1. MARQUETTE (16-3)
2. LOUISVILLE (14-6)
3. OHIO STATE (13-4)
Louisville Coach John Dromo, a dandy who wears a new shirt to every game, looked like a wilted flower after his team barely beat Drake 67-66. "That's the best team we've played this year," he said. Wichita State, on the road, was just as tough for Dromo's Missouri Valley leaders, who won 93-91 in overtime. Louisville, which leads Bradley by a game and Drake by one and a half, has only one more game away from home—against Drake.
Kansas was back in the Big Eight race, a half game behind Nebraska, but the way the Jayhawks got there hardly soothed Coach Ted Owens' chronic ulcer. Kansas squeezed past Oklahoma State 52-50 and Colorado 75-72. Nebraska took over the lead by beating Oklahoma 89-83 and Kansas State 92-68, while Iowa State was losing to Oklahoma 87-68.
February 19, 1968
The Big Ten was beginning to take Ohio State seriously after the Bucks put down Indiana 78-77 on Dan Andreas' shot at the buzzer and then trampled Michigan State 90-62. But Iowa and Northwestern were only a game behind. The Mid-American was even closer. Bowling Green, a 78-68 winner over Ohio U., tied Toledo for the lead when the Rockets were upset by Marshall 93-89.
Marquette Coach Al McGuire spent all week psyching up Pat Smith for Loyola of Chicago. He told Smith to think about Loyola's Jim Tillman, an old New York schoolyard playmate, and how he had to be aggressive against him. It worked. Smith got nine points in the first 10 minutes, took charge of the boards and Marquette won 71-57. The Warriors also bombed Xavier 72-57. Loyola came back to take weary New Mexico State 81-75. Notre Dame defeated DePaul 91-85 in overtime, but Duke was too strong for the Irish. The Blue Devils won 73-67.
1. HOUSTON (21-0)
2. NEW MEXICO STATE (18-4)
3. BAYLOR (14-4)
Unbeaten Houston, whose schedule the rest of the season is strictly patty-cake, fattened up at the expense of Centenary. It was hard to tell who enjoyed himself more—Elvin Hayes, who scored 50 points, or Coach Guy Lewis, who watched his Cougars pour it on 107-56.
Everybody expected the shots to fly when Creighton's Bob Portman, the nation's fourth best scorer, and Oklahoma City's Rich Travis, who ranks sixth, got together in a shooting match and no one was disappointed. Portman scored 39 and Travis 38, but Oklahoma City won 112-86. Then the Chiefs got ambushed in Canyon. West Texas State beat them 105-87.
Baylor, thanks to a welcome hand from TCU, had a two-game lead in the Southwest Conference. The Bears came from behind to take Texas 74-58 and edged Rice 59-58 on substitute Tommy Bowman's two free throws with 11 seconds to go. TCU knocked off Arkansas 77-75 to tie the Hogs for second when sophomore Rick Witten-bracker tossed in an eight-foot jumper at the buzzer.
1. ST. BONA VENTURE (17-0)
2. COLUMBIA (15-3)
3. ARMY (17-3)
New Yorkers, apparently not sentimental about the passing of old Madison Square Garden, stayed away for the last college doubleheader in the arena. Only 5,487 turned out to watch Duke thrash Southern Illinois 78-54 and NYU beat Manhattan 76-63. The Salukis were no match for Duke. The Blue Devils, working well off 6'7" Mike Lewis in a low post and easily shifting in and out of man-to-man and zone defenses, had too much class for Southern Illinois. Lewis, a dexterous shooter and feeder, scored 28 points and, along with 6'7" Steve Vandenberg, dominated the boards against the shorter Salukis.
Some coaches claim that playing Army is like going to war. The Cadets infiltrate on offense and surround their opponents with muscle on defense. They did a lot of both last week, while beating Rutgers 50-41 and St. John's 55-54. But the Redmen, coming off a 62-55 loss to Temple, had Army 32-20 at the half. Then Bill Schutsky, a tough cooky who goes for the basket as if he were leading an infantry charge, and Steve Hunt began scoring. Soon they had 40 points between them, and Jim Oxley's driving lay-up with 1:42 to go put the Cadets ahead 55-54. The shocked Redmen never scored again and Army won its 11th straight.
Temple hardly had time to enjoy its win over St. John's. The Owls lost to La Salle 64-60. Villanova won twice on the road, over Detroit 63-55 and DePaul 57-48, while St. Joseph's split, losing to St. Francis of Loretto 83-76 and beating Seton Hall 56-50.
St. Bonaventure (page 24), meanwhile, rolled on serenely. The unbeaten Bonnies beat Providence 70-56 and are a cinch to make a postseason tournament. Holy Cross, another team with tournament ideas, took Fordham 85-76 as Keith Hochstein scored 40 points and Ed Siudut got 36. Then the Crusaders, with Hochstein getting 33 and Siudut 31, routed Syracuse 95-79. Fordham came back to upset Boston College and boost its record to 14-4. Niagara battered St. Francis of N.Y. 100-73 as Calvin Murphy scored 34 points. "A bad shooting night," complained Calvin, who made 12 for 29.
