1. NORTH CAROLINA (17-1)
2. KENTUCKY (16-2)
3. DAVIDSON (18-2)
After Wake Forest Coach Jack McCloskey saw North Carolina rip through his zone defense for an 84-76 win, he said, "They're so big they bypassed the zone by just throwing over it." That was exactly what Tar Heel Coach Dean Smith had in mind when he put in a new lineup to combat the zones his team has been facing lately. With 6'11" Rusty Clark, 6'10" Lee Dedmon and 6'8" Bill Bunting all playing simultaneously, North Carolina had a high old week adding two other wins, 99-76 over Virginia and 100-82 over Florida State. South Carolina, keeping pace, trailing just one game behind the Tar Heels in the ACC race, was also a three-time winner. It was sophomore John Roche and/or sophomore Tom Owens starring for the Gamecocks in each of the games. In the 73-62 victory over Wake Forest, Coach Frank McGuire told his team to feed Roche for baseline jump shots, and he scored 33 points. Two nights later against Furman, Owens collected 31 points as SC won 90-67. Then, on the road at Duke, the two sophs co-starred. Roche got 37 points, Owens 26 and the Gamecocks finished 10 points ahead, 82-72.
There was no one at Davidson capable of sharing the honors with Mike Maloy. The 6'7" frontcourt man poured in 82 points in his team's three wins. Maloy saved his best shot for his home-town fans back in New York. Playing Dayton at Madison Square Garden, he totaled 23 points and kept the Wildcats from their third defeat of the season by scoring on a jumper with two seconds left to put Davidson in front 64-63. Two other Southern Conference teams, East Carolina and Richmond, pulled big turnabouts. The Pirates, who lost to St. Francis (Pa.) two weeks ago by 30 points, won a rematch 74-66. And the Spiders, who had slumped after being picked to finish second in the league, began to live up to their notices by scoring 104 points against VMI and winning by 16.
February 17, 1969
After two more wins, 105-93 over Auburn and 104-68 over Mississippi, Kentucky sat firmly atop the Southeastern Conference with a 10-0 record, leaving the rest of the league to jockey for spots in the first division. Georgia Coach Ken Rosemond even resorted to threats to perk up his fifth-place team's scoring. He told Guard Jerry Epling at halftime, "Jerry, you've got to shoot more or I'll have to take you out." Epling responded with a 22-point second half after scoring just four in the first period to lead the Bulldogs to a 90-83 victory over Vanderbilt. The Commodores, who were picked to challenge Kentucky for the championship, have now lost four straight in league play.
1. LA SALLE (18-1)
2. ST. JOHN'S (16-3)
3. VILLANOVA (16-3)
For years the most feared road trip for Ivy League coaches was the one that included, on successive days, both Perm and Princeton at their respective snakepits, the Palestra and Dillon Gym. The dreadful parlay seemed broken last month when the Tigers opened spacious Jadwin Gymnasium, where the fans do not sit tight against the baselines and the visitors' bench is not nestled in the front row of the Tigers' cheering section. But after what happened to Columbia there last week the Lions are sorry things ever changed. Starting the trip with a 15-1 record and the best shooting percentage in the country, Columbia stumbled first against the Tigers 68-49 and the next night against the Quakers 91-81. At Princeton, which also defeated Cornell 67-57 to take a comfortable two-game league lead, the usually hard-driving Lions were forced to shoot over a sagging man-to-man defense, averaged just 35% from the floor and rarely got a second shot as Tigers Jeff Petrie and Chris Thomforde controlled the rebounding. Petrie, who scored 30 points, led a hot Princeton attack that netted 56% of its shots. Rapidly improving Penn, with 5'10" soph Steve Bilsky totaling 35 points, overcame a 32-point effort by Columbia's Jim McMillian at the Palestra to tie the Lions for second place.
When St. John's and La Salle were not involved in intrareligious battles with Villanova (page 22), they found the going easier. The Redmen dumped Rhode Island 73-46 and Army 65-43, while the Explorers defeated Lafayette 97-65.
Three other Catholic colleges held a lesser round robin of their own as Duquesne and Niagara ganged up on Providence. The Dukes' Jarrett Durham scored 19 of his 30 points in the second period to bring his team from a two-point halftime deficit to a 78-61 win over the Friars. Later in the week Calvin Murphy's 31 points and impressive quarterbacking by junior Guard Mike Brown sparked the Purple Eagles, who had lost eight of their last 10, to a surprisingly easy 78-55 victory.
Gluttonous rebounding performances by St. Bonaventure's Bob Lanier and Boston College's Terry Driscoll helped their teams win. Lanier, who has worked off 17 pounds since the season began and is down to a svelte 263 pounds, grabbed 26 in the Bonnies' 105-80 win over Fairfield, and Driscoll set a school record with 31 rebounds as BC ran off its 10th straight victory with a 105-70 romp against Fordham.
Two of the East's surprise teams, Rutgers and NYU, continued their drives for postseason tournament bids. The Scarlet Knights were three-time winners, defeating Lehigh 60-44 and 66-62 and Boston U. 86-79, to run their record to 10-3. The Violets, now 10-4, nipped Manhattan 92-91 on a pair of free throws by Jim Miller with 19 seconds to play.
