Maryland's Lefty Driesell entered to the strains of the Hallelujah Chorus and departed in a shouting match with a North Carolina assistant coach. In between, his Terrapins pulled out a 79-77 overtime victory that ended a personal seven-game losing record against the Tar Heels. Tom McMillen, who never sat down, scored 27 points, but it was Howard White who saved the day. He scored six points in overtime after choking on three one-and-one situations in regulation play. Afterward McMillen, who had come within a jump shot of enrolling at Carolina, embraced Driesell and told a reporter, "I know how much this win means to Lefty. I'm glad I helped him get it."
The Tar Heels came back to rout Notre Dame 99-74 and spoil the New York return of former Fordham miracle man Digger Phelps. Duke stirred the Atlantic Coast Conference race by upsetting Virginia 86-76 after losing to Southern Conference leader Davidson 74-72, and South Carolina had a frightful road trip, barely beating Nevada-Las Vegas 84-81 and losing 95-85 to Houston.
Adolph Rupp called it his team's best game of the year after Kentucky bombed Florida 95-68, but Tennessee remained in SEC contention by edging Georgia 71-68. Florida State destroyed Georgia Tech 108-50, and Southwestern Louisiana continued big with three 100-plus games, all wins.
February 28, 1972
1. N. C. (18-3).
2. SW. LOUISIANA (20-2)
That favorite West Coast guessing game continued last week with California Coach Jim Padgett picking Oregon State as the most likely team to derail UCLA. Southern Cal and Washington, previous candidates for the honor, have already tried and failed, with the Huskies losing again Saturday night to UCLA 100-83. In that one Bill Walton had 31 points and 15 rebounds, and Washington's Steve Hawes, avenging his poor performance of last week, had 30 points and 18 rebounds.
"If Oregon State can play the way they played against us, they can beat just about anyone in the country," said Padgett following the Beavers' 74-68 win, their fourth straight in the Pacific Eight.
Arizona State seemed very much alive in the Western Athletic Conference after defeating Colorado State 88-80. Then Wyoming held Sun Devil star Paul Stovall to 10 points in a 68-65 upset that assured Brigham Young of the title. The Cougars ended Indian Week in Provo with a 79-66 victory over Utah. It was close for 36 minutes, but late turnovers and the outside shooting of Bernie Fryer were the difference. Fryer scored 22 points and Kresimir Cosic 21 while putting defenders in foul trouble.
Weber State assured itself at least a tie for its fifth straight Big Sky title with victories over Montana State 68-53 and Montana 71-60. Bob Davis paced the two wins with 55 points. Hawaii defeated Oklahoma City twice, 117-97 and 109-95.
1. UCLA (20-0)
2. LONG BEACH ST. (21-3)
Minnesota and Michigan were, unexpectedly, atop the Big Ten following Ohio State's stunning 64-62 loss to Illinois. The Illini made only 23% of their shots but scored 22 more free-throw points than the Buckeyes, who fouled out four men. State built a 13-point lead in the second half, but then Illinois stormed back using a man-to-man defense to win the game.
Minnesota, which plays at Michigan this weekend, edged Wisconsin 76-73 behind Clyde Turner's 29 points and 12 rebounds. Michigan took Northwestern 81-75. The Wildcats also lost to De Paul 74-72 when Nick Hirtzig hit a last-second shot.
Memphis State kept the pressure on Louisville in the Missouri Valley by overcoming Bradley's delaying tactics 70-59 and nipping St. Louis 73-70. Louisville stayed on top by defeating Wichita State 69-60.
Nebraska's challenge for the Big Eight leadership amounted to very little as Missouri cut down the Cornhuskers 80-65. The Tigers' 18th victory, highlighted by John Brown's 32 points and 15 rebounds, set a team record. Nebraska came back to beat Kansas with more points (99-78) than any Big Eight team had ever scored against the Jayhawks.
Marquette won twice, then heard it had lost Jim Chones to the pros (page 18). So the Warriors defeated Creighton 70-61 without Chones. With Chones earlier, they beat Jacksonville 88-79 as Larry McNeill scored 10 of 16 points in a surge that decided the game. There was still more excitement after McNeill fouled out, however. His wife Gloria suddenly appeared behind the Marquette bench and urged him to follow her into the stands to defend the family name against Andy Friedrich, a Warrior redshirt. Said Friedrich: "She comes to the games with her friends, and they try to squeeze seven people into three or four seats. I told her to sit down and shut up." Mrs. McNeill was arrested for disorderly conduct and fined $21, which didn't seem to bother McNeill in the following game against Creighton. Now Chones' permanent replacement, he scored 24 points and had 15 rebounds.
1. MARQUETTE (22-0)
2. LOUISVILLE (19-2)
The 8,000 fans at Recreation Hall in University Park gave Penn State a standing ovation the night it upset sixth-ranked Virginia 86-74. Not too unusual except that the hand came before the game. Maybe it was a psych move. Cavalier Coach Bill Gibson played at Penn State, and star Guard Barry Parkhill is a State College boy who left town after the home team indicated only slight interest in him. Parkhill did score 20 points—three below his average—but Ron Brown countered with 25.
Pennsylvania bombed Brown 90-66 but found pickings weren't so easy against Yale. The Quakers were down 37-33 early in the second half before damaging the Elis' two-three zone with six straight baskets, eventually winning 71-62. "The great coaches are able to get their people up," said Penn's Chuck Daly. "I didn't do a very good job."
The area's other nationally-ranked team, Providence, lost a 75-73 decision to Rhode Island but rebounded against Holy Cross 104-68. Villanova defeated Duquesne 102-81 as Chris Ford scored 30 points. Syracuse won two more at home, 91-74 over Bucknell and 98-69 over Connecticut.
It was a week of milestones for St. Joseph's. Coach Jack McKinney got his 100th win, 92-65 over West Chester, and junior Center Mike Bantom his 1,000th point in an 81-70 victory over Georgetown. Bantom was given the game ball, which he thereupon presented to his sister in the stands with a pinpoint pass. The third milestone wasn't as neat. The Hawks lost to Temple 60-58.
Long Island never had a chance against St. Bonaventure. Harvey Smith, subbing for injured Walter Jones, got a busted nose on the opening tip-off that required four stitches. The Bonnies won 89-69.
St. John's came from seven points back in the final three minutes to edge Niagara 93-90. "I gave them a little fire and brimstone at halftime," said Coach Frank Mulzoff. "Some old-fashioned motivation otherwise known as a boot in the rear end."
1. PENN (18-2)
2. PROVIDENCE (16-4)