Columbia had its troubles up in Hanover, but the Lions survived a Dartmouth slowdown to win 76-70 in double overtime. Then they drubbed Harvard 103-70. But Princeton remained in a first-place tie with Columbia in the Ivy League, beating Yale 69-62 and Brown 96-38.
1. NORTH CAROLINA (17-1)
2. TENNESSEE (15-3)
3. KENTUCKY (15-4)
Tennessee rarely has looked better than it did in beating LSU 87-67 and holding Pete Maravich to 21 points. The Vols played their usual 1-3-1 trap zone, except that Tom Hendrix moved up to a wing, 6'8" Larry Mansfield was the deep man and Billy Hann played Maravich man-to-man. Everybody else double-teamed Pete when he got the ball, and he had a terrible time. His father-coach, Press, was so upset he blasted the officials for not calling fouls and accused them of giving the "big teams" preferential treatment. It got him a reprimand from SEC Commissioner Tonto Coleman.
Georgia was next for Tennessee and, even though the Bulldogs had lost at Vanderbilt 82-77, Coach Ray Mears worried about them. With 6'11" Bob Lienhard scoring 13 points, Georgia led the Vols 35-29 at the half, and then the Bulldogs went into a freeze. "Don't call it that," said Coach Ken Rosemond later. "It was a spread offense." Whatever it was called, it worked. Georgia held the ball until Tennessee was forced to extend its zone. When that happened Ray Jeffords worked the open middle with drives and jumpers for 12 points, and the Bulldogs won 61-43 to tighten up the SEC race.
Kentucky was only a half game behind Tennessee after the Wildcats beat Mississippi 78-62 and Mississippi State 92-84. Florida, however, ran into LSU's Maravich on a good night—he scored 47 points—and lost to the Bengals 93-92 when little Rich Lupcho plopped in a free throw with 15 seconds to go in overtime. Maravich had also scored 49 to break Bob Pettit's one-season record of 785, as LSU lost to Auburn 74-69 earlier in the week. "It was just an average game," said Pete.
North Carolina, looking more formidable with each game, ran over Virginia 108-64 and Wake Forest 80-70, but a punch in the eye by Wake Forest's Dan Ackley put 6'11" Rusty Clark in the infirmary. Without Clark, the Tar Heels whipped Virginia Tech 80-70. "This is one year I'm glad we have an ACC tournament," said Duke's Vic Bubas. "Maybe somebody will be lucky enough to catch Carolina on a bad night."
Davidson, the Southern Conference leader, showed no signs of weakening. The Wildcats buried Richmond 85-67, while West Virginia beat Georgia Tech 79-75 and Maryland 83-66 in nonleague games.
1. UCLA (18-1)
2. NEW MEXICO (19-1)
3. SANTA CLARA (15-3)
New Mexico had not seen so much excitement since the Lincoln County War. Both of the state's teams were ranked in the AP's top 10, and 15,237 jammed into University Arena in Albuquerque to watch New Mexico and New Mexico State go at each other. It was a dilly. NMS led 41-39 at the half, but the Lobos' half-court zone trap began pressing the Aggies into the corners, and Ron Nelson shot New Mexico to a nine-point lead. The Aggies, however, rallied and had a 71-71 tie with eight seconds to go. Stretch Howard's free throw finally won for the Lobos 72-71. "A great game," said Coach Bob King. "I got so wrapped up watching it I almost forgot to coach."
New Mexico got caught up in another close one, beating Texas at El Paso 64-58. But Wyoming—a 74-67 winner over Colorado State—and Utah were hot on the Lobos' trail in the Western AC. It looked as if it were all over for the Utes when Brigham Young led 89-87 with 44 seconds to play. But, in the last 14 seconds, Joe English threw in a 20-foot shot, Merv Jackson deflected an inbounds pass to Walt Simon, who flipped in a layup, and Utah won 91-89. Coach Jack Gardner was so excited he tipped over his second quart of milk in the rush to congratulate his players.
It was strange, seeing UCLA go to a stall. Oregon State had shaken up the Bruins in Corvallis with a tough 2-3 zone that kept the ball away from Lew Alcindor, and UCLA led only 50-48 with four minutes left. So the Bruins passed the ball 55 times in the next 1:56, before Alcindor dropped in a layup. UCLA went on to win 55-52. The next night Oregon tried a zone, but the Bruins destroyed it 104-63.
Oregon State's zone almost caught USC, too, but the Trojans, who had beaten Oregon 79-69 the night before, squeaked through 49-47 on Bill Hewitt's tip-in. California's Bob Presley "misplaced" his play-book, so Coach Rene Herrerias kept him out of the first eight minutes of the game with Washington. Presley came in to get 17 points and 20 rebounds, and Cal won 79-66. Against Washington State, Presley scored 22, and Cal won again 82-76. How was Presley's attitude? "The same as before," reported Herrerias.