1. BOSTON COLLEGE (2-0)
2. PRINCETON (3-0)
3. ST. JOHN'S (2-1)
Boston College's Bob Cousy is not particularly thrilled over his team's high preseason ranking. "People are going to be shooting for us," he says. But even Cousy admits, "This is the best team we've ever had." With clever little Billy Evans wheeling and dealing the way Cousy used to; with big Terry Driscoll and Jim Kissane controlling the rebounds; and with sophomores Bob Dukiet and Pete Sollene pouring in points, BC rolled over Dartmouth 116-69 and then whipped Connecticut 76-60.
Villanova tried everything against Princeton. The Wildcats started with their "ball" defense and Princeton raced to a 23-9 lead. They switched to man-to-man and things got worse. While 6'9" Chris Thomforde and 6'8" sophomore John Hummer grabbed nearly every rebound, Joe Heiser and Jeff Petrie scored 37 points between them, and the Tigers won 77-52. "I just don't know what you can do to beat them," said Coach Jack Kraft. Two nights later it was Colgate Coach Ed Ashnault's turn to comment after Princeton swamped his team 71-43. "They're fantastic," he said.
December 18, 1967
Princeton was not all of Villanova's troubles for the week. The Wildcats tried to run with touring USC and lost the race, 82-65. St. John's, back home after a 65-63 loss to West Virginia in Morgantown, used a different approach against the tall Trojans. The Redmen attacked patiently, and it paid off. They beat USC 63-58.
Some of the East's big independents, meanwhile, learned not to underestimate the Ivy League. Syracuse was upset by Cornell 88-70, while Holy Cross, after beating Dartmouth 73-70 in overtime, was surprised by Yale 78-55. NYU, which had beaten Hunter 92-76 and Texas 75-67 in Madison Square Garden, lost to Columbia 80-64. Penn edged Rutgers 71-70 but the Scarlet recovered to take Colgate 82-69. Cornell's elation, however, was short-lived. Army, an earlier 74-70 winner over Seton Hall, drubbed the Big Red 73-59. And Syracuse came back to beat Buffalo 85-63.
Temple and La Salle were still unbeaten. Temple overwhelmed Lehigh 80-60 and Manhattan 86-78 while La Salle ran over Gettysburg 96-58 and Albright 82-40. But St. Joseph's lost twice, to Georgetown 86-74 and Bowling Green 76-73. St. Peter's beat Fairfield 88-65, and Duquesne clobbered Pitt 100-66 in the Steel Bowl final. Things were looking up for Providence. The Friars defeated Assumption 89-80 and St. Francis (N.Y.) 80-66.
But the big news was Niagara's Calvin Murphy. He bombed Villa Madonna for 57 points as the Purple Eagles won 114-66. Then, when Iona double-and triple-teamed him, Calvin concentrated on passing off. But he still scored 37, and Iona fell 100-76.
1. VANDERBILT (3-0)
2. KENTUCKY (4-0)
3. NORTH CAROLINA (2-1)
"This game has all the earmarks of being one of the finest ever played in Nashville," said Vanderbilt Coach Roy Skinner before his Commodores took on North Carolina. But in a tense, rugged first half, ears were red from embarrassment as both teams committed schoolyard errors. Suddenly, Kenny Campbell hit two jump shots and Bo Wyenandt added a third to give Vanderbilt a 33-26 lead at the half. Fouls plagued the Tar Heels in the second half and, though the visitors outscored Vandy from the floor, they could make only 10 of 22 free throws. The Commodores won 89-76. Earlier in the week, Vandy defeated Auburn 78-65, while North Carolina thumped Kent State 107-83, despite Doug Grayson's 18 straight field goals and 41 points.
Elsewhere in the SEC, Kentucky was looking like the power of old. While Adolph Rupp switched starting lineups, his young Wildcats battered Florida 99-76 and Xavier 111-76 before solving Penn's shuffle offense to win 64-49. Off the court, the livin' was not so easy. Negro students paraded before Kentucky home games, calling for recruitment of Negro basketball players, and berating Rupp for "superficial recruiting of black athletes at a 100% rate of non-productivity." Florida recovered from the Kentucky debacle to defeat West Virginia 82-72 as Neal Walk, the nation's leading rebounder, scored 31 points. And "Pistol Pete" Maravich continued his astounding scoring with 51 points in LSU's 90-56 win over Loyola of New Orleans. Duke salvaged some ACC pride by edging Alabama, 86-80. Maryland lost to N.C. State 75-62, but upset South Carolina 66-65.
Sophomores Mike Maloy and Doug Cook and junior Dave Moser took turns starring for Davidson. Maloy had 15 rebounds and Cook scored 18 points in a 95-68 rout of Furman, and Moser came off the bench to push the 'Cats past Michigan, 91-70.
Western Kentucky overwhelmed St. Francis of Pennsylvania 95-73, but Eastern Kentucky looked more impressive while storming from behind to knock off Dayton, 76-75. Virginia Tech finally came home and finally won, 71-67 over Wake Forest.
1. HOUSTON (4-0)
2. OKLAHOMA CITY (3-0)
3. TEXAS AT EL PASO (4-0)
Houston Coach Guy Lewis' game plan is never very complicated. Sometimes it is ball control, sometimes a running game, but almost always it includes getting the ball to Elvin Hayes who, more often than not, gets it into the basket. The Big E had 33 points and 21 rebounds against Abilene Christian and the Cougars won 90-75. He was outshot by North Dakota State's Ron Schlieman, 50 points to 38, but Houston still coasted home 121-88. And when the Cougars led Illinois by only 39-37 early in the second half at Champaign, Hayes rattled in seven quick points—he had 25 in all—and Houston went on to win its fourth straight, 54-6.
