The two best teams in Dixie came together as expected in the finals of New York's Holiday Festival, and Madison Square Garden veterans had to go back to Bill Bradley's clash with Cazzie Russell in 1964 to match the excitement of South Carolina's 86-84 victory over Western Kentucky. Big Jim McDaniels awed the Gamecocks with his quickness and desire as much as his shooting touch (26 points), but South Carolina's big men, Tom Riker and Tom Owens, held off Mc-Daniels just enough to forge an 86-80 lead with 19 seconds left. Then, after Western's Jim Rose rushed downcourt for a basket, Kevin Joyce, a Gamecock sophomore who had scored 25 points, made his first mistake by passing inbounds to Western's Rex Bailey, who quickly scored. Instead of holding the ball for the final four seconds, Joyce then threw it again to Bailey, who passed to Rose, who passed to McDaniels, who scored—a moment too late to beat the final gun.
Two other acclaimed teams romped in Eastern tournaments, Penn beating Temple for the Quaker City title 76-55, and UCLA overcoming backcourt problems to defeat Pitt 77-64 in the Steel Bowl. Drake Coach Maury John thought he was back in one of those ancient Missouri Valley hothouse gyms when four of his starters fouled out as Niagara upset the Bulldogs 87-77 to win the Queen City (Buffalo) tournament. John was not enamored of Referee Joe Debonis. "I was intimidated by that big guy," he said. "He lectured me and threatened to put me up in the stands." Debonis, for the record, is the same official whom Niagara Coach Frank Layden blasted just nine days earlier after a loss.
Fordham, the surprise of the East, won the Kodak Classic and later defeated Princeton 81-71 to remain unbeaten.
January 11, 1971
1. PENN (8-0)
2. FORDHAM (11-0)
It is best not to invite Adolph Rupp and his old adversaries to the same party, particularly when they come from Marquette and Notre Dame. Marquette's Al McGuire has not taken his annual shot at the Baron yet (that might come later), but in Louisville last week the Irish's Johnny Dee objected to the ND-Kentucky game ball—an Adolph F. Rupp signature model. "It's fine for kids to buy one of these at the drugstore, but this is Mickey Mouse treatment," Dee complained. "My kids say the Rupp ball is lighter than the one we use. Kentucky should have sent us four or five to practice with. This is a sensitive game." Said Adolph, "I don't care what ball we use, just so it bounces. We'll get the ball through the basket somehow. Let the officials decide." The decision was for the Rupp ball, so Austin Carr went out and, sensitively, put Adolph's signature through the hoop for 50 points as the Irish won 99-92.
Handfuls of pro scouts turned up in the sun at West Palm Beach, waiting for the struggle between big men Artis Gilmore of Jacksonville and Cyril Baptiste of Creighton in the Gold Coast Classic. Neither was impressive as Jacksonville won 94-85, so little Charlie Davis of Wake Forest stole the tournament away from everybody. He scored a total of 60 points as the Deacons beat Georgetown, then upset Jacksonville for the title when John Orenczak hit a 10-footer with 25 seconds left.
While South Carolina was out of the state, Navy took the Palmetto championship at Charleston, and Arizona won the Poinsettia at Greenville. St. Bonaventure, playing without Matt Gantt, also took home Southern plunder: the Gator Bowl title after defeating Georgia Tech 70-68. Later, Rich Yunkus broke the alltime Tech scoring record (1,628 points) in an 82-72 win over Rice. Mississippi lost three games, but Johnny Neumann (135 points) continued to smoke. North Carolina and Duke took turns beating up on Penn State and Northwestern, while North Carolina State edged touring Santa Clara 82-79.
