1. ST. JOHN'S (10-2)
2. VILLANOVA (10-1)
3. COLUMBIA (11-1)
Howard Porter of Villanova, emerging as the finest sophomore in the East, was almost too good for his team's good. The 6'8" center scored 36 points and pulled down 26 rebounds in an 87-62 victory over St. Joseph's, but in snaring one of those rebounds his flailing elbow struck teammate Johnny Jones, breaking his glasses, cutting his face and sidelining him for most of the last half. It was, in so many fighting words, a typical Big Five wing-do. The mascots had to be separated after the St. Joseph's Hawk knocked the head off the Villanova Wildcat and then cowered as the Wildcat whipped him with his tail.
Zone defenses, fast becoming the trend across the country, helped contain high-scoring Calvin Murphy of Niagara. Murphy, who began the week with a 38-point average, was forced into the middle by a 2-1-2 zone used by Canisius and scored only 16 points. That was good enough to carry Canisius to a 70-60 upset. Villanova also zoned Murphy and double-teamed him when he got the ball. Murphy got 26 points; but Porter had 23 before being hurt, and the Wildcats had a 73-68 win.
January 20, 1969
Providence destroyed the zone the best way possible as Jim Larranaga and Vic Collucci scored from long range to defeat St. Bonaventure 70-59. The Bonnies came back to beat St. Francis 88-65, but Providence lost its next game to Boston College 90-84.
A strong second half enabled St. John's to defeat Seton Hall 66-45 despite 34 points by Mel Knight. The Pirates later ended a five-game losing streak by overcoming Army's usually fine defense, scoring on 66% of their shots for an 81-66 victory.
Injured Ken Durrett of La Salle, described as definitely out, proved very much in. He scored 46 points as the Explorers beat Creighton 103-84 and Syracuse 83-63. Another hot shooter from Philadelphia was Temple's Joe Cromer, who had 35 points in a 107-83 rout of Penn. "I didn't shoot like Joe Cromer, I shot out of my mind," said Cromer, who spent a week last year at a basketball camp run by Penn Coach Dick Harter. Duquesne stopped Creighton 66-59.
Columbia climbed atop the Ivy League with a 4-0 record after beating Yale 71-49, and Brown, which led until the final minute and a half, 54-52. Princeton and Penn both beat Dartmouth and Harvard.
After 10 straight losses Connecticut surprised Syracuse 103-84 and, despite John Fultz's 46 points, Rhode Island 102-92. Holy Cross, which beat Rhode Island 82-61, was upset by Fordham 61-59 when Bill Mainor sank a jump shot with two seconds left.
1. KANSAS (13-2)
2. NOTRE DAME (10-2)
3. PURDUE (9-2)
Riverboat gamblers had nothing on Missouri players, who, trailing Kansas 46-45 with 2:48 left, held the ball and prepared for one last shot. With seven seconds to go, Theo Franks hit on a 20-footer, and the gambling Tigers won. Setting up the win was a defense that converged on Dave Robisch of the Jayhawks each time he got the ball and held him to six points. With Kansas being sideswiped, Colorado and Kansas State shared the Big Eight lead. Gordon Tope of the Buffaloes shot over Iowa State's zone for 23 points in a 68-67 victory. Then they beat Oklahoma State 78-68 as they hit on 59% of their shots. Kansas State also shot 59% as it breezed past Nebraska 95-72 and then sank 10 of its first 15 shots to beat Oklahoma 87-62.
Upstart Tulsa, with Bobby Smith pouring in 32 points, beat Drake 86-78 and took command in the Missouri Valley Conference. Drake, which had beaten Wichita State 86-81, had to make do without the injured Willie Wise, its top rebounder. Cincinnati got a verbal spanking from Coach Tay Baker, who cited lack of leadership and an overdose of selfishness as his team's main troubles. Baker benched Rick Roberson at the start of the game against Xavier, only to have him score with one second left for a 52-50 win. Roberson started against MVC foe Louisville and scored 16 points, while the Bearcat full-court press forced 25 turnovers in a 71-48 win. It took two overtimes, plus 24 points and 26 rebounds by Mike Grosso for Louisville to beat St. Louis 81-80.
In the Big Ten (page 20) Ohio State hit on 30 of 43 foul shots to beat Wisconsin 84-69. Iowa, getting 27 points from service returnee Ben McGilmer and 16 rebounds from JC transfer John Johnson, looked strong in beating Indiana 91-72.
Miami of Ohio Coach Tates Locke used a zone for the first time in ages and upset Toledo 77-73 in the Mid-American Conference. That put the Redskins, who Locke predicted would finish last, in front in the MAC with a 3-0 record. A 35-foot jumper by Jim Connally in the final second gave Bowling Green a surprise 75-74 win over Ohio U.
"Brute force. Men against boys." Thus spoke DePaul's Ray Meyer after a bruising 77-72 loss to Marquette. George Thompson of the Warriors had 30 points, but had to fight off 221-pound Sevira Brown along the way. Marquette's Al McGuire explained the infighting by saying, "We knew Brown was a hatchet, so I told George to take him under the basket and foul him out." Brown held Thompson to 12 points and got 10 himself before leaving the game with five fouls and four cuts in his mouth.
Notre Dame had difficulty putting two good halves together, but won three times. The Irish used second-half spurts to beat Fordham 84-65 and Butler 76-73. Against DePaul, they nearly blew a 16-point bulge in the second half before holding on 66-60. Dayton gave Detroit its third consecutive setback 64-62 as Center Dan Obrovac, out for a month with an injured arm, returned.
