1. VANDERBILT (5-0)
2. NORTH CAROLINA (4-1)
3. TENNESSEE (3-0)
One thing you cannot do against North Carolina is relax. Kentucky had a 62-59 lead midway in the second half when, suddenly, the Tar Heels exploded. With 6'11" Rusty Clark and Larry Miller playing tough inside (together, they had 42 points), Carolina outscored the startled Wildcats 22-8 in the next six minutes. Kentucky's Adolph Rupp tried everything, even a 1-2-2 zone for a while, but the Tar Heels broke through for easy layups and went on to win 84-77. "No one is supposed to drive the middle on a zone," said Rupp, "but they did it." Four nights later Princeton had North Carolina 47-45 with only eight minutes to play. Then big Chris Thomforde got into foul trouble and, to protect him, the Tigers moved from man-to-man to zone. Carolina retaliated with a pressure defense, and Charlie Scott led the Tar Heels on an 18-2 spree. Miller scored 23 points, Scott 17, and North Carolina won 71-63. "I think we can play them man-to-man seven days a week," said Princeton's Pete Carril. "But we had to go to a zone. We have no bench."
While SEC favorite Vanderbilt was edging Davidson 81-79 and Duke 76-75 (page 18), defending champion Tennessee practiced its good defense in the Volunteer Classic. The Vols smothered Illinois 66-42 and then gave Tulsa—which had beaten Army 55-53 in the last second—its first defeat, 56-48. "I don't know when we've had a better defense," said Coach Ray Mears, and that could be bad news for Vandy.
December 25, 1967
A strange thing happened to Virginia Tech in the Virginia-VPI Invitational at Charlottesville. Yale upset the struggling Gobblers 90-77. But co-host Virginia beat NYU 90-83. Two Big Ten invaders also won. Indiana outran North Carolina State 101-97, while Purdue, with Rick Mount getting 26, buried Tulane 107-92.
1. ST. JOHN'S (5-1)
2. PRINCETON (5-1)
3. BOSTON COLLEGE (3-1)
Boston College's Bob Cousy knew something was very wrong when St. John's led his Eagles 48-41 at half time. What he did not know, however, was that things were going to get worse, even after big Terry Driscoll, who muscled in 46 points, put BC ahead 81-79 with 15 seconds to go. Carmine Calzonetti tied the score with a jump shot, and John Warren, who scored 20 points, hit two free throws with 20 seconds left in overtime, to win for the persevering Redmen 91-90. "Beautiful," raved St. John's Lou Carnesecca. "We were gorgeous."
Duquesne set out to stop Billy Butler, unbeaten St. Bonaventure's leading scorer, and the Dukes did—he got seven points—but 6'11" Bob Lanier murdered them. Lanier made 18 of 22 shots, scored 39 points and Duquesne suffered its first loss 96-74.
The best way to stop Niagara's Calvin Murphy, figured La Salle Coach Jim Harding, was to let Roland Taylor, his quickest defender, dog him all over the Palestra. Despite this, Murphy, who had scored 41 in a 94-86 loss to Bowling Green earlier in the week, piled up 52 more, to lead the Purple Eagles to a 100-83 victory. "He's unbelievable," was Taylor's expert opinion.
All in all it was only a fair week for Philadelphia's Big Five. Temple beat NYU 74-65, and St. Joseph's defeated Providence 68-65 and Hofstra 77-69. But Villanova was beaten by Fairfield 63-62, and Penn lost to Delaware 80-68. Then Rutgers, thrashed by Princeton 83-54 and Columbia 95-64, trounced Delaware 103-84.
1. INDIANA (5-0)
2. KANSAS (3-2)
3. CINCINNATI (5-1)
Dayton's Don Donoher, who is used to surprises this season, had one ready for Louisville, a 63-47 defeat. His Flyers alternated between man-to-man and zone in the first half, but stayed with a 2-1-2 zone the last 20 minutes ("I was outvoted by my assistants," admitted Donoher sheepishly), and it shut off all the Cards except Westley Unseld, who managed 22 points. Meanwhile, Donnie May, playing without his knee brace for the first time, foraged underneath the boards for 25 points and 20 rebounds, and Playmaker Bob Hooper harassed Louisville with six steals. Three nights later May scored 21, and Dayton hammered Rice 82-58.
The Sunflower Classic doubleheaders almost turned out to be a real Kansas holiday. On Friday, in Lawrence, Kansas beat Cincinnati 67-61, and Kansas State took Texas A&M 82-77. The strategy, however, differed. Kansas' Coach Ted Owens, apprehensive over Cincy's big front line, started Football Player Vernon Vanoy, and he provided the muscle for the Jayhawks to outrebound the visitors. K-State's Tex Winter, though, benched 7'11" Nick Pino and put in his little men to press. That worked, too. Saturday, in Manhattan, Kansas whipped Texas A&M 78-52, but K-State lost to Cincinnati 58-56 in overtime.
LSU's wondrous Pete Maravich lived up to his billing in the Milwaukee Classic. He scored 84 points in two games, but the defenseless Tigers lost them both, 96-94 to Wisconsin and 130-100 to Florida State. Wisconsin went on to win the tournament, beating Marquette 70-62 in the final.
Bradley, still unbeaten, won its seventh game, 81-76 over St. Louis; while Butler, after four straight losses, shocked Michigan State 65-55 and Toledo 73-70.
1. HOUSTON (7-0)
2. OKLAHOMA CITY (4-0)
3. TEXAS AT EL PASO (4-0)
Nobody issued a proclamation and there were no parades, but it was Elvin Hayes Week in Houston. The Big E, bouncing around like a large jumping jack, was the big show in the Bluebonnet Classic. He scored 40 points as Houston beat George Washington 86-61 and 45 more in a 113-67 trouncing of Montana State in the Classic final. Hayes tapered off a bit against Brigham Young, scoring only 34, but the Cougars coasted home anyway, 102-69.
Oklahoma City, running and gunning in the style Coach Abe Lemons prefers, out-shot TCU 98-86. Texas Tech, after a bad start, was coming on strong. Tech defeated Oklahoma 74-67, Centenary 83-79 and Loyola of New Orleans 66-63. But the SWC team showing the best early foot was Baylor. The Bears took Loyola of New Orleans 88-75 for their fourth win.
1. UCLA (3-0)
2. WYOMING (5-0)
3. USC (5-1)
About the only good thing that happened to Oklahoma and Colorado State when they got to Los Angeles was that they did not have to play UCLA. The Bruins were resting, but USC and Loyola of LA took good care of the visitors. In doubleheaders USC routed Oklahoma 76-63 and Colorado State 70-53; Loyola beat Colorado State 93-69 and then swamped Oklahoma 94-76. "Our defense disrupted their offense—we like to think." said USC's Bob Boyd.
San Francisco's first Cable Car Classic turned into a rousing success for Santa Clara. The unbeaten Broncos first upset Loyola of Chicago 91-88 and then beat Western Kentucky 75-68, as Dennis Awtrey scored 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.
Three Western AC teams—Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico—were still undefeated. Denver made the error of trying to run with Wyoming and got clobbered 107-75. Utah, which runs with everybody, outgunned Wichita State 106-91 and Stanford 101-92. New Mexico beat West Texas 94-78 and Hawaii 84-75.