THE TOP THREE:
1. DAVIDSON (10-0)
2. KENTUCKY (10-1)
3. VANDERBILT (10-1)
Georgia Tech's whimsical Whack Hyder was up to his old needling tricks when unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Kentucky came to Atlanta. "Kentucky will be pressing as usual," he predicted. Just as Hyder expected, his remark drew a snappish retort from Adolph Rupp. "Well, he's the authority on basketball," said The Baron peevishly. But Hyder was right. The Wildcats not only pressed, they collapsed like a wet paper sack when the Jackets put the pressure on them. It took Kentucky five minutes to score a field goal, and Tech's Charlie Spooner harassed Cotton Nash to distraction. Meanwhile, R. D. Craddock, a hustling little sharpshooter from, of all places, Canmer, Ky.—he cried when Kentucky refused him a scholarship—scored 25 points. Tech won 76-67.
Vanderbilt went down, too, after 15 straight wins. TENNESSEE had trouble stopping 6-foot-9 Clyde Lee (he got 25 points), but its collapsing zone shut off Vandy's other inside shooters, and three foul shots in the last seconds by A. W. Davis and Larry McIntosh won for the Vols, 57-55.
That left DAVIDSON (see page 12) the only major unbeaten team in the South. The gung-ho Wildcats trounced Penn 90-73 and Princeton 102-68 in the Charlotte Invitation and then whacked West Virginia 93-82.
North Carolina State made the sad mistake of trying to run with DUKE. It got State nowhere. Jeff Mullins and his talented friends simply outran the Wolfpack to win 91-70. NORTH CAROLINA beat independent Notre Dame 78-68, while CLEMSON caught Wake Forest with its big guns cold (the Deacons shot a dismal 20%) and won 87-61. Said Wake's Bones McKinney, "I can't remember a colder shooting day, except once we played in 20-below weather outdoors in Minneapolis."
THE TOP THREE:
1. VILLANOVA (9-1)
2. ST. BONAVENTURE (9-1)
3. LA SALLE (8-2)
You would think that a coach whose team had won its way into the final of New York's Holiday Festival would have been pleased. Not Minnesota's Johnny Kundla. He grumbled, "This is the dumbest team I ever had." VILLANOVA'S Wally Jones, a poker-faced tactician, hornswoggled the Gophers with his tricky dribbling and slick passes and, when they gave him shooting room, he flipped his funny little jump shots over their heads for 31 points. Villanova won 77-73.
In the Quaker City final, St. Bonaventure's Fred Crawford had the Bonnies ahead of LA SALLE by a point with 3:42 to play. Then Frank Corace took charge of Crawford. He held him scoreless the rest of the way and put in the basket that clinched an 83-80 victory for the Explorers. Five nights later, Corace was Frankie-on-the-spot again. He shot in 22 points as LaSalle beat Penn 61-58. The Bonnies also won, over Duquesne 97-95, on Roger Bauer's last-minute shot.
NYU seemed about to get by ST. JOSEPH'S in Philadelphia. But, with 6:50 to go and his Violets ahead by six points, Coach Lou Rossini called for a slowdown. It was a grave tactical error. Led by Steve Courtin, the quick Hawks stole NYU blind and made off with the game, 82-76.
THE TOP THREE:
1. MICHIGAN (10-1)
2. LOYOLA (10-1)
3. WICHITA (10-3)
One thing LOYOLA Coach George Ireland likes is to have his Ramblers score points—the more the merrier. He had some fretful moments, however, before his team beat Indiana 105-92. But against Morehead State, the nation's highest scoring team, the hungry Ramblers shot like demons and won easily 127-85.
Michigan, the preseason favorite, was off and running in the Big Ten race. After a 117-87 warmup with Detroit, the Wolverines turned loose Bill Buntin and sophomore Cazzie Russell against Northwestern, and the Wildcats succumbed 85-73. But challengers were popping up all over. MINNESOTA was in trouble against Purdue until 6-foot-5 sophomore Lou Hudson, resting on the bench with a head injury, came in to score 24 points in the last 14 minutes. The Gophers won 97-93. OHIO STATE'S Fred Taylor, deciding it was time to call off his noble four-game experiment, moved All-America Center Gary Bradds out of the corner and back to the pivot. With Bradds feeding off skillfully, rebounding and scoring 32 points, the Bucks hammered Wisconsin 101-85. ILLINOIS romped over Michigan State 87-66 while IOWA came from behind to beat Indiana 72-71 on Andy Hankins' last-minute tap-in.
Things were heating up in the Missouri Valley, too. WICHITA, where ball control was once as welcome as a spring tornado, used this unaccustomed weapon to throttle Drake 67-49. BRADLEY knocked off Arizona 67-59, North Texas 100-78 and Tulsa 79-59. But the hottest item in the Valley was ST. LOUIS. The aggressive Bills brought down Ohio State 91-89 in double overtime, beat Tulsa 70-63 and then thrashed North Texas 84-65 for their seventh straight.
In the Big Eight, KANSAS STATE was the favorite after the Wildcats defeated Oklahoma State 58-55 in the preseason tournament final. TOLEDO looked like the best in the Mid-American. The Rockets shot past Kent State 75-57 and Marshall 84-73.
THE TOP THREE:
1. OKLAHOMA CITY (9-3)
2. TEXAS WESTERN (13-1)
3. TEXAS (7-3)
The Southwest Conference was curiously form-fitting on its first day. TEXAS thumped Baylor 83-59 while TEXAS A&M drubbed SMU 75-61 and TEXAS TECH defeated Arkansas 93-84. Only RICE had trouble. TCU threw up a 2-3 zone around the Owls' big Kendall Rhine and held him to 17 points. But Rice won anyway 82-73.
Texas Western beat Denver 53-42 in the Sun Bowl final and then trounced Western New Mexico 100-56 for its 12th straight. Bud Koper tossed in 30 points to lead OKLAHOMA CITY past Creighton 101-85.
THE TOP THREE:
1. UCLA (11-0)
2. OREGON STATE (11-2)
3. UTAH (11-1)
It was a grim week for Cincinnati's Ed Jucker. In Salt Lake City, UTAH'S speedy guards, Doug Moon and Skip Kroeger, swarmed over his playmakers like ants at a picnic and scored 50 points between them to beat the Bearcats 76-68. Jucker, bitter over the officiating, warned, "Utah will have to come to us someday. They better come with pistols loaded, because we'll be waiting." Utah's Jack Gardner observed sagely, "The trouble with Jucker is that he has won so much he hasn't learned to lose."
Cincinnati met OREGON STATE in Portland after the Beavers had beaten Brigham Young 68-58 in the Far West Classic. The Bearcats escaped with a whole skin, but only after Ron Bonham had nearly been ejected for punching OSU's Frank Peters. When Bonham's temper subsided, he scored 28 points, and Cincy won 57-53. The next night in Corvallis, Oregon State's Mel Counts threw in 38 points, and the Bearcats went down again, 82-61. Groaned Jucker, "I must have been out of my mind to make this trip."
Unbeaten UCLA, after barely beating Washington State 88-83, lit into the poor Cougars with the full fury of its all-court press and fast break and buried them, 121-77. CALIFORNIA and WASHINGTON, playing at a much more conservative pace, split two games. Cal won the first 46-44, Washington the second 59-53.
Stanford, playing without ailing Tom Dose, lost to ARIZONA STATE 61-60 in overtime and then, with him, to use 75-74, also in overtime. But the Indians came back to beat USC 62-46. SEATTLE defeated Arizona State 100-96 and at Tempe, too, where the Sun Devils had won 52 in a row.