1. NORTH CAROLINA (11-1)
2. FLORIDA (9-1)
3. W. KENTUCKY (10-1)
Stranger things have happened but not to North Carolina—at least not recently. PRINCETON'S Ivy Leaguers, with John Haarlow, Joe Heiser, Chris Thomforde and the other artful Tigers shooting a superb 65%, beat the surprised Tar Heels 91-81 for their first loss this season. Happily, it only hurt for a little while. Two nights later Larry Miller's 23 points and last-second basket got CAROLINA past Wake Forest 76-74. Then came Duke. Coach Vic Bubas, who had suspended nine players, including every starter but Bob Verga, for some New Year's Eve hijinks, played two of them—Mike Lewis and Tim Kolodziej—against North Carolina, and the score was tied with five seconds to go. Again Miller came to the rescue. He dropped in a layup, and the Tar Heels won 59-56.
It was a week for weird occurrences in the ACC. At College Park, with 1:15 to play and MARYLAND leading North Carolina State 60-55, Referee George Conley, who had just hit State Coach Norm Sloan with his third technical of the game, marched to the scorer's table and announced, "Gentlemen, I've taken enough. The game is now over. The score as it stands is official."
The SEC had a curious look, too. There was Kentucky in eighth place while Tenessee, Florida, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Auburn were busily vying for the lead. Old Adolph Rupp, it seemed, had suddenly run out of magic, VANDERBILT took his Wildcats 91-89 in overtime—Kentucky's fifth loss of the season in Lexington. TENNESSEE was unbeaten in two league games after Ron Widby's 27 points buried Alabama 77-52. FLORIDA, big, strong and efficient (page 14), gave Mississippi State its first defeat 63-54 and then trampled LSU 87-70. State came back to trounce Georgia 92-63, though, while AUBURN beat LSU 70-59 and Mississippi 67-56.
Before his team played DAVIDSON, West Virginia's Bucky Waters admitted he was "all shaky-kneed." Davidson had just been upset by RICHMOND 72-69, but the 'Cats had never lost a regular season Southern Conference game in the Charlotte Coliseum. And they still have not. Sophomore Mike O'Neill's four free throws in the final minutes of a second overtime beat the Mountaineers 97-93. That put THE CITADEL, only 4-7 for the season but an 81-79 winner over Richmond, in first place, WESTERN KENTUCKY beat Tennessee Tech 91-80.
1. PRINCETON (11-1)
2. BOSTON COLLEGE (8-1)
3. ST. JOHN'S (9-1)
Not since Luci Baines Johnson married Pat Nugent on the CATHOLIC U. campus had the Washington school attracted such attention. Bob Ciafarri threw in 29 points and the Cardinals shocked St. Joseph's 76-72 in Philadelphia's cozy Palestra. After that, the abashed Hawks were almost glad to get out on the road, where they took Creighton 73-70 on Cliff Anderson's four points in the closing minutes.
St. Joseph's was not the only big eastern independent surprised last week. Providence's Jimmy Walker, whirling, twisting and flipping in those unstoppable jumpers, had scored 42 points, and the Friars led CANISIUS by six with 48 seconds to go in Buffalo. It looked like a wrap-up for Providence. Then Walker missed three foul shots, Bart Carr and Johnny Morrison popped in three quick jump shots, and the game went into overtime. Walker got one more basket—for 44 points—but that was all, and Canisius won 79-73. NYU's venture upstate also ended in disaster. Mai Graham, who had scored 48 points against Wagner earlier in the week (but only 11 in a 91-84 loss to VIRGINIA), bombed NIAGARA for 37, but the Violets still lost 76-68.
Temple got it, too, from FORDHAM 66-58 after the Rams had upset North Carolina State 65-63 in Greensboro, BOSTON COLLEGE ran over Navy 101-76, while ST. JOHN'S, fresh from a 74-58 trouncing of George Washington, edged plucky Rhode Island 57-55 on Rudy Bogad's little side shot at the buzzer. SYRACUSE, with sharpshooter George Hicker gunning in 27 points and Vaughan Harper pulling down 18 rebounds, beat Pitt 70-60. VILLANOVA'S pesky zone defense harassed St. Bonaventure into an 80-62 defeat, and LA SALLE outran St. Francis (Pa.) 84-74.
Princeton'S Bill van Breda Kolff calls his Tigers "better than the 1965 Bill Bradley team," but he almost had to swallow his words last week. The Tigers ran over Brown 94-50, and they had Yale 47-30 at the half time. Then the Elis began to come on, and Princeton barely beat them 77-75. COLUMBIA also won twice, over Harvard 80-71 and Dartmouth 78-53, while CORNELL beat Dartmouth 69-57 and Harvard 96-62.
