BASKETBALL—NBA: BALTIMORE (55-22) has a magic number of two, PHILADELPHIA (53-26) can't finish worse than third, and neither can NEW YORK (51-27). Incidentally, if they win the division, the Bullets won't be the first team to go from last to first in one season. Philadelphia did it 13 years ago. The 76ers broke a home attendance record and the Knicks, whose league record home attendance now stands (or sits) at 568,163, beat the 76ers (after losing 110-101) when Dave DeBusschere scored 38 points and had 17 rebounds in a 121-101 rout. Even better, Willis Reed was chosen the NBA's MVP by the New York writers. BOSTON (44-33) stayed in fourth, gaining a game on CINCINNATI (38-40), which was eliminated from playoff contention. DETROIT (29-49) and MILWAUKEE (24-53) remained way back. In the West (page 26), LOS ANGELES (51-26) won three of four as Wilt Chamberlain showed his singular skills. In one game he shot 14 for 14 from the floor and had 26 rebounds, in another he got 37 rebounds. ATLANTA (46-31) split four, and SAN FRANCISCO (40-39) won three of four. The race for the playoff berths tightened a bit as SAN DIEGO (33-43) won three of five, CHICAGO (33-45) split four and SEATTLE (30-47) won two of three. PHOENIX (16-62) lost three, but Gail Goodrich had a 135-point week, which included a career high of 47 and 15 assists in a 146-133 win over the Rockets.
ABA: MIAMI (35-32), which had held first for a month, dropped not only out of the lead but almost out of sight, the Floridians tumbling all the way to third behind three losses and a solitary win. INDIANA (39-32) won three and surfaced from third, while KENTUCKY (36-31) moved back to second. Louie Dampier and Darel Carrier continued to pace the Colonels, scoring 73 points in a 118-109 victory-over MINNESOTA (34-34). The Pipers won one and lost four, but gained Connie Hawkins, who had been out since Jan. 18 due to knee surgery. NEW YORK (17-52), with an 0-5 week, could claim a bit of fame when Roger Brown scored 46 points against the Nets, for a Pacers' record. In the West, OAKLAND (53-13) clinched the title, Larry Jones of DENVER (39-29) scored 30 or more points in his 21st consecutive game and NEW ORLEANS (37-32) won four of four but stayed in third. DALLAS (34-33), LOS ANGELES (30-38), which won four of five and HOUSTON (20-48), which lost four of five, followed the leaders.
BOXING—Although floored in the second and third rounds by what he claimed were low blows, 34-year-old HENRY COOPER, M.B.E., retained his European heavyweight title with a fifth-round knockout of Piero Tomasoni in Rome.
HOCKEY—NHL: MONTREAL (42-17-11) held first with two wins and two ties, five points ahead of BOSTON (38-16-14). The Bruins' Bobby Orr surpassed one NHL record—for most points by a defenseman (60)—and Phil Esposito set another when he got his 68th assist. NEW YORK (36-24-8), 10 points farther back in third, is but two points ahead of TORONTO (32-22-14), which won three. DETROIT (33-26-10), despite a loss in its only game, is just two points behind the Leafs. CHICAGO (30-31-7), 28 points back of the Canadiens, lost two and Bobby Hull lost a chance to break another record, tying Andy Bathgate's 1962-63 mark as he scored a goal in his 10th straight game. Out West, ST. LOUIS (35-22-13) had a win, a loss and a tie, and although the Blues are 23 points ahead of second-place OAKLAND (25-34-10), they're 12 behind the Eastern leader. LOS ANGELES (22-37-9) won its first game in nine, 3-1 over the Penguins. PHILADELPHIA (16-33-20) hasn't lost in eight games, finishing the week at 2-0-1 and closing to within a point of third. MINNESOTA (17-37-14), after a win and a loss the previous week, was fit to be tied, and was—four times, but Danny Grant broke an NHL record for most goals scored by a rookie (31). PITTSBURGH (15-42-10) lost both of its games.
