Paired in the same bracket of the Big Four tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina State and North Carolina went at each other in the first round as though it would be their only meeting of the year instead of merely the first of three—and possibly four—games. In the end State prevailed 78-77 on the varied contributions of Monte Towe, David Thompson and Tom Burleson, whose stair-step physiques begin at 5'5½" and ascend through 6'4" up to 7'4". Burleson led the three with 22 points and 14 rebounds, Thompson had 20 points and Towe dropped in two critical free throws that offset the last Carolina basket. "Maybe these games aren't counting in the conference standings, but they do count," State Coach Norm Sloan said before the game. "Our alumni assured me of that several times, telling me how long to play my starters, what to do here and there." Once-beaten Wake Forest edged Duke 64-61 to reach the finals, where Thompson made the move of the year to pull the Wolfpack out of a 24-24 tie and send it on to a 91-73 victory. He stole the ball, dribbled quickly up the floor, took off near the foul line for the basket, in midair changed hands with the ball by going behind the back and finally flipped in a lefty layup from above the rim. Thompson hit 19 of 26 shots and had 10 assists and 40 points in the two games, making him a tournament MVP for the second week in a row. Carolina took third place 84-75 over Duke.
Maryland, ranked highest of the three ACC teams in the country's top five, bombed Richmond 96-60 as Tom McMillen became the Terps' leading scorer of all time. Clemson was a 29-point victim 89-60—precisely Maryland's average margin of victory since UCLA—as Len Elmore and McMillen held seven-footer Wayne (Tree) Rollins scoreless in the second half.
Meeting familiar foe Marquette in Columbia was South Carolina, which had not lost at home in 27 outings since its infamous fight with the Warriors on national TV two years before. The game was televised again, and near the end it looked as though the Gamecocks' streak would die. Brian Winters missed a one-and-one free throw that would have broken a 58-58 tie and Marquette got the rebound and began playing for one shot. But Maurice Lucas was called for an offensive foul, and soon Winters had another chance. "I consider myself a good shooter," Winters said later, and well he might. His 20-foot jumper went through at the buzzer to hand Marquette its first defeat.
January 13, 1974
While Vanderbilt was knocking off Alabama, Glen Hansen and Collis Temple were doing something Pistol Pete Maravich never did at Louisiana State and something the Tigers had done only twice in 39 years: beat Kentucky. LSU trailed 40-36 at halftime, but Temple ignited a 22-to-8 burst in the first five minutes of the second half. He had 22 points for the game and Hansen 30 as State won its seventh straight.
Austin Peay dropped three games in four days—to Missouri 88-86 and Southern Mississippi 79-75 in the Senior Bowl and to Jacksonville 93-70. Winner of the Senior Bowl was South Alabama, which upset Missouri 74-64.
Centenary nipped Arkansas 98-96 at the buzzer, Virginia Tech gobbled up Eastern Kentucky 92-65 and edged St. Bonaventure 77-75 and Stetson handed Virginia the ACC's most embarrassing setback in years 78-76 as Cavalier stars Gus Gerard and Wally Walker fouled out with five and 14 points respectively.
1. MARYLAND (8-1)
2. N.C. ST. (7-1)
Wild again, the West was knee-deep in snow and upsets, two of them in Fort Collins, Colo., where Colorado State got hot in near-zero temperatures and stopped Arizona State and Arizona. The cactus powers might have anticipated trouble. Never in 20 years had it been safe to play a Jim Williams team there. Last year, for good example, Arizona lost a share of the Western Athletic Conference championship at CSU one night, and on the next heavily favored Arizona State escaped with the title on a last-second basket. The Sun Devils were less fortunate this time. It was Colorado State's Rudy Carey who scored the late basket as the Rams won 74-72. Arizona, which opened this years WAC season by romping over Wyoming 93-77, found Williams' 2-3 zone defense too tough to crack, even for its scoring machine, which was averaging 88 points a game. Ram Forward Tim Hall outshone Wildcats Coniel Norman and Bob Elliott by getting 24 points and 19 rebounds in an 85-67 ambush. New Mexico (12-0), which plays both Arizona clubs away this week, matched the Rams' fast start with 98-91 and 84-75 victories over Utah and Brigham Young as Bernard Hardin scored 50 points.
Southern Cal, happy to be meeting Washington State in its new 12,000-seat coliseum instead of tiny Bohler Gym, discovered something else was new in Pullman: freshman Steve Puidokas. The 6'11½" center from Chicago put in 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Cougars stunned the Trojans 71-56. Alas for poor Washington, there were no such miracles in the offing when it met UCLA in Seattle. The Bruins jumped to a 20-6 lead in the first six minutes and proceeded to make mush of the Huskies 100-48. "I'm sure there are other things I could have been doing tonight that might have been a little more enjoyable," said Washington Coach Marv Harshman. Stanford was the biggest loser in the Pacific Eight's first week, falling to Oregon 48-47 and to Oregon State 56-53, while Oregon was the biggest winner. The Ducks also beat California 54-42, aided by a cheerleader who batted a stray pass in-bounds, giving Oregon a quick basket.
