1. LOUISVILLE (16-2)
2. KANSAS (12-3)
3. TOLEDO (13-0)
The big basketball weekend in Chicago, starring UCLA's Lew Alcindor and a cast of six teams, was almost wiped out by the worst snowstorm in the city's history. But Friday night's doubleheader was rescheduled for Sunday afternoon, and about 15,000 fans somehow found their way to the Chicago Stadium for Saturday night's tripleheader.
Texas Western, even without academically ineligible Bobby Joe Hill, was too much for Brigham Young. The tough Miners, muscling the Cougars hard and shooting accurately from outside, broke up BYU's zone early and went on to win 85-76. NOTRE DAME, streaking after a bad start, routed Illinois 90-75 for its fifth straight win.
Still, the big attraction was UCLA and Alcindor. Loyola of Chicago elected to play Lew one-on-one with 6'5" Jim Tillman, an old New York school-yard playmate. Tillman did well enough for a half, several times faking Alcindor out of position and even outscoring him 17 points to 14. But Lynn Shackleford, Lucius Allen and Mike Warren got the Bruins a half-time lead. Then Lew's skills began to show. He stopped going for the fake, and Tillman got only four more points. Alcindor finished with 35, including a flashy over-the-head backward stuffer, and UCLA coasted home 82-67. "Any time they" play Alcindor one-on-one," observed Coach John Wooden, "we will do nothing else but feed him the ball."
That should have been warning enough, but the next afternoon Illinois put Dave Scholz, a brash 6'7½" sophomore, on Alcindor and dared the big Bruin to do what he could. Scholz had said earlier, "The man's not perfect. I have a definite plan." Scholz's plan was to play in the corner to draw Alcindor away from the basket, but Lew refused to go. Instead he roamed underneath, blocking shots and grabbing rebounds. He threw in hooks, layups and stuffers until he had 21 field goals and 45 points. Scholz scored 13 baskets, but it was little help to Illinois. UCLA won 120-82. The second game (Brigham Young-Loyola) failed to materialize when BYU refused to play for religious reasons. "I believe in athletics," said BYU President Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson, "but they do not supersede the Ten Commandments."
Louisville was ready for Bradley when the Braves tried to stop the Cards with a zone defense and a slowdown. Butch Beard cut loose on fast breaks for 20 points, Westley Unseld picked up 23 and 20 rebounds and Bradley went down 81-68. TULSA beat Wichita State 68-61 to take second place behind Louisville in the Missouri Valley, but Cincinnati was surprised by ST. LOUIS 63-60. NORTH TEXAS STATE won its second MVC game, over Drake 79-77.
With Kansas, Kansas State and Colorado all idle, it was no trouble at all for NEBRASKA to get to the top of the Big Eight. The Huskers thrashed Oklahoma 97-76 and last-place Missouri 99-82 for a half-game lead. Northwestern, its game with Ohio State snowed out, still led the Big Ten, but MICHIGAN STATE moved up a step by beating Wisconsin 68-61.
Toledo was going strong in the Mid-American. After a 100-90 victory over Evansville, the undefeated Rockets blasted Kent State 94-70. WESTERN MICHIGAN beat Miami of Ohio 54-50 for second place, DAYTON won twice, over Canisius 83-59 and Miami 71-55, while DEPAUL outscored Niagara 78-65. But Marquette suffered double indignity. The Warriors lost to DETROIT 94-92 in overtime, and Coach Al McGuire wound up in the pokey. It seems that the coach, on his way to the locker room after the game, went to the rescue when he saw a man holding Pat Smith, his center, on the floor. The man turned out to be a cop who claimed Smith had hit a spectator, and McGuire was charged with assault and battery. "It was an innocent thing," protested McGuire.
1. NORTH CAROLINA (13-1)
2. VANDERBILT (14-2)
3. WESTERN KENTUCKY (14-1)
The balance of power in the SEC, grounded for so long in Kentucky, has shifted to the state of Tennessee, VANDERBILT and TENNESSEE are tied for first, one and a half games ahead of FLORIDA. But Vandy, coming off a 10-day layoff, had to struggle for a while against Mississippi State. The Commodores made only one of their first 15 shots, and State zoomed to an 11-point lead. Then Kenny Gibbs began to hit with hooks and jumpers in the second half, Jerry Southwood, Bo Wyenandt and Kenny Campbell found the range and Vanderbilt won 79-64.
