Five more conference champions—Toledo (23-1) in the Mid-American, Princeton (23-2) in the Ivy, Temple (20-7) in the Middle Atlantic, West Virginia (19-8) in the Southern and Pacific (21-3) in the West Coast AC—made it into the NCAA tournament, leaving five more to come. The Atlantic Coast, Southeastern, Big Ten, Big Eight and Western AC representatives will be decided this week. The Regionals, meanwhile, begin Saturday with Boston College vs. Connecticut at Kingston, R.I.; Princeton vs. West Virginia and St. John's vs. Temple at Blacks-burg, Va.; Western Kentucky vs. Dayton and Toledo vs. Virginia Tech at Lexington, Ky.; Houston vs. New Mexico State and defending national champion Texas Western vs. Seattle at Fort Collins, Colo.
New York's NIT filled out its 14-team field by adding the Mid-American's Marshall (18-6) and Western AC's New Mexico (18-7) and reserving the last two places for runners-up in the Atlantic Coast (probably Duke or North Carolina) and Big Eight (Nebraska or Colorado). The tournament opens Thursday night in Madison Square Garden with Villanova (17-8) playing Marshall and Southern Illinois (20-2) facing St. Peter's (18-5). Other first-round pairings: Saturday afternoon—Providence (20-6) vs. Memphis State (17-8) and Syracuse (20-5) vs. New Mexico; Saturday night—Marquette (18-8) vs. Tulsa (19-7) and Rutgers (19-6) vs. Utah State (20-5).
1. BOSTON COLLEGE (19-2)
2. PRINCETON (23-2)
3. ST. JOHN'S (22-3)
It was a week for happenings in the East. For a while PRINCETON'S Dillon Gym sounded like a fish market. While Penn stalled, the partisans jeered, hooted and counted the bounces—once they reached 100 (page 28). The visitors led 9-8 at the half, but eventually the Tigers broke away. Joe Heiser scored six points in the last 23 seconds, and Princeton won the Ivy championship 25-16.
When LA SALLE students hanged Coach Joe Heyer in effigy, the Explorers reacted. They upset St. Joseph's 73-70 in the first round of the Middle Atlantic playoffs, but then TEMPLE, which had trounced American U. 83-61, beat La Salle 78-61 in the final.
Syracuse's Fred Lewis had his troubles at NIAGARA. He was hit with two technicals for towel-waving and "abusive language," was ordered out of the game and refused to go, and his team lost its third in a row 71-59. "Those two guys out there made Jesse James look like a piker," fumed Lewis. But he got over his pique when SYRACUSE whipped Colgate 93-78.
Boston College just made it past Canisius 80-76 and Holy Cross 76-71 while ST. JOHN'S ran into resistance from old rival NYU before winning 55-51. The Redmen then beat Massachusetts 76-64. There were other surprises. MANHATTAN defeated Ford-ham 87-79, and then FORDHAM took NYU 65-55. ST FRANCIS upset St. Peter's 92-85 to put both teams in a three-way tie with Manhattan for the Met Conference title.
Providence Mayor Joseph Doorley officially proclaimed it Jimmy Walker Night when the Friars met DePaul, and Jimmy celebrated. He scored 38 points, including the last two that edged the Blue Demons 68-67. Then he got 32 as Providence beat Brown 77-68. Walker's average: 29.9.
It was not Bobby Lloyd Day at Penn State, but the RUTGERS star made the most of it anyway, as his team won 88-76. Roommate Jim Valvano had 26 points and Lloyd, who scored 35 in an earlier 67-55 win over Lehigh, made nine of 10 free throws and now has 226 out of 243. He is within .004 of a new college record.
1. NORTH CAROLINA (21-4)
2. WESTERN KENTUCKY (23-2)
3. TENNESSEE (20-5)
On the way to their ACC tournament showdown with Duke, North Carolina's Tar Heels ran into trouble, SOUTH CAROLINA slowed them down with a waiting game, harassed their big shooters with a 2-1-2 zone and beat them 70-57. Duke had NORTH CAROLINA worried, too—for a half. Then the Blue Devils got into foul trouble, and Coach Vic Bubas had to put his players into a protective zone. Larry Miller tore it apart for 22 of his 29 points, sophomore Rusty Clark snapped up rebounds and the Tar Heels won 92-79 to take the regular-season championship. Now Carolina will have to do it all over again in the silly ACC playoffs, which begin Thursday in Greensboro, to get to the NCAA tournament. One historical note: Duke, which refused to play South Carolina in the regular season, may have to meet the third-place Gamecocks after all. They are both in the same half of the draw.
West Virginia's Bucky Waters had no doubts before the Southern Conference tournament in Charlotte. "We expect to be the champion," he said flatly. "We're hungry." So his Mountaineers, with Dave Reaser, Carl Head and Ron Williams flipping in shots like pros, ran through East Carolina 82-53, Richmond 82-70 and Davidson 81-65 to win it.
