1. ST. BONAVENTURE (11-0)
2. COLUMBIA (9-3)
3. LA SALLE (9-3)
Unbeaten St. Bonaventure had an off-night shooting (45%) but played its best defensive game when the Bonnies beat Niagara 101-72 before 5,994 fans, the largest crowd ever in University Center. "I told our team to play as if they were playing five Calvin Murphys," said Bonnie Coach Larry Weise. "Just play them all honest." The real Murphy got only 25 points. Earlier in the week Calvin had 39 despite water on his right knee and a badly sprained right toe as the Purple Eagles beat Buffalo State 94-79.
Penn lost 6'5" Forward Jeff Osowski with a broken left foot, so Coach Dick Harter decided to use a stall against Princeton. "I only did it to win," said Harter. "I hated to play a game that way. I hate to ask my players not to be aggressive." Princeton's attack on the basket was very aggressive; the Tigers shot 82% in the first half and 69% for the game and won 73-47.
Columbia's Dave Newmark, complete with Madison Avenue sideburns, had the best game of his career as he got 40 points and the Lions ran over Yale 100-72. The next night a balanced Columbia offense beat Brown 71-47.
"We're playing a little basketball now," proclaimed St. Joseph's Coach Jack McKinney after his Hawks beat Brigham Young 88-74. When St. Joe's got back into Big Five action it was a different story. With reserve Lefty Ervin scoring 25 points, La Salle overwhelmed the Hawks 103-71. Temple was surprised by Army 61-55.
Southern Conference representative Davidson had an easy go in New York City, overwhelming St. John's 70-54. The Redmen led only twice, both times in the first half and both times by only a single point. Sophomore Naceo Giles came off the bench late in the first half to lead Colgate to an 84-71 win over New York University. A tight Yale zone hampered Cornell's shooting enough for the Elis to wind up with a 69-64 victory.
Defending champion Akron Goodyear won its second straight Intercontinental Cup in Philadelphia, routing Botafogo de Futbol of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 84-52.
1. NORTH CAROLINA (9-1)
2. KENTUCKY (8-1)
3. VANDERBILT (10-2)
After his Duke team was beaten by North Carolina 75-72, Coach Vic Bubas reflected on the game and said, "You know what flashed through my mind as I watched? I would think, 'We've got Superman [Larry Miller] covered, but Zorro [Charlie Scott] is doing a heck of a job!' " Zorro was murder against the Blue Devils. He scored inside, outside, from the corner and from out front for 20 points, and grabbed 11 rebounds. When the Duke 2-3 zone became effective, he went to the post and fed Miller and Rusty Clark for easy layups. Earlier, Davidson lost the battle for rebounds and their game to Duke, 89-84. Maryland could make only seven of 33 during the first half, and North Carolina rolled, 68-52.
Vanderbilt students made a conscious effort to be courteous when the Commodores played Kentucky, and the Wildcats were so pleased, possibly, that they made 15 of their first 18 shots and went on to embarrass the Commodores 94-78. "I knew we were in for nothing but trouble," said Vandy Coach Roy Skinner after the game. "Anytime you play Kentucky you are in for trouble."
Jokes about Georgia basketball used to be as plentiful as Aggie jokes in Texas; that is, until this season. Ken Rosemond's team has won six straight, and now members of the SEC are showing a great deal of respect. "We felt all along that we might not win the SEC but we would have a say in who did," says Rosemond. "Now we feel we have as good a chance as anyone." Georgia started the week by beating Mississippi 70-64. Then, while waiting at the Oxford Airport for their chartered plane, they saw it crash and burn. After arriving home two days late, the Bulldogs beat Mississippi State 72-69.
Pete Maravich seemed listless but still scored 55 points against Auburn as LSU won 76-72. Against Florida Maravich got "only" 32 and the Gators got the win, 97-90, behind Neal Walk's 39 points. Earlier, Florida beat Mississippi 70-68.
In the biggest upset of the Southern Conference season, VMI took West Virginia 92-90. "It was a dream come true," said Coach Gary McPherson after the game. Sadly, VMI woke up in its next game and lost to Wake Forest 92-60.
1. MARQUETTE (10-2)
2. TOLEDO (8-2)
3. OHIO STATE (7-2)
After losing 16 of 25 games against outside opponents over the holidays, Big Ten teams welcomed each other back with open arms. Defending co-champion Indiana, playing its first home game in nearly a month, rallied in the second half to beat Minnesota 74-59. The other co-champion found the going tougher. Illinois held Michigan State scoreless for 6½ minutes in the second half and won 66-56. Preseason favorite Purdue ran into a four-man zone with a chaser and lost to Ohio State 108-80. Guard Dennis Meadors was the chaser, and he held Purdue's Rick Mount to two points in the second half and 19 for the game. Wisconsin Guard Mike Carlin stole the ball with the score tied to give the Badgers a 77-75 victory over Michigan. Northwestern beat Iowa and Sam Williams 76-67.
In the Big Eight Tournament after Christmas, Nebraska won three games and Iowa State lost three, so Husker Coach Joe Cipriano feared that his players would be at a psychological disadvantage when they opened the conference race in Ames. He was right. With 6'8" Don Smith getting 39 points, the Cyclones won easily 85-70.
