The referees were not whistling Dixie at the Cable Car Classic in San Francisco, but South Carolina still won. During the final 2:51 of their first-round game against Santa Clara, the Gamecocks hit on 18 of 19 foul shots. Coach Frank McGuire called Santa Clara "the most physical team I've seen in 500 games." Things were less physical in the championship game, won by the Gamecocks 67-59 from California, which missed two-thirds of its shots.
UCLA overwhelmed two more weak opponents, Iowa State 110-81 and Texas A&M 117-53. "They are tremendous," said A&M Coach Shelby Metcalf. "I haven't seen anything like it, ever." With Ron Riley amassing 40 points and 34 rebounds, USC beat Loyola 85-65 and Utah 79-67.
"Playing the Aggies is like trying to win a train wreck," said a New Mexico assistant after 33 turnovers and a 94-79 loss to New Mexico State. Then the Aggies faced BYU at the new Marriott Center, which they may have mistaken for the world's largest bedroom instead of a gym. After speeding to a nine-point lead, the Aggies went into a state of semi-somnambulance, allowed the Cougars all sorts of fast breaks and lost 90-80 as BYU's Kresimir Cosic scored 33 points. Cosic added 23 more points in a 96-68 fast-break romp past Creighton.
December 20, 1971
1. UCLA (4-0)
2. LONG BEACH STATE (3-1)
North Carolina's Tar Heels came to Princeton in their blue blazers, then had the blue blazes beaten out of them 89-73. "It was the worst defense we have ever played," said Carolina Coach Dean Smith. That was largely because Ted Manakas and Brian Taylor found gaps in all the zone variations tried by the Tar Heels. George Karl and Steve Previs, Carolina's hustle-bustle guards, were outmaneuvered and outscored (37-13) by the Tiger guards. Taylor, suffering from a cold, left the court for the infirmary, but returned in time to make Villanova sick. He hit on 14 of 16 shots and scored 33 points as the Tigers won 82-68.
Former Penn Coach Dick Harter went back to the Palestra, where his bruising Oregon team bumped and bumped and bumped but failed to do Villanova in. The Wildcats survived 78-73.
St. Joseph's upset Providence 72-65 as Pat McFarland put in 23 points while Mike Bantom dueled fellow 6'9" Center Marvin Barnes. Earlier, Barnes had set a Friar record with 34 rebounds in a 76-58 victory against Buffalo State. La Salle lost to Niagara 71-70 and to Tulsa 80-77. That left the Explorers 0-4—their worst start ever.
Penn's Quakers felt their oats, disposing of Manhattan 87-66 as Bobby Morse had 33 points. Dartmouth surprised Harvard 86-68 and Brown put down Yale 72-68. With five transfers now eligible, Rhode Island beat three teams: Boston University 88-73, New Hampshire 80-73 and Brown 102-84.
Six blacks left the Cornell team, apparently believing that Coach Jerry Lace was using a quota system that allowed no more than three Negroes to play at any one time. The Big Red then lost to Syracuse 95-82 and Fairfield 86-74. Lace himself failed to appear for the latter.
With Greg Cluess getting 32 points and 24 rebounds, St. John's had no trouble stopping Georgetown 107-67. The Redmen also defeated Seton Hall 103-84.
West Virginia won its Mountaineer Classic, first doubling up Columbia 106-53, then beating Northwestern in the finale 98-94.
"This was a victory for God," said Oral Roberts after his university downed Hofstra 83-74. Richard Fuqua had 29 points and led a second-half rally by the well-healed Titans.
1. PENN (4-0)
2. ST. BONAVENTURE (1-0)
With 48 seconds left and Memphis State ahead by three points, Marquette was shopping for a miracle. It got not one but two. First Bob Foxworth of the Tigers nullified a teammate's free-throw try by stepping into the lane too soon and Marcus Washington of the Warriors popped in a shot to cut the deficit to one point. Then, with 21 seconds left, the same unhappy Foxworth missed a foul shot and Mark Ostrand of Marquette brought the ball downcourt and passed to George Frazier. With three seconds to go, Frazier took a frantic, 30-foot jumper and scored. Marquette won 74-73. Warrior Coach Al McGuire pranced, punched the air and shouted, "Take that. Take that." Later he said, "We didn't win. They did. They had the two toughest breaks I've ever seen."
Memphis State regrouped, got past Mississippi 74-71 and into the Vanderbilt Invitational finals, where it met its host and team star Terry Compton, whose last-second shot had finished off Bradley 82-80. Compton, a sophomore, was up to more of his tricks against Memphis State. With less than 30 seconds to go and his team trailing 80-79, he hit on a jumper. The Tigers regained the lead with seven seconds left only to have Compton sink another basket at the buzzer.
Indiana came up with a miracle worker of its own in a 90-89 double-overtime win against Kentucky. Steve Downing, 6'8" and 220 pounds, had 25 rebounds and 47 points—five at the outset of the final period—as he ignored an injured leg and wore down the Wildcats.
Tom McMillen, supposed to do wondrous things for Maryland, succeeded against Virginia only in making people wonder. He hit on just one of four field-goal tries in a 78-57 loss and the Cavaliers repeatedly drove on McMillen and his slow Terrapin mates. Said Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell: "I'm ashamed of myself and my team."
Davidson, loser of just two Southern Conference games in four years, dropped two in four days. East Carolina halted the Wildcats 67-57 and then Furman beat them 93-86. The latter was Davidson's first loss in its own gym since February, 1962, or 59 home games ago.
Back in Chapel Hill, North Carolina beat Virginia Tech 93-60. Penn narrowly won over Duke, 50-49 in overtime.
Florida State got 28 points from Ron King in its 90-83 Civitan Tournament title win over Jacksonville, which was making do without 7-foot Dave Brent, who broke his leg. The Seminoles (5-0) later breezed past Valdosta State 134-65. The Jacksonville Dolphins resurfaced against Georgia Southern 106-88 as Ernie Fleming took up some of the slack with 42 points.
Wil Robinson, with 31 points, led West Virginia past North Carolina State 87-75. The Wolfpack came back against Purdue 84-71 as Tom Burleson had 21 rebounds and 24 points. Purdue then lost to Clemson 72-66 when Denny Odle scored all 10 Tiger points in overtime.
1. NORTH CAROLINA (3-1)
2. MARYLAND (2-1)
Three Iowa State scouts were sent to Drake—two to observe the Bulldogs, one to check out the organist. Cyclone Coach Maury John, who coached the Bulldogs last season, claims that half of Drake's 10-point home court edge can be attributed to the organist's "cheerleading" music. State practiced to Drake songs and on Tuesday its well-attuned players won 83-80 at Drake.
Jim Chones of Marquette was most of the show against Michigan: 24 points, 19 rebounds, seven blocked shots, adding up to an 81-52 win for the Warriors, their 59th straight at home. Earlier, the Wolverines barely held off Eastern Michigan 89-88.
Ohio State cracked Utah State's zone 71-60 even though Allan Hornyak was out with a bruised heel. But then the Buckeyes were contained by Ohio University 79-68.
Indiana, playing defense now under new Coach Bobby Knight, remained undefeated as Kansas went 7:45 without a field goal and lost 59-56. Last season Hoosier foes scored 80 or more points 16 times.
By sinking 12 straight foul shots in the last two minutes, Kentucky stopped Kansas State 71-64.
1. MARQUETTE (4-0)
2. OHIO STATE (3-1)