers whipped Gonzaga 78-64 and Portland 80-63. The top three:
1. USC (12-3)
2. UTAH (13-2)
3. OREGON STATE (11-1)