Even though Kansas hadn't jumped off to its expected fast start, 14,000 people turned out in five-below-zero weather to watch the Jayhawks whip Colorado 66-50. Oklahoma edged Missouri 71-70 while Kansas State, with 7'1" Nick Pino on the bench most of the second half, beat Oklahoma State 56-46.
Toledo continued to play well and lead the Mid-American Conference. John Brisker scored 26 as the Rockets beat Bowling Green 73-69 in overtime and then Brisker came back with 29, including the two points that tied the game at the end of regulation time, when the Rockets won another overtime game against Miami (Ohio) 97-89.
Jim Ard and Rick Roberson controlled the boards for Cincinnati, and the Bearcats rolled over North Texas State 61-53. Two nights later the Bearcats lost to Tulsa for the seventh time in eight games, 62-59, as the Hurricanes threw up a 1-2-2 zone for rebound strength.
Marquette won a pair, downing DePaul 72-50 and beating NCAA runner-up Dayton 83-68. Kent State lost two, 80-63 to St. Bonaventure and 52-50 to Penn State.
1. UCLA (10-0)
2. UTAH (11-1)
3. NEW MEXICO (13-0)
Las Vegas has always been a trap for anyone with a dime and the itch to gamble, and now visiting basketball coaches are regarding it the same way. Oklahoma City Coach Abe Lemons brought his undefeated team into town for a game with Nevada Southern—a small college that beat University of the Pacific and stayed close to Houston—and Abe lost. The Rebels won 96-92 with eight straight points in the closing minutes. Nevada was down 90-88 when Curtis Watson, one of three California junior-college transfers on the starting five, stole the ball twice and scored each time; Jerry Chandler drove up the middle for two and Don Lyons, a 6'5" deaf mute, scored on a tip-in for his 28th point of the evening. Californian Elburt Miller scored 32 while another transfer, John Trapp, a rugged 6'7" forward with a shaved head and a pointed goatee, scored 18. OCU took a long time to recover. Two nights later Portland ended a 17-game losing streak by upsetting the Chiefs 74-63.
It was a bad week for the Washington universities as they opened AAWU play in Los Angeles. As expected, UCLA beat them both easily, taking Washington State 97-69 and Washington 93-65. But unexpectedly, USC also won twice, downing the Huskies 58-56 on Bill Hewitt's 15-foot jump shot with 40 seconds to go and the Cougars 92-73. But the news in L.A. was that for the first time—after endless student campaigns—the Trojans were represented by dancing pompon girls. "The girls were great," USC Coach Bob Boyd observed after the close Washington game.
It didn't seem fair when Oregon State Coach Paul Valenti had 6'5" Loy Petersen guard 5'10" Californian Russ Critchfield, but it was effective. Critchfield could get only 15 points, and the Bears lost 76-63. The next night Petersen held hot-shooting Stanford Forward Art Harris to 15, and the Beavers won again, 67-51. Against Oregon the night before, Harris led Stanford to a 79-73 win with 37 points. California, with Critchfield hitting 36 and 6'11" Bob Presley 29, beat Oregon 96-81.
Dennis Black scored 13 of his 19 points from the free-throw line and blocked two crucial shots as San Francisco upset Santa Clara 70-68 to open the WCAC race.
In Provo, Brigham Young and Utah State traded the lead 28 times and were tied 23 times before the Cougars won 104-98 despite Shaler Halimon's 47 points for State. Visiting Texas at El Paso destroyed young Colorado State 90-70, but the Rams came back against Chicago Loyola, beating the Ramblers 81-73.
1. HOUSTON (15-0)
2. NEW MEXICO STATE (11-2)
3. TEXAS AT EL PASO (8-2)
The high school gym in Las Cruces that New Mexico State uses for games was the site of the showdown between once-beaten State and undefeated New Mexico, and when the game was over the Lobos were still undefeated. The score: 71-64. Although the Lobos had warmed up by beating Denver 87-76 and Air Force 88-60, they didn't come into the big game free of worries. Their 6'8" center, Ron Sanford, was the main problem. The day before he had injured himself in a trampoline accident when his knee hit his eye, causing a contusion of the retina. Another problem was the famous Aggie press. "They'll start pressing us before we get off the bus," said Lobo Assistant Ron Ellenberger. "We'll be lucky to get to the dressing room." With Sanford in the hospital at game time, Coach Bob King's adjusted offense performed well enough to beat the press most of the time and, in the end, the Aggies.
There is still no obvious favorite in the SWC but, at the moment, Texas Christian is making most of the noise. After beating Rice 84-75 behind James Cash's 29 points ("It's about time," he said. "I've been saving up all season"), the Horned Frogs edged Texas A&M in double overtime 81-77 in hostile College Station.
Sophomore Larry Gatewood came off the bench and scored 24 points to lead Baylor over SMU 76-66, and a balanced attack by the Bears three nights later accounted for a 64-50 win over Texas Tech. Texas also had two SWC wins, beating Tech 84-72 and SMU 84-80, while Rice beat Arkansas 73-61.
"I've heard people say that you come back from Hawaii and fall flat on your face," said Houston Coach Guy Lewis after his team beat Michigan 91-65. "My boys were tired after the long flight the day before, and the time changes played tricks on us, but they came through." Four nights later they came through again, defeating Centenary 118-81.