March 24, 1969
SKIING—In the penultimate week of World Cup competition KIKI CUTTER, 19, of Bend, Ore. won the du Maurier trophy for the combined title at Mont Ste. Anne, Quebec, taking the slalom and a sixth in the giant slalom, which was won by 16-year-old MICHELE JACOT of France. KARL SCHRANZ, the old man of the mountain at 30, clinched the men's Cup when he won the giant slalom. Another Austrian, ALFRED MATT, 21, won the slalom on his second day back from a nine-month army stint. Gertrud Gabl still leads the women, with Mlle.'Jacot and Wiltrud Drexel of Austria the only others in contention. Reinhard Tritscher, the one man who had had a chance to catch Schranz, broke his leg in the slalom.
SWIMMING—YALE, led by John Nelson's firsts in the 1,650-, 500-and 200-yard freestyle, won the Eastern intercollegiates at New Haven, Conn. with 463¼ points. 177 more than runner-up Princeton.
TRACK & FIELD—The NCAA Indoor Championships in Detroit were won by KANSAS with 41½ points to runner-up Villanova's 33, as JIM RYUN beat Marty Liquori in the mile (page 24). SAM BAIR of the Kent State Track Club ran a faster mile than either of them, but his 4:01.7 was in a different race—the invitational mile.
In Sverdlovsk, Russia, VYACHESLAV ALANOV ran 5,000 meters in 13:45.2, breaking the world indoor record by 13.2 seconds.
WRESTLING—The U.S.S.R. took 10 of the 20 gold medals to win the World Greco-Roman and Freestyle Championships at Mar del Plata, Argentina. The U.S. won two gold medals, three silver and one bronze to finish second in Freestyle, its highest ever. RICH SANDERS of Portland, Ore. won the flyweight title, and FRED FOZZARD of Stillwater, Okla. the middleweight. Fozzard was the only medalist in his class, as Bulgaria and Russia were disqualified for collusion when Curam Sacaradse of the U.S.S.R. gave away a final bout to Ivan Iliev of Bulgaria in an attempt to keep the U.S. from gaining the victory.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: CHARLES G. (Lefty) DRIESELL, 37, as head basketball coach at the University of Maryland, after nine years at Davidson, where his teams were 175-65, won three Southern Conference titles and twice reached the NCAA Eastern regional finals, most recently last week when the Wildcats lost to North Carolina 87-85 (page 18).
NAMED: ROY LESTER, 45, as head football coach at Maryland, replacing Bob Ward, who resigned last week. Lester was an assistant at Maryland (1956-58) and had an 86-10-1 record at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Md.
NAMED: BRAD SNYDER, 30, as basketball coach at Northwestern. The youngest head coach in the Big Ten, Snyder had been an assistant to Larry Glass, who quit last month. Snyder had shown his mettle by winning four of six as interim coach.
NAMED: As head basketball coach at Duke, where he was once an assistant, RAYMOND C. (Bucky) WATERS, 33. Waters, who resigned his post at West Virginia, was replaced by his assistant. GARLAND E. (Sonny) MORAN, 41.
RETIRED: TOMMY McDONALD. 34. 12-year NFL veteran who spent seven years with the Philadelphia Eagles before playing for Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta and, last season, Cleveland, where the 5'9", 176-pound flanker caught seven passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. McDonald wants to devote more time to his oil painting business.
DIED: LARS HAUGEN, 84, seven-time national ski jump champion; in Minneapolis. Haugen, a native of Norway, won his first title in Cary, Ill. in 1912.
DIED: JIMMY WILDE, 76, the world's first flyweight champion; in Cardiff, Wales. Known as the "ghost with a sledgehammer," Wilde won the title in 1916 by knocking out Zulu Kid, and lost it in 1923, when he was knocked out by Pancho Villa. His record was 126-4-2 and he had 77 knockouts. As Wilde once said: "You cannot close your eyes to the fact that it is the wallop that wins."