1. NORTH CAROLINA (11-1)
2. DAVIDSON (10-1)
3. KENTUCKY (9-2)
Kentucky was counting victories gained in Israel and three suddenly discovered wins from way back in the 1900s. Oregon State added 27 glorious victories in Australia. Kansas, following NCAA guidelines, sat tight on its 997 recorded triumphs gained at the expense of U.S. opponents. The point of all this adding-machine activity is to establish claim to being the first school to win 1,000 games. According to statisticians, Kentucky is only tied for second with State, four games behind Kansas, but that news did not stop Coach Adolph Rupp from celebrating with a three-tier cake decked out with 1,000 candles after his Wildcats took the measure of Mississippi State 91-72. A subsequent win against Florida was proclaimed as No. 1,001, and it put Kentucky in front of the SEC race with a 3-0 record.
"We'll run if Tennessee will. Put it in the paper so Mears can read it." Those were the sentiments of Georgia's Ken Rosemond, no friend of Tennessee's Ray Mears. "I'm not interested in what Rosemond says," retorted Mears. Bill Justus of the Vols settled matters with 35 points as Rosemond's Bulldogs lost 82-67. Tennessee also beat Mississippi 59-54. Vanderbilt stopped Florida 62-55, Alabama 76-73 and LSU 94-92. Two technical fouls called against LSU Coach Press Maravich helped the Commodores score four points. Tom Hagan had 32 points for the Commodores. Pete Maravich of the Tigers scored 38 in that game and 46 in a 90-71 loss to Auburn. The Auburn win came on opening night in its $6 million Coliseum. Outsider Jacksonville, which earlier this season had upset Florida and Florida State, downed Georgia Tech 71-62. Miami then beat Jacksonville 94-87.
Lee Dedmon, a 6'10" sophomore filling in for injured Rusty Clark, had 27 points as North Carolina beat North Carolina State 83-63. Charlie Scott, who had 34 points, also helped the Tar Heels establish their supremacy in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Wake Forest beat North Carolina State 87-78 as Charlie Davis scored 31 points and 6'8" Gil McGregor grabbed 20 rebounds. Duke beat Wake Forest 85-81 and Maryland 96-85.
Mike Maloy's 44 points and 34 rebounds led Davidson to victories over St. Joseph's 83-69 and West Virginia 102-71. Bob Tallent's 87 points helped George Washington defeat Furman 92-74 and Pitt 92-68.
1. UCLA (11-0)
2. SANTA CLARA (14-0)
3. NEW MEXICO STATE (14-0)
New Mexico State's Lou Henson claimed his team would lose to Arizona State, and to show that he was a better coach than prognosticator, the Aggies whomped the Sun Devils 85-69. Later in the week they had even more fun plowing under Pan American 109-74 and Santa Fe 117-67.
Colorado State beat Western Athletic Conference rival Texas-El Paso 64-63 and the Miners saw double as identical twins Floyd and Lloyd Kerr took charge. Floyd scored 25 points. Lloyd, after sinking two fouls with 11 seconds to go, preserved the win by stealing the ball in the last seconds.
New Mexico, even with Greg Howard back after a three-week suspension, lost its WAC opener to Wyoming 70-68 The Cowboys harassed the Lobos into 20 turnovers with a full-court press, but barely survived a five-minute scoring drought at the end of the game. Arizona's Jan Hansen went to great lengths—the entire length of the court, in fact—for a layup in the final 10 seconds to stun Arizona State 81-80 in another WAC contest. Against outsiders, New Mexico came up a winner by beating Denver 94-81. Utah defeated Utah State 107-89, but Brigham Young lost to the Aggies 81-75. Two Utah sophomores—-Mike Newlin and Kenny Gardner—led the Utes' impressive victory, Newlin sinking 13 of 17 shots for 39 points, Gardner adding 21 points and holding Marv Roberts of the Aggies to 19, 10 below his average.
Seattle led Weber State 37-28 at half-time. In the second half, with Willie Sojourner shaking off the effects of the flu and getting 17 points Weber State rallied for a 76-70 win. Santa Clara took care of St. Mary's 70-49 and Pacific 67-56 in West Coast AC games.
"Lew Alcindor is better, much better than a year ago," said Oregon Coach Steve Belko after losing to UCLA 93-64. "Last season he was more of a specialist. Now he's a cat out there, does everything." Alcindor had 27 points in that Pacific 8 opener and 29 in an 83-64 win the next day over Oregon State. In that game the Beavers gave the Bruins fits for quite a while and trailed 41-39 with 18 minutes left. Then UCLA scored 14 points to two for the Beavers, and it was all over. State's Vic Bartolome, who had 23 points against the Bruins, helped shock USC 61-57 by holding 7' Ron Taylor to six points and three rebounds. USC then came back to defeat Oregon 86-75. Washington upset California 74-73 amid much controversy in Berkeley. It all began when Dave West of the Huskies was fouled, with the score 73-73 in overtime. The timer claimed that time had run out before the foul. He was overruled by the officials. Then the Golden Bears argued that West had not been in the act of shooting and that he should get just one shot. The officials thought not. West missed the first shot, sank the second and the Huskies won. The night before, Cal beat Washington State 68-60.
Baylor was first in the Southwest Conference, right where preseason experts knew it would be—if they turned their predictions upside down. The Bears got there by upsetting SMU 69-67 and TCU 68-64. Tied with the Bears for the lead was Texas A&M, which hung on to beat Texas Tech 85-84 and won from Arkansas 73-68. SMU came back to defeat Texas 68-62, but TCU lost to the Longhorns 63-59.