Oklahoma City's Abe Lemons is another coach who does not believe in subtlety. He just turns his Chiefs loose and lets them shoot to their hearts' content. Abe loves to see the ball go in the hoop, and he was delighted when Guard Rich Travis scored 52 points as OCU beat North Texas State 97-78. Then Travis got 31, Ron Koper 29, and the Chiefs routed SMU 90-73. But TCU was tougher. The Frogs led OCU with four minutes to go before succumbing 72-71.
Texas at El Paso, playing without 6'10" Pivotman Phil Harris, who is on probation until December 15, got past Pan-American 66-55 and Arkansas State 57-48, but the Miners had their hands full with Arizona. Willie Cager's tip-in finally won for UTEP in overtime, 67-66.
Southwest Conference teams, meanwhile, were taking their usual thrashings from outsiders. Only Texas A&M, still unbeaten, looked respectable. The Aggies beat Trinity 106-95 in overtime, West Texas State 89-43 and Southwest Texas 78-74.
1 LOUISVILLE (2-1)
2. CINCINNATI (2-0)
3. INDIANA (3-0)
The big game was in Lawrence and the strategy was deep. Kansas' Ted Owens decided to play it slow offensively, hoping his tempo would also influence Louisville's fast break. Louisville's John Dromo was committed to a zone defense—it shifted from 2-3 to 1-3-1—designed to hamper Rodger Bohnenstiehl inside and harass Jo Jo White outside. Both ploys succeeded, but Westley Unseld and Butch Beard broke loose for 12 points near the end to give Louisville a 57-51 victory. "We didn't attack their zone right," complained Owens. "We just fooled around too much on the perimeter."
The showdown over, both teams went on to Chicago for what they expected would be mere workouts. Northwestern Coach Larry Glass had been saying, "There is no doubt we'll be good. We just wonder when." Nobody expected it to be against Louisville. But the young Wildcats ball-hawked the Cards to death and boxed out Unseld underneath to get at the rebounds. Guard Terry Gamber led the charge with 19 points and Northwestern took Louisville 88-83.
Loyola of Chicago's George Ireland made no secret of what his strategy would be against Kansas in the second game of the doubleheader. "Of course we'll press 'em," he said. "So what if they're taller? We'll play big." And that is just what Loyola did. The quick little Ramblers, pressing and hustling, kept on coming at the Jay-hawks. Corky Bell scored 17 points, Bill Baumgartner 16 and Loyola won 83-73.
Northwestern was not the only Big Ten team that flexed its muscles for the race ahead. Indiana throttled Missouri 78-69 and Ohio U. 89-63, while Ohio State defeated Florida State 76-69 and South Dakota 97-54. Iowa broke Southern Illinois' 21-game winning streak, 61-49. (The Salukis later beat Arizona State 62-59 for their 31st straight at home.) Wisconsin came back from an 81-73 loss to Notre Dame to shatter SMU 120-82. Michigan, however, after a 104-99 win over Detroit, fell apart against Duke. The Wolverines were only two points behind at the half, but all of a sudden the Blue Devils, sparked by Mike Lewis' 32 points, came on strong, and Duke breezed 93-72. "Whatever I said to them at the half, I better never say it again," said Michigan's Dave Strack.
Miami of Ohio won a big one and almost put away a second upset. The Redskins, playing Coach Tates Locke's patient offense, got excellent shooting from Fred Foster (22 points) and shocked Dayton 64-61. Two nights later, Miami, with tiny Phil Snow firing in 24 points, had Cincinnati licked with four seconds to go. Then Gordy Smith's jump shot beat the Redskins 60-59. Toledo got a surprise, a 94-93 overtime defeat by St. Bonaventure, as Bill Butler rattled the Rockets for 30 points.
1. UCLA (3-0)
2. WASHINGTON (3-1)
3. WYOMING (4-0)
Wichita State's Gary Thompson and Iowa State's Glen Anderson were in solid agreement after UCLA demolished their teams in packed Pauley Pavilion. Wichita State was behind only 41-31 when suddenly the UCLA press destroyed the Shockers. Lew Alcindor and Mike Lynn led the Bruins on a 15-point tear and it was all over for State. Alcindor finished with 28 points, Lynn with 21, and UCLA won 120-86. The next night Alcindor piled up 45 points as the Bruins gave Iowa State an even worse mauling, 121-81, for their 37th straight. "UCLA is the best college team ever assembled," said Thompson flatly, and Anderson seconded the motion.
Even coming close to UCLA seems to inspire delusions of grandeur. Purdue's George King, whose Boilermakers had lost to the Bruins by two points, confidently predicted, "We may not lose another game." So Washington, with four sophomores in the lineup, held Rick Mount to 23 points and the Huskies shocked Purdue 98-87. The next night, however, Mount scored 30, Bill Keller 26 and Purdue beat Washington 84-77. Nebraska had similar difficulties in Pullman. After Washington State whipped his Huskers 93-70, Coach Joe Cipriano junked his zone defense and went after the Cougars man-to-man. It worked. Nebraska took the return match 91-76.
California, with 6'10" Bob Presley snapping up 27 rebounds (a school record), beat St. Mary's 76-69 and then squeezed past San Francisco 78-74 in overtime as Presley took 21 more rebounds and scored 28 points.
Idaho State became the second Big Sky team to surprise Colorado State, winning 100-89, but then the precocious Bengals got it from Wyoming. The Cowpokes, who had beaten Sacramento State 94-49 and Oklahoma State 72-62, outran Idaho State 115-96. Utah beat Colorado 95-84 and Utah State 102-90, while Brigham Young defeated Texas Tech 72-58 and Texas 63-50.