1. LOUISVILLE (8-0)
2. NORTH CAROLINA (7-0)
3. VANDERBILT (8-1)
After five straight home wins against small-college competition, LOUISVILLE played host to two major schools, Dayton and Missouri Valley rival St. Louis. The Cardinals cruised past Dayton 96-81 as Westley Unseld amassed 31 points and 19 rebounds. St. Louis collapsed around Unseld with a 2-3 zone and led at half time, but the zone could not keep him from controlling the boards and Louisville came back to win 75-68. Adolph Rupp of KENTUCKY became a grandfather for the first time with the arrival of Adolph III, and the Baron's Wildcats helped him celebrate by beating Oregon State 96-66 in the first round of the Kentucky Invitational, KANSAS STATE breezed past Penn State 83-59 (its sixth straight win) in the other first-round game. Then Kentucky beat K-State 83-79 in the final as Bob Tallent got 25 points.
Things may not be so simple for WESTERN KENTUCKY in the Ohio Valley Conference after all. The Hilltoppers (7-1) won the OVC Tournament in Louisville, but it was a struggle to beat Murray State 94-83, and More-head State 80-77 (in overtime). VANDERBILT Guard Tom Hagan used a borrowed contact lens in the 77-69 victory over Florida and scored 16 points in the second half. Two nights later senior Guard Kenny Campbell got his first starting assignment, against Northwestern, and scored 38 points in the Commodores' 116-92 win. MEMPHIS STATE'S tough defense paid off again in a 58-40 victory over Villanova for the Tigers' seventh straight, NORTH CAROLINA won the Tampa Invitational with 98-66 and 81-54 romps over Columbia and Florida State. MISSISSIPPI (8-1) held the SEC's leading scorer, Mike Nordholz of Alabama, to six points and won 79-58 before whipping LSU 74-67. MISSISSIPPI STATE (7-0) could not hold Nordholz (he scored 22) but beat the Tide anyway, 63-59.
1. UCLA (5-0)
2. NEW MEXICO (7-1)
3. SEATTLE (7-1)
Tall, beefy Colorado State scared top-ranked UCLA, but Lew Alcindor scored 34 points, 22 in the second half, and pulled down 20 rebounds to lead the Bruins to a narrow (for them) 84-74 win. For the first time, Alcindor played the last-man spot in the zone press. He was not quick enough and did not seem to have the stamina to do the job properly.
Seattle continued its policy of playing catch-up. The Chieftains trailed by as much as 17 points in the first half against Brigham Young and were still behind by six with 90 seconds left to play. Tom Workman's basket with four seconds left tied it up, and Jack Kreiger's 25-footer at the buzzer in overtime earned an 85-83 victory. Behind at the half against Missouri, Seattle came back to win 84-66 and then beat Evansville 93-89 on the road. Providence, despite Jimmy Walker's usual heroics, dropped two of three on a western swing, losing to UTAH STATE and USF, and beating Santa Clara.
Iowa State's Don Smith survived a head-on collision with a backboard to lead the Cyclones to the Sun Devil Classic title at Phoenix. CALIFORNIA won its fourth straight, a 75-73 thriller over Utah. Disappointing Pacific lost to unranked VALPARAISO 76-74 but finally got some balanced scoring and twice beat Portland 89-54 and 82-72. WASHINGTON STATE, after a horrible Midwest tour, came home to friendly Pullman to down previously unbeaten Montana 78-58, but the Cougars lost again, 49-47, when they had to travel 15 miles to play Idaho. Before going off to Kentucky, OREGON STATE shocked BYU 92-76.
1. CINCINNATI (7-0)
2. MICHIGAN STATE (5-1)
3. ILLINOIS (5-1)
"I feel like I'm walking around with a horseshoe in my pocket," said CINCINNATI Coach Tay Baker. His Bearcats edged Texas Christian 89-88, their third overtime victory this season, despite a goof by Mike Rolf, who got confused and scored a basket for TCU. He made up for it with a game-high 26 points. Cincy also beat Western Michigan and Colorado. Crosstown rival XAVIER (7-1), striving to earn national recognition, too, beat Tampa 87-39, St. Bonaventure 97-80 and Miami (Ohio) 71-68.
Bradley suffered its first loss, to ST. LOUIS, 76-72. Center Joe Allen, who had been averaging 30 points a game, was held to 16 by a 1-3-1 zone and some good work by the Billikens' 7-foot Rich Niemann. WICHITA STATE Coach Gary Thompson moaned about sloppy play as his Shockers lost four in a row—to Creighton, Michigan State, Colorado and Texas Western—before winning at home over San Diego State 68-58. MICHIGAN STATE had troubles, too, in the bright lights of New Orleans. LOYOLA upset the Big Ten favorites 74-70, but the Spartans came back the next night to beat Tulane 76-66. ILLINOIS warmed up for Lew Alcindor by holding Wisconsin's giant Eino Hendrickson to no field goals and beating the Badgers 87-74. Stanford tried to offset the Illini's height advantage by sending everybody but the coach to the boards. The gamble failed; Stanford was continually caught by a fast break and lost 81-67.
Loyola of Chicago lost three straight, to North Dakota, Indiana and BYU. OHIO STATE beat TCU 84-78 as Bill Hosket, who had been out with a wrenched knee, scored 13 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, PURDUE took its Christmas break pleased with a 5-1 record after home-court wins over St. Joseph's of Indiana 98-65, Washington U. 85-70 and Army 79-69 in overtime, IOWA beat Drake 83-75 and California 72-62 in its first two home games of the season.
1. BOSTON COLLEGE (8-0)
2. ST. JOHN'S (5-0)
3. PRINCETON (6-0)
Bob Cousy was publicly critical of BOSTON COLLEGE alumni for not showing up at the Boston Garden Christmas tourney (6,554 attendance for two nights), but he was tickled with his team, especially after it knocked off previously unbeaten Syracuse 87-75. The Eagles beat Massachusetts 75-67 the next night for the title. Sonny Dove's 27 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists helped ST. JOHN'S batter visiting Kansas 68-44, but the Jayhawks' myopic shooting (15 for 59) helped, too. LASALLE (5-2) came home from a good showing in Nashville (beating Nebraska 99-76 and losing to Vanderbilt 100-95) and barely got by Penn 85-83 thanks to Hubie Marshall's 31 points, TEMPLE (7-0) had an easy time with Wake Forest, 84-58.
1. TEXAS WESTERN (7-1)
2. HOUSTON (9-1)
3. SMU (5-3)
The whole prairie shook from some of the collisions under the backboards the night NEW MEXICO came to El Paso to play defending NCAA champion Texas Western. Sophomore sub Ron Sanford led a rally in the closing minutes, Center Mel Daniels scored 20 points and the Lobos upset the Miners 71-62. The next night the Lobos were bitten themselves by archrival NEW MEXICO STATE 62-61.
Houston buried USF and Washington 90-74 and 87-65. SMU looked a little better after losing three of its first four games. The Mustangs beat the Mexican Olympic team 96-74, Hawaii 92-72, Midwestern 89-74 and Arlington State 101-82 as soph sub Bill Voight scored 18 straight points in the last 5:47 of the first half.