It looked as if a plague had suddenly hit the SEC leaders. ALABAMA upset Tennessee 53-52 and MISSISSIPPI STATE shocked Vanderbilt 74-71. But VANDERBILT came back to trounce Kentucky 110-94 and TENNESSEE buried LSU 87-60 as Ron Widby, honored in pregame ceremonies, returned the tribute by scoring 50 points. With one game to go, the Vols led FLORIDA, a 96-63 winner over Georgia, by half a game and Vandy by a full game, WESTERN KENTUCKY took Austin Peay 116-76 and Middle Tennessee 55-46.
Unbeaten Winston-Salem, with marvelous Earl Monroe, the nation's hottest shooter (43.4 points a game), seemed to be a shoo-in at the CIAA tournament in Greensboro. But Earl twisted an ankle, was held to 20 points by NORTH CAROLINA A&T's dogging zone and Winston-Salem lost 105-82 in the semifinals. North Carolina A&T then beat Howard 76-73 for the title.
1. LOUISVILLE (23-3)
2. KANSAS (20-3)
3. TOLEDO (23-1)
When the season began, about all TOLEDO Coach Bobby Nichols had were high hopes and a bunch of sophomores with eyes for the basket. Last week the hot young Rockets exploded for five points in the last 90 seconds, all by Steve Mix and Bob Miller, to overtake Ohio U. 93-90 for their first MidAmerican title in 13 years. Then Toledo, with Mix scoring 35, bombed Virginia Tech 90-71 for its best season ever. "Who would have guessed it?" asked Nichols happily.
The pressure was on KANSAS in the Big Eight race. The Jayhawks had to beat Nebraska at Lincoln, where the Huskers had won 19 in a row, to clinch a tie. Coach Ted Owens had other things to worry about, too, like Nebraska's fast break and grabby full-court press. But Owens cut off the break by sending only three men to the offensive boards and Jo Jo White, a quick-handed dribbler, took care of the press. Five free throws by White and Ron Franz in the last minute won for Kansas 64-57.
Indiana's Lou Watson had it figured right when he observed, "We're just not good enough to blow anybody off the court." The Hoosiers, with a chance to open the gap in the Big Ten, lost to ILLINOIS 80-70. That put them in a first-place tie with MICHIGAN STATE—which beat Ohio State 74-63 and Purdue 75-71—with two games to play. But three other teams—Iowa, Northwestern and Wisconsin—were only a game behind and Michigan, last year's champion, was trying to help everybody win the title. The last-place Wolverines lost to INDIANA 98-96 and WISCONSIN 80-79. "It's been a different year," mused Dave Strack. "Writers don't call me long-distance anymore."
TULSA, despite a 62-59 loss to DRAKE, took second place in the MVC by beating Wichita State 70-57. There was also a last-minute flurry among the independents as DE PAUL upset Dayton 84-79, MARQUETTE beat Detroit 71-64, LOYOLA of Chicago out-scored Bowling Green 110-93, NOTRE DAME whipped Creighton 84-59 and SOUTHERN ILLINOIS routed Springfield (Mo.) 93-66.
1. HOUSTON (23-3)
2. TEXAS WESTERN (20-5)
3. SMU (19-5)
It was warmup time for NCAA contenders in the Southwest, TEXAS WESTERN, getting ready to defend its national championship in the Far West Regional, did not panic when Arizona State led 31-28. David Palacio began hitting on long outside jumpers, Daddy D Lattin supplied the muscle underneath and TW won 61-51.
SMU, the Southwest Conference champion, rolled over Texas A&M 85-71 and Texas 92-83 while HOUSTON, with Elvin Hayes shooting up a storm, beat Loyola of New Orleans 106-64 and Air Force 90-80. Hayes scored 41 against Loyola and 23 in the win over Air Force.
1. UCLA (25-0)
2. PACIFIC (21-3)
3. UTAH STATE (20-5)
It was the same old story—Stanford tried a stall against unbeaten UCLA, but the Indians missed their first five shots and the contest was over. Lew Alcindor scored 20 points and the Bruins won 75-47. It did not matter what California tried. Lew got 30, Lucius Allen 23 and UCLA coasted 103-66.
It was all over in the West Coast AC, too. With Keith Swagerty muscling down rebounds and Bruce Parsons helping out with the scoring, PACIFIC rolled over San Jose State 75-64 and Santa Barbara 102-77 for their 18th straight. But the Western AC had a tie. BRIGHAM YOUNG won easily enough over Arizona State 110-93 and Arizona 70-58, but streaking WYOMING pulled off a surprise. The Cowboys, although hurt by New Mexico's Mel Daniels (he scored 26 points), came from behind to deck the Lobos 65-64 in Albuquerque, forcing a BYU-Wyoming playoff Saturday for a place in the NCAA. The dubious prize: a game with UCLA in the Far West Regional at Corvallis.
With his team leading Seattle 77-75 and one second to go, UTAH STATE'S LaDell Anderson watched Seattle's Tom Workman make the first of two free throws. Then he called time to give Workman a chance to fret. It worked. Workman missed the second shot, and the Aggies won 77-76.