Third-Place Maryland finally gained a measure or conference respectability by winning its rematch with North Carolina 91-80. Tom McMillen, who scored a game-high 26 points, led a 13-1 spurt to put the game out of reach with 6:02 remaining. It was the Terrapins' third straight home win over the Tar Heels, whom they have not beaten on the road in nine years.
North Carolina State also seemed headed for trouble when 7'4" Center Tom Burleson picked up his third foul midway through the first half against Davidson. At the time the Wolfpack led 22-17 and superstar David Thompson was having a substar night. No fear. State simply turned to its two backcourt aces, Monte Towe and Moe Rivers. With Towe hitting all seven of his first-half shots, the Wolfpack moved into a 50-33 lead. Rivers had his best game, scoring 24 points, and the Wolfpack ran away 105-78.
Vanderbilt and Alabama stayed one-two in the SEC as both scored narrow wins over conference opponents. The Commodores avenged their only loss of the season by beating LSU 91-88. Jeff Fosnes, Joe Ford and Butch Feher converted six straight free throws in the last 2:41 to wrap up a game that from the outset had been charged with emotion because of the fight that disrupted the teams' earlier meeting. "This was the best crowd we've had all year," said Vanderbilt Coach Roy Skinner of his hometown fans. LSU Coach Dale Brown painted a different picture. "Tonight was just sickening," he said, complaining of "exceedingly vulgar and obscene" signs and revealing that someone had called at halftime and threatened to shoot LSU player Collis Temple in the second half. Meanwhile, the Crimson Tide edged past Mississippi State when Charles Cleveland hit a long jumper in the final second for a 76-74 win.
February 24, 1974
With both teams anticipating a postseason tournament bid, Jacksonville demolished Florida State 113-89. Leon Benbow paced the Dolphins with 36 points. Butch Taylor had 30 more, plus 27 rebounds. "Taylor's not so tough," said Seminole Coach Hugh Durham. "Our team outrebounded him by four." Two nights later Jacksonville belted Northeast Louisiana 100-84.
"When we play well we can beat anybody—well, just about anybody—in the country," said South Carolina Assistant Coach Dick Walsh. "But when we play poorly, we can lose to just about anybody." Early in the week the Gamecocks played poorly, making 21 turnovers, but still beat Georgia Tech 82-73. Notre Dame, on the other hand, isn't just anybody. The nation's top streak-stopper ended South Carolina's 34-game Carolina Coliseum winning string 72-68.
1. N.C. STATE (20-1)
2. MARYLAND (17-4)
While UCLA was taking its lumps at Oregon State and Oregon (page 16), USC moved into a first-place tie in the Pac Eight by beating the same two teams on the road. The Trojans, who have little to show for their 122 wins in seven seasons under Coach Bob Boyd, ran away from Oregon 76-61 on Friday evening and then cheered for the Ducks against UCLA on television the next afternoon. Saturday night USC went out and disposed of Oregon State 60-53, setting up a possible final-game showdown with UCLA at the Sports Arena March 9.
With Long Beach State on probation and out of the race for a berth in the NCAA playoffs, PCAA rivals are looking at the 49ers in a different light. "It was just a fun game," said Fresno State Coach Ed Gregory after watching Long Beach flatten his Bulldogs 62-45. "They still aren't having as much fun as we are," countered an irked Lute Olson.
Texas remained a game behind Texas Tech in the SWC because it dropped a 72-71 overtime decision to TCU, a team the Longhorns had beaten earlier in the season by 51 points. TCU played the entire regulation period without once going to the foul line, but in overtime John Blakney sank two free throws to give the Frogs the victory. Tech beat Arkansas 89-83, but was upset at Texas A&M 98-95 in double overtime.
Seattle continued to hold onto a share of the WCAC lead with San Francisco, largely through the play of sophomore Guard Frank (Magic) Oleynick. Last week Magic's desperation shot from the deep right corner in the final two seconds swished through to give the Chieftains a 72-71 win over Pepperdine. "That was a prayer shot, and it was answered," said a teammate.