1. UCLA (18-0)
2. SANTA CLARA (20-0)
3. WEBER STATE (17-2)
"The word was out that you could stop us by just stopping Willie Sojourner and Justis Thigpen," said Weber State Coach Phil Johnson, after his team swept back-to-back road games against Idaho, 63-53 and 63-61. In Moscow, Idaho they indeed had got the word, and the Vandals slapped the clamps on Sojourner and Thigpen, holding them to a combined 30 points in the opener. But Idaho had not heard about Gus Chatmon and Sessions Harlan, who moved in for 22 points and 16 rebounds. On the second night Sojourner came back to score 21 more points, but the hero was substitute Gary Strong, who sank a 20-foot jumper at the buzzer to give the Wildcats another win. "I think we've proved we have other good players besides Willie and Justis," concluded Johnson.
Washington gave UCLA one of its rare, serious scares of the year when the Huskies led the Bruins by as many as nine points in the first period and sent the Uclans off the court at the half trailing for the first time in the history of four-year-old Pauley Pavilion. Then Lew Alcindor took over, adding new dimensions to his usual stifling defense and awesome offense as the Bruins rallied to win 62-51. After two interceptions, the big center directed the fast break up the floor. The first time, Alcindor dribbled close to the basket before passing off to a cutting teammate. On the next play, he drove the length of the court to score on a layup. The following day UCLA won its 38th straight, 108-80 over Washington State, even though Alcindor was bothered by a migraine headache and scored only 10 points.
Three Santa Clara victories made the Broncos the year's first 20-game winner. New Mexico State, rebounding after its double loss to archrival New Mexico a week ago, also won three times. But the Lobos were in another mystifying slump. "We just weren't ready to play," said New Mexico Coach Bob King. "I tried every trick I knew during practice and I still couldn't get them up for Arizona State." The Lobos' letdown showed in their 23.8 first-half shooting percentage and in the final score, 78-73 against them. The loss left New Mexico 0-4 in league competition and out of the race that is now a four-team affair between Arizona, Arizona State, Brigham Young and Wyoming. Wyoming was the most impressive Western Athletic Conference team with wins over both Arizonas. Harry Hall's two-pointer with 13 seconds left won for the Cowboys over the Wildcats, and Gary Von Krosigk's 18 points and 13 rebounds helped top State.
Southwest Conference leader Texas A&M held a 13-point lead early in the second half against Baylor when Bears' Coach Bill Menefee switched to a pressing defense. His team surged back and won 66-65 as Larry Gatewood capped the rally with two foul shots, with 22 seconds to play. The teams are now tied for first.
Texas-Arlington pulled a Texas-size upset, beating previously undefeated Lamar Tech 76-71, and Portland, after losing its first 17 games, won twice over Redlands, 75-63 and 69-59.
1. PURDUE (13-3)
2. TULSA (18-2)
3. KANSAS (17-3)
Ken Hayes, coach of Missouri Valley leader Tulsa, drove down the 235 miles to Denton, Texas last Thursday to watch the league game between Cincinnati and North Texas State. He came away satisfied that the long drive was worth it. "It was one of those hold-up-the-flag-and-circle-the-wagons games," said Hayes of the scrappy Eagles' 94-74 win. The preseason league-favorite Bearcats, who were harassed into 26 turnovers by State's tough press, were eliminated from the race for the championship. Drake, which defeated non-MVC opponent Iowa State 94-71, and Louisville, winner of two league games—60-51 over Memphis State and 78-75 over North Texas—still could pass Tulsa, but not easily. With a two-game lead after defeating St. Louis 80-66 and Bradley 94-80, the Hurricanes are 10-0 in the conference.
In the Big Ten, Purdue also opened up a two-game edge, this one with the help of a pinch of salt and a big win by Wisconsin. Rick Mount, who collapsed twice in the Boilermakers' previous game because of a salt deficiency, got his system and his jump shot in full working order again and pumped in 76 points in his team's victories over Iowa and Northwestern. The Wildcats also lost Coach Larry Glass, who announced he will quit after the season. Second-place Ohio State's star pivotman Dave Sorenson was held to his season low of 12 points, and Badger senior Keith Burington, making the first Big Ten start of his career, scored 14 in Wisconsin's 77-73 upset of the Buckeyes.
Former Kansas Coach Phog Allen used a shopworn psychological ploy to help the Jayhawks win their first game without Jo Jo White and also to pick up what they are calling their 1,000th victory. Ill at home, Allen sent this message to the Kansas team before its game with Oklahoma State: "I'd like to feel you're playing this game for me." The Jayhawks won it for the Phogger 64-48 and later added a 66-59 win over Oklahoma to stay just half a game back of Colorado. The Buffaloes won twice, too, but not easily. Their total margin of victory over Missouri and Nebraska was three points.
Down home is the place to be in the Ohio Valley Conference, especially when home is Bowling Green, Ky., where Western Kentucky plays. In a shoot-out with Murray State for the OVC lead, the Hill-toppers scored the winning bucket on a tap at approximately the same time the final buzzer sounded. No goal, said Murray Coach Cal Luther. The goal counts, said Referee Charles Fouty, after conferring with Timekeeper "Big Six" Henderson, a longtime Western rooter. Luther's objection was reasonable, since the ball was fumbled, shot from 25 feet and tapped up twice, all in the last six seconds of Western's 84-82 win.
Miami stayed ahead in the Mid-American Conference with 83-55 and 66-62 wins over Marshall and Bowling Green. Detroit lost its seventh in its last 10 games, this one to Notre Dame by a 79-72 score.