Kentucky's Adolph Rupp, who always despised zone defenses anyway, was finished fooling around with them. The Wildcats were back in a man-to-man for Tennessee, and it almost snared the cautious Vols. Playing its maddening slowdown, Tennessee just pulled ahead 52-50 in double overtime on Tom Hendrix's two free throws and a last-second block of a Louie Dampier shot by 7' Tom Boerwinkle. Mississippi was easier for the Vols. Boerwinkle scored 18 points as they won 62-49. LSU was a cinch for KENTUCKY, too. The Wildcats, with Pat Riley recovered from his aching back and looking as good as ever (24 points and 13 rebounds), smashed the Tigers 102-72 to get out of the SEC cellar. "They're all picking on us," complained LSU's Press Maravich. "What was I, Coach Rupp's 759th victim? Well, that's O.K., we'll be back." Maravich sounded like a man who has an undefeated freshman team—and he has.
After a respite for exams, the ACC wore the same old look. First-place NORTH CAROLINA polished off Virginia 103-76 as Larry Miller poured in 38 points. Nothing worked for North Carolina State against DUKE. When the Wolfpack tried a 1-3-1 zone, Bob Verga and the other Blue Devils shot over it. When State went to a man-to-man, Duke simply ran away from it to win 99-60. WAKE FOREST ran and scrambled with Davidson, and then Paul Long's 25 points shot the Wildcats out of the game. Wake won 88-74. SOUTH CAROLINA clobbered Furman 91-61, but Maryland lost to WEST VIRGINIA, the Southern Conference leader, 61-58.
The independents were making their run for tournament bids. VIRGINIA TECH (11-3) made the most of Glen Combs' hot shooting (51 points in two games) to whip Pitt 77-60 and Loyola of Baltimore 100-65. GEORGIA TECH (10-6), with Phil Wagner back in good health, had five in a row after taking Clemson 88-77 and Florida State 75-68, while MEMPHIS STATE (12-4), the country's No. 1 defensive team, beat Loyola of New Orleans 76-50 on Chuck Neal's 21 points.
1. PRINCETON (14-1)
2. BOSTON COLLEGE (10-1)
3. ST. JOHN'S (12-2)
"We go up to Buffalo to play Canisius Saturday," said St. John's Coach Lou Carnesecca one day last week. "That's all I have to say." What he meant, of course, was that not many visitors ever win in Buffalo's Memorial Auditorium. Despite 39 points by Sonny Dove and a superb defensive job on CANISIUS' Andy Anderson—he failed to score a field goal—the Red-men were in a 73-73 tie with five seconds to play. Then the Griffs' John Morrison, who had scored 20 points in the second half and 26 in all, threw up a shot from the corner. It missed, but Tony Masiello got the rebound on the other side, pivoted and whirled in a little jumper to beat St. John's 75-73. "Just like we lost to Northwestern," noted Carnesecca sadly.
Unbeaten TOLEDO had a close call in Olean, another place where many a good outside team has been frustrated. St. Bonaventure led the Rockets by 12 points with 9:20 to go, but Toledo's Bob Miller flipped in four straight baskets and pretty soon the visitors had a 70-70 tie. Don White's two-handed shot just before the buzzer won for Toledo 72-70.
Providence and Princeton had their problems, too, but they managed to survive them. Jimmy Walker saved the day again for the Friars. Ball-handling, passing and shooting brilliantly, Walker scored 40 points—eight of them in overtime—to pull Providence past tough Seton Hall 91-87. Princeton never really had to worry against Penn, but Coach Butch van Breda Kolff was not happy with the way his Tigers blew a 20-point lead and won 70-66. He chewed them out for 15 minutes, then grumbled: "I don't think a good play was made all night."
Perhaps what really bothered van Breda Kolff was that RUTGERS (11-2), Princeton's next opponent, was winning easily. Bob Lloyd, the nation's third-best scorer and leading foul shooter, threw in 38 points in an 82-66 whipping of Fordham. Then Rutgers trounced Lafayette 90-58 as Lloyd got 22 and Jim Valvano scored 24.