1. S. CAROLINA (9-0)
2. W. KENTUCKY (9-1)
UCLA's Henry Bibby broke a season-long slump with 19 points in the Bruins' 106-82 mauling of Dayton, but the big news in Los Angeles was downtown, where Coach Bob Boyd's young USC Trojans have put everything together and are winning the close ones they faltered in last year. USC took its own Trojan Invitational with back-to-back victories over Michigan State 88-63 and Houston 77-64, as little-known Chris Schrobilgen had an outstanding game (21 points) in the championship. Boyd's trump card, however, is his backcourt of Paul Westphal and Dennis Layton, one of the best pairs of guards in college. USC desperately needed their talents to come from 10 points behind and beat LSU 80-76 in overtime. "No way last year's team would have won this game," said Boyd. Then he laid this one on everybody: "Many of the teams that we have played during our great start are comparable to the great teams in our awesome conference race." Whew.
Up north, touted Indiana came into the Far West Classic flat and stale, so the semifinals turned into Old Home Week for Pacific Eight rivals. Finally, Oregon, which had won the tournament the past two years, and Oregon State, which had won it the first 10 times it was played, met in the finals. There Coach Ralph Miller, recently of Iowa, showed how easily Beavers can learn to run. Swarthy Gary Arbelbide scored 20 points and Freddie Boyd 17 and State upset Oregon 68-64.
After seven years of Rainbow Classics, Hawaii Coach Red Rocha's ploy of stacking the good teams in the opposite bracket from his Rainbows paid off. Villanova, Illinois and Brigham Young exhausted themselves against each other, then Hawaii slipped past BYU 94-90 in the championship game. Earlier Hawaii—with three good jaycee transfers—had defeated NYU and Michigan, holding Henry Wilmore to six points. "We win 10 more and we're in the NIT," said Tommy Newell of the Rainbows. New Mexico State won the Roadrunner Invitational before running New Mexico off the road 76-65.
1. UCLA (9-0)
2. USC (10-0)
Sophomore Move of the Week: Utah State's Bob Lauriski took a swallow of Ditto machine fluid from the scorers' table during the Aggies' 65-62 victory over Bowling Green in the All-College tournament in Oklahoma City and had to be rushed to a hospital for a stomach pump. Lauriski, who thought he was drinking water, later returned to help Utah State defeat Wichita State 84-78 and LSU 97-81 for the title—a notable achievement considering that Marv Roberts, the Aggie star, stayed home with the flu. Coach LaDell Andersen's team had six men in double figures in the final game as unheralded Jeff Tebbs gained the MVP trophy.
The Big Eight tournament came down to the mod men of Nebraska in maroon jackets and red and white bell-bottoms against the conservative Jayhawks of Kansas in conventional coats and ties. Before the final, Nebraska's Slippery Joe Cipriano, once named to a best-dressed list by what he called "some barber magazine," said out loud, "If we can keep them off the boards we can win," and whispered, "I hope they don't blow us out of the place." But Roger Brown and Dave Robisch, both 6'10", were too much underneath, and Kansas won easily 72-52. Coach Ted Owens' fifth tournament championship did not come without a scare, however. Iowa State's Garth Johnson sent a semifinal game into overtime with a shot at the buzzer, but Robisch scored all six points for Kansas in the extra period and the Jayhawks survived 59-56.
Marquette also was frightened in the final of the Milwaukee Classic when starters Bob Lackey and Allie McGuire (the coach's son) fouled out against Wisconsin, but with four seconds left and a one-point lead, Hugh Mc-Mahon lofted a pass downcourt that Jim Chones converted for a 72-69 Warrior victory. "I'd have bet 50-1 against us being 8-0," said Coach McGuire. What about 9-0? Marquette next stopped Detroit 70-61.
Louisville, 8-1 and the only team so far to beat Kansas, added wins over Bellarmine, SMU and Tulsa but suffered a severe setback when popular Coach John Dromo was stricken with a heart attack Sunday morning. Assistant Howard Casey will take over.
Notre Dame returned home to nip Santa Clara in overtime 85-83. Cincinnati upset Drake 60-59.
1. MARQUETTE (9-0)
2. KANSAS (9-1)