1. LOUISVILLE (13-0)
2. IOWA (8-2)
3. DAYTON (11-1)
Life in the tough Missouri Valley Conference was just one surprise after another? When Tulsa got to LOUISVILLE, the Hurricanes discovered that the assigned officials had failed to show, and two local men handled the whistles. Tulsa had the unbeaten Cards in a 34-34 tie at half time, but big Westley Unseld, wheeling and dealing pro style underneath the baskets, rolled in 24 points, hauled down as many rebounds, and Louisville won 76-62. North Texas State's big front line tried to box in Unseld, but he got away from the massive Eagles for 22 points and 19 rebounds, sophomore Butch Beard pitched in 29 points, and the Cards won again 86-66.
Tulsa's luck was better in Cincinnati. The Hurricanes used a 1-2-2 zone and dared the Bearcats to shoot over it. They couldn't, but Eldridge Webb shot Cincy dizzy in the last 16 minutes, and Tulsa won 65-64 in overtime. CINCINNATI'S slips were still showing as North Texas carried the 'Cats into double overtime before losing 74-71. WICHITA STATE upset Bradley 83-69 and squeezed past St. Louis 70-68 in overtime.
It was beginning to look like anybody's race in the Big Ten. IOWA struggled against Indiana until Sam Williams got a hot hand—17 of his 25 points came in the second half—and then the Hawkeyes won 84-73. MICHIGAN STATE barely held off rallying Illinois to win 76-74, while OHIO STATE beat Minnesota 78-65. Only NORTHWESTERN had it easy, trouncing Michigan 93-73. KANSAS, the Big Eight favorite, won its opener, shaking up the Oklahoma Sooners with a half-court press and beating them 97-73.
Toledo, one of the nation's three unbeaten major-college teams, continued to lift eyebrows in the Mid-American. Coach Bob- by Nichols had his Rockets believing they could beat anybody. With Steve Mix scoring 31 points, Toledo put down Bowling Green 98-94. Miami of Ohio's cloying defense and deliberate offense was a problem for a while, but the Rockets eventually won 68-56. DAYTON, however, was still calling itself the best team in Ohio, even after Xavier's 6'11" sophomore, Luther Rackley, outplayed the Flyers' 6'10" Dan Obrovac. Sub Guard Gene Klaus scored 23 points, and Dayton pulled through 75-72.
1. HOUSTON (13-1)
2. TEXAS WESTERN (10-2)
3. SMU (9-3)
SMU's game plan is simple: keep it close and then win in the last seconds. It is exciting, all right, but Coach Doc Hayes worries. "I sit there and think we're done for," he admits. Like last week, when his Mustangs were down five points to Baylor with two minutes to go. SMU pulled even on Bill Voight's three-point play with 13 seconds left and then beat the Bears 85-83 on Charlie Beasley's 18-foot jump shot with two seconds left in overtime. "I felt real hot," said Beasley, who scored 30 points in all. "I knew she was going in." The Mustangs, however, departed from the script against Texas A&M. They won easily 80-67, to share the SWC lead with TCU, which knocked over Texas Tech 71-65 and Texas 96-82 after losing to OKLAHOMA CITY 92-83.
The independents, meanwhile, fattened their records against pushovers. HOUSTON took Lamar Tech 82-62 and Tennessee Tech 95-64, while TEXAS WESTERN bombed Southern Mississippi twice, 84-54 and 76-63.
1. UCLA (9-0)
2. NEW MEXICO (11-1)
3. SEATTLE (10-2)
Washington State Coach Marv Harshman did some ingenious planning for UCLA's Lew Alcindor. All week long, in practices, he put his reserves on stools, strapped boards to their arms and even gave his defenders tennis rackets. "It isn't as crazy as it seems," explained Harshman. "Our kids just can't imagine how much area Alcindor covers and how much damage he can do." Then Harshman went after Alcindor with a sagging defense that shifted constantly from zone to man-to-man. Lewie, who sat out 4½ minutes of the second half after he picked up his fourth foul, still got 28 points, but UCLA had to go to an unaccustomed stall near the end to preserve a 76-67 victory.
The other Pacific Eight teams also began what may be the longest chase ever to oblivion. STANFORD took Oregon 68-65 and Oregon State 58-51. California, however, succumbed to OREGON STATE'S dillydallying game 45-42 before outrunning Oregon 74-61. USC opened by beating Washington 83-74. PACIFIC got off to a good start in the WCAC, hammering St. Mary's 88-63.
Seattle Coach Lionell Purcell ordered two tanks of oxygen for the bench before his team played NEW MEXICO in Albuquerque, but he predicted, "If we lose, it won't be this mile-high altitude. It'll be Mel Daniels." He was so right. Daniels evaded the quick Chieftains for 29 points, and New Mexico won 80-60.
Usually the post man is just another guy in BRIGHAM YOUNG Coach Stan Watt's frantic offense. But when Utah State's La-Dell Anderson elected to jam the Cougars' fast break instead of running with them, BYU wisely put 6'11" Craig Raymond on a high post and fed him for 35 points. The Cougars won big, 92-66. Anderson was wiser when Utah tried the same gambit. He replaced 7' Larry Bunce with 6'6" Pete Ennenga, who shut off Utah's Dewitt Menyard in the pivot. Shaler Halimon bombed away for 38 points with his fallaway jumpers and UTAH STATE won 89-76.