Temple's cagey old Harry Litwack, who had not beaten St. Joseph's in nine years and 11 games, finally caught the Hawks 72-64. Litwack's strategy was simple. He matched St. Joe's press for press and had John Baum and Joe Cromer, his 6'5" sophomores, block out Cliff Anderson underneath the basket. It worked beautifully. Anderson got 22 points but only 11 rebounds. FORDHAM also broke through against Georgetown after eight losing years. The Rams upset the Hoyas 85-82.
Holy Cross, with five straight, had high hopes when it got to SYRACUSE, but the Orange, playing Coach Fred Lewis' freelance press ("I tell them I don't know where they're supposed to be," he says coyly), shook up the Crusaders 91-81. ARMY'S winning streak, however, reached five when the Cadets took Massachusetts 68-46 and Boston U. 91-47. VILLANOVA was on the move, too, beating Penn 71-54 and Duquesne 76-60. MANHATTAN defeated St. Francis 76-64 and Hofstra 80-79 while NYU bombed Fairleigh Dickinson 92-75 as Mai Graham scored 43 points, but they both trailed ST. PETER'S in New York's Met Conference. The proud Peacocks, 12-1 overall, trimmed Loyola of Baltimore 82-74 and Wagner 109-90.
1. TEXAS WESTERN (14-2)
2. HOUSTON (14-2)
3. SMU (11-4)
For a while Arkansas had TCU, the Southwest Conference leader, in a tizzy. The Hogs, playing deliberately, were ahead late in the first half. Then Coach Buster Brannon put his Frogs into a zone press and Arkansas panicked. Sub Carey Sloan rattled in 19 points, and TCU won 78-61. "We had to do something to get them out of that ball-control game," explained Brannon.
SMU, getting ready for Tuesday's showdown with TCU in Dallas, had some troubles of its own against Oklahoma City. OCU had a seven-point lead with eight minutes to go, but sophomore Bill Voight, who scored 30 points, got the Mustangs going and they went on to win 92-82. OKLAHOMA CITY took out its frustrations on touring Hawaii. The Chiefs, pressing and shooting furiously, routed the visitors 133-85 in a roughhouse game—66 fouls were called—as Gary Gray rambled for 39 points.
1. UCLA (16-0)
2. UTAH STATE (13-3)
3. PACIFIC (12-3)
Who would have thought that Utah's Jack Gardner, a leading exponent of run-and-gun basketball, would deign to use a controlled offense and a zone defense for a full 40 minutes? Well, that's what "The Fox" did against UTAH STATE—and he almost got away with it, too. His Utes, working a tight weave off a high post and feeding Center Dewitt Menyard for 19 points, led the Aggies 61-60 with only 36 seconds to play. Then Utah State's Hal Hale upset Gardner's neat scheme. He made two free throws to give the Aggies a 62-61 victory. "We worked our game plan to perfection," said Gardner. "We would have won going away except for our 20 turnovers."
All in all, it was a dreadful week for Western AC teams. Wyoming also succumbed, to AIR FORCE 70-66 in Laramie. The Falcons, who earlier had been soundly drubbed 81-62 by COLORADO STATE'S full-court man-to-man press, never even flinched when Wyoming hit them with a zone press. They simply stayed with their ball-control game, and Cliff Partons, a 6'10" sophomore, shot in 23 points.
No one gave WASHINGTON a chance against tall, talented Houston, but Coach Mac Duckworth told his Huskies, "Run as hard as you can as long as you can." It was the only way, he figured, to handle the No. 3-ranked Cougars. Sure enough, with 6'6" Dave Hovde beating Houston's Elvin Hayes and Melvin Bell to the boards, Washington led 46-34 at the half. Houston fought back but never quite made it all the way. Hovde had 17 points and 17 rebounds, and Rick Slettedahl's two foul shots at the end locked up an 81-78 upset. "Our finest game," gushed Duckworth.
It didn't count in the Pacific Eight standings, but for the second time in eight days last-place OREGON had some fun with second-place Oregon State. OSU's Vince Fritz scored 30 points, but the Ducks won 56-55. Santa Clara fell to both STANFORD and CALIFORNIA. Stanford beat the Broncos 88-73, and Cal edged them 80-77. WASHINGTON STATE also won, over Idaho 73-60. LOYOLA of Los Angeles, meanwhile, routed San Jose State 97-79 to tie idle Pacific for the West Coast AC lead. SEATTLE, back home in congenial surroundings, ran over Montana State 93-73.