Long Beach State won its 70th consecutive home game, this time over L.A. State 93-76, then had potential No. 71 postponed when Fresno State was stranded, a victim of a rare California snowstorm. More disturbing to Long Beach State was the fact that the NCAA placed the school on a three-year probation for recruiting violations in football and basketball, which will keep it off television and out of postseason play. The charges concerning the basketball team reportedly had nothing to do with either of the Pondexter brothers, Roscoe or Cliff, who combined for 39 points against L.A. State.
Houston captured its own Bluebonnet Classic for the 11th straight time by nudging Florida State 79-74 and Rice played a small part in raising Hawaii's gaudy record to 11-0 by succumbing to the Rainbows twice in Honolulu, 109-75 and 99-71. Weber State split two Big Sky contests, losing to Gonzaga 66-58 and beating Idaho 78-73. Oral Roberts Coach Ken Trickey, a man given to such pronouncements, thought so much of the 10-2 Titans' 87-74 triumph at Pepperdine that he said, "I think we will win all the rest of them."
1. UCLA (9-0)
2. LONG BEACH ST. (10-1)
"Our guys weren't supposed to win any and we've won nine already," said Michigan's joyous Johnny Orr following his team's 73-71 upset of sputtering Indiana. Picked to finish eighth in the Big Ten, the Wolverines looked at least that bad, trailing the Hoosiers 41-26 at halftime. But Campy Russell rang up 20 points and 14 rebounds and brought Michigan back into the game before fouling out with 3:37 left. Three other Michigan players were burdened with four personals, but twice the team benefited from the new four-point rule that allows an official to award two free throws for a deliberate foul on a scored basket. Freshman Lionel Worrell's two-pointer and Guard Joe Johnson's two free throws held off the Hoosiers. Purdue was defeated early in the week at Utah 87-75 despite Center John Garrett's 32 points but returned home and edged Michigan State 77-75 as Garrett scored 12 of his team's last 14 points, including a game-winning layup. Wisconsin, which has grown up to an 8-1 record by digesting opponents like Rollins, UC Davis, North Dakota St., DePauw and UW Milwaukee, stomped all over Northwestern 87-53.
Memphis State, experimenting, benched freshman Dexter Reed for the Bradley game even though Reed leads the team in scoring and assists. Coach Gene Bartow claimed he needed senior leadership, but when that failed, in came Reed to score 20 points. State ran away in overtime, 88-76.
Louisville won a Missouri Valley showdown with Tulsa 78-75 in a battle between its Junior Bridgeman (22 points) and the Hurricanes' Willie Biles (23). Tulsa, which meets the Cardinals just once this season, took 37 more shots but connected on only 33%. New Mexico State downed Wichita State 71-63 and outmuscled St. Louis 74-58. Owen Wells of the revitalized Detroit Titans refused to be intimidated by Canisius' Larry Fogle, the country's top scorer and second leading rebounder, outpointing him 36 to 30 as the Titans won 95-83. Their new Coach Dick Vitale claimed that Wells needs tough competition to excel. Against Duquesne, which must not be tough enough, Wells contributed only 15 points, but Detroit won 80-72 and is now 10-1.
1. NOTRE DAME (7-0)
2. MARQUETTE (10-1)
Syracuse came to New Brunswick, N.J. looking for its 14th consecutive victory over Rutgers, but the contest quickly developed into a game of three-on-three playground ball and the Scarlet Knights reclaimed their home turf 93-79. Their trio of 6'5" starters—Phil Sellers, Mike Dabney and Vinnie Roundtree—combined for 82 points; the Orangemen's Dennis DuVal, Jim Lee and Rudy Hackett got 67.
Another streak was chopped down when Canisius clobbered Villanova for the first time since 1963 in the National Invitation Tournament. Larry Fogle and Kenny Kee were nearly as productive as the Rutgers three, Fogle pouring in 42 points and Kee sinking 18 of 22 from the floor for 39 points in the 127-99 rout. "I knew Kee was up for this game," said Canisius Coach John Morrison, which he must have been; he hit his first 10 shots of the second half. Fogle made 17 of 25 shots and snatched 16 rebounds.
"We were in a wind-down offense," moaned Temple Coach Don Casey moments after the Owls' Jerry Baskerville had let fly with a long, hurried jumper that missed and Manhattan had won 68-66. "We were supposed to let the clock run down to 15 seconds and then call time with the score tied. But the shot went up." In the end it was two pairs of one-and-one free throws by Manhattan's Charlie Mahoney and not 25 points by Temple's John Kneib that made the difference.
A broken play produced a winning basket from La Salle's 6'10" Joe Bryant in a 67-65 squeaker over Niagara. The shot ("I was really looking for somebody to throw to," Bryant said) wiped out a series of comebacks by Niagara, which was crippled by 32 turnovers. Penn, switching tactics and relying on a deliberate offense instead of the fast break it had been using, turned back Princeton 69-59 in its Ivy League opener. "Patience is the key word for us now," said pleased Coach Chuck Daly. His 6'8" sophomore John Engles sounded less happy, noting: "I was like a robot out there."
Providence humbled Catholic University 104-69, but Center Marvin Barnes admitted after his team's 22 turnovers, "It's harder playing against little guys like that."
Pittsburgh's fortunes are improving on the basketball court as well as the football field. The Panthers clawed Virginia 81-70 with Bill Knight dropping in 34 points.
1. PROVIDENCE (9-2)
2. SYRACUSE (7-2)