BASKETBALL—NBA: Milwaukee opened the championship round of the playoffs with two victories over Baltimore, 98-88 and 102-83. In the first neither team was quite ready—the Bullets tired from their seven games with the New York Knicks and without Gus Johnson, and the Bucks rather surprised to be facing the Bullets. Johnson returned to the Baltimore lineup after a six-day rest, but a 27-point performance by Lew Alcindor and an uneven match-up between Oscar Robertson, who scored 22 points, and Earl Monroe, who was held to 11, clinched the Bucks' second win.
ABA: In the East, Kentucky came from behind to win its semifinal playoff series with Virginia four games to two. The Squires moved ahead 2-1 with a 150-137 victory in which Ray Scott and Charlie Scott (no relation) each scored 30 points. Then came three straight wins for the Colonels, by 128-110, 115-107 and 129-117, on some hot shooting by Dan Issel and rugged defense. It was turnabout in the West, too, as Utah spurted ahead 3-1 on a 126-99 romp, then permitted Indiana to even the series with 127-109 and 105-102 victories.
BOXING—The Houston Astrodome announced the scheduling of a bout between Muhammad Ali and Wilt Chamberlain, the Los Angeles Lakers' 7'2" center, but within 24 hours the bizarre match-up was called off when Chamberlain demanded a $500,000 guarantee—after taxes.
Bob Foster, although extended a full 15 rounds for the first time in his 10-year career, kept his world light heavyweight title with a one-sided decision over Ray Anderson in Tampa, Fla.
GOLF—JACK NICKLAUS conquered the exacting La Costa (Calif.) Country Club course to win the Tournament of Champions with a nine-under-par 279, eight strokes ahead of Gary Player, Bruce Devlin and Dave Stockton (page 16).
Barbara McIntire, 36-year-old former U.S. and British amateur champion from Colorado Springs, routed Hollis Stacy, 17-year-old defending champ, in the North and South Amateur in Pinehurst, N.C. 6 and 5.
HARNESS RACING—Favored SUPER WAVE ($5) took the $25,000 O'Brien Hanover Pace at New York's Roosevelt Raceway by three-quarters of a length over Leroy N. At Hawthorne in Chicago, SONG CYCLE ($6.80) won the first division of the Suburban Downs Pacing Derby; RUM CUSTOMER ($4) won the second.
HOCKEY—The Minnesota-Montreal semifinal series opened with a 7-2 Canadien victory highlighted by Jacques Lemaire's three goals in the second period. Next the North Stars contrived a 6-3 upset—the first playoff victory ever for an expansion club against an established team. Montreal came back with a 6-3 win of its own, Defenseman Jacques Laperriere scoring two goals for the Canadiens, only to have Minnesota jolt the favorites again, 5-2. In the seesaw New York-Chicago match-up (page 22) each team won and lost a game on home and enemy ice. Goalie Tony Esposito had a shutout for Chicago; Vic Hadfield scored the hat trick for New York.
HORSE RACING—IMPETUOSITY ($10.40) scored a three-length victory in the 1‚⅛-mile $34,525 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, a major prep for the Kentucky Derby (page 32). His stablemate Twist The Axe was second, and favored Dynastic finished third.
Bold And Able ($2.80) took the Stepping Stone Purse at Churchill Downs by three lengths over List.
Fast Fellow ($9) ran a mile in 1:34[4/5] a record for the race, as he scored a 5½-length victory in the $55,675 second division of the Will Rogers Stakes at Hollywood Park. DR. KNIGHTON ($19.40), winner of the first division, was one second slower.
Landing party won the Maryland Hunt Cup for the second time in three years in a record 8:42 for the four-mile. 22-jump timber race. Only seven in the field of 12 finished, one of them ridden by Kathy Kusner, the cup's first woman jockey.
LACROSSE—VIRGINIA's top-ranked team broke open a close game with four goals in the fourth period to defeat Navy 11-7.
TRACK & FIELD—At the Drake Relays, FRANK SHORTER of the Florida Track Club ran three miles in 13:07, slicing more than six seconds off Jack Bacheler's meet record. It was the third fastest time ever by an American. In the six-mile run, Shorter's 27:24.3 bettered the meet record by more than five seconds and was the fastest in the world this year. In Philadelphia, MARTY LIQUORI of Villanova wound up an undefeated Perm Relays career as the Wildcats won three championships. He anchored the distance medley with a 4:04.1 mile, beating Joe Savage of Manhattan by 12 yards, and returned the next day to run the last legs on winning four-mile and two-mile relay teams. In the two-mile he ran a 1:48.5 half, in the four-mile a 4:08.1 mile. AL SCHOTERMAN of Kent State set a meet record at 219'4" in the hammer. His teammate, JACQUES ACCAMBRAY, won the same event at Drake with a 202'8" toss. In Walnut, Calif. at the Mount San Antonio Relays, JAY SILVESTER, world record holder in the discus, won the event with 220'4", a meet record and best in the world this year.
An Olympic competitor from Colombia, ALVARO MEJIA, won the 75th annual Boston Marathon by the slimmest margin ever recorded—five seconds—over Pat McMahon of the Boston Athletic Association, in 2:18.45.
VOLLEYBALL—UCLA successfully defended its national collegiate title by taking three straight games from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Led by Kirk Kilgour, the Bruins whipped the Gauchos 15-6, 17-15, 17-15.
MILEPOSTS—ANNOUNCED: By Prime Minister JOHN VORSTER, a slight relaxation of South Africa's color bar in sports. The nation's ranked competitors may now take part in Olympic sports, tennis and golf on the international level. Domestic sports will continue to be segregated.
COACHING CHANGES: BILL FOSTER, basketball coach at Rutgers since 1963, is the new coach at the University of Utah, replacing Jack Gardner. DAN DOUGHERTY, an assistant coach at Villanova for five seasons, takes over at Army. DICK HARTER, who coached Pennsylvania's basketball team to Ivy League titles and NCAA tournament berths the last two years, resigned to take over at Oregon, replacing Steve Belko, who becomes assistant athletic director. JIM RICHARDS moves up from assistant coach to the top spot at Western Kentucky. DON DeVOE, an assistant at Ohio State, becomes head coach at Virginia Tech.
NAMED: To the National Basketball Hall of Fame, former pro superstars BOB COUSY and BOB PETTIT and the founder of the Harlem Globetrotters, the late ABE SAPERSTEIN.
NAMED: BILL WINFREY, the trainer of Native Dancer, and DR. FAGER, Horse of the Year in 1968; to racing's Hall of Fame.
NAMED: As co-Rookies of the Year in the NBA, DAVE COWENS of the Boston Celtics and GEOFF PETRIE of the Portland frail Blazers.
PURCHASED: The Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League, by a group of local residents, for an estimated $7 million.
DIED: RUSS HODGES, 60, long the broadcast voice of the New York and then San Francisco Giants; of a heart attack.