The WAC remained a jumbled race. Defending champion Arizona State lost its share of the league lead when it fell before New Mexico 89-72 and UTEP by the disastrous score of 82-48. UTEP had already hurt its chances with a disappointing 85-59 loss to Arizona. That gave Arizona room at the top, but New Mexico promptly closed the gap with a 99-72 homecourt win over the Wildcats. Which in turn left the door open for Utah to slip into first place with an 89-74 romp at Brigham Young.
1. LONG BEACH ST. (20-2)
2. UCLA (18-3)
Kansas State took over first place in the Big Eight with a 74-71 home win over Kansas. The Wildcats played a zone to keep out of foul trouble, and as a result the Jayhawks finished with just one of four free throws while Kansas State converted 18 of 24 to overcome a 35-28 field-goal deficit.
Oklahoma City staggered Oral Roberts' hopes for an NCAA at-large bid by upsetting the Titans 100-94. Herb Gilkey led the smaller Chiefs with 29 points and nine rebounds. "That little squirt killed us," moaned Titan Coach Ken Trickey. Memphis State avenged an earlier loss to Louisville with a 78-71 win while Austin Peay took over first place in the Ohio Valley with a 94-83 win over co-leader Morehead State.
Purdue lost its share of the Big Ten lead when it fell 112-111 in three overtimes to Iowa, which had won only four games all season. The hero for the Hawkeyes was Center Jim Collins who contributed 32 points, 26 better than his average, despite suffering from the flu. "I really don't feel like celebrating," he said afterward. "Every time one of those Purdue guys would hit me in the gut with an elbow I felt I was going to make a beeline for the boys' room." Michigan clung briefly to the top spot with a narrow 50-48 win over Northwestern. With three seconds left Chuck Rogers' block of Bob Hildebrand's layup kept Northwestern from tying the score. Hildebrand was given two free throws on the play and missed both. Meanwhile, Indiana continued to get stronger, pounding Wisconsin 81-63 before finally taking over the first-place spot expected of it with a 93-81 win over Michigan at week's end.
1. NOTRE DAME (20-1)
2. MARQUETTE (19-3)
The largest regular-season college basketball crowd in three years at Madison Square Garden turned out to watch Coach Digger Phelps direct the Fighting Irish to a convincing 79-69 win over his old team, Fordham. Six-foot, five-inch, 225-pound freshman Adrian Dantley led the way with 27 points and collected nine rebounds as the Irish dominated inside play. Of Notre Dame's first 20 baskets 14 came on layups.
Somebody continued to watch over the fortunes of Providence. The Friars' latest brush with disaster came against crosstown rival Brown, but the Bruins' Lloyd Desvigne providentially missed a free throw near the end of regulation time to leave the score tied at 61-all. The Bruins also failed to score on four one-and-one situations in two overtimes before Marvin Barnes sank a 22-foot jump shot in the final five seconds to give the Friars a 75-73 win. Barnes, who had scored the tying basket to send the game into extra periods, finished with 28 points, 27 rebounds and five blocked shots. The next night he added 31 points, 21 rebounds, four blocked shots and five assists as Providence downed Holy Cross 105-87 to achieve its fourth straight 20-victories-or-more season.
Pittsburgh had a much easier week, routing Cleveland State 106-55. Six Panthers were in double figures as the team set a school mark with 52 field goals and recorded its 20th consecutive win. Pittsburgh had not won 20 games in a season since 1931.
Both St. John's and St. Joseph's seemed unwilling to deliver a killing blow in their game at St. John's Alumni Hall. They played the final 1:48 of regulation time tied at 55 points and looked as if they were going to play the final 2:04 of the first overtime period tied at 59. Then, with one second remaining and two Hawks waving hands in his face, St. John's Kevin Cluess sank a jump shot from 25 feet in the corner to give the Redmen a 61-59 win.
Led by Guard Dennis DuVal's 30 points, Syracuse, which had dropped a game earlier in the week to West Virginia 78-77, snapped Manhattan's eight-game winning streak, 76-70. Boston College moved closer to a postseason at-large NCAA bid by winning its sixth straight, 86-73 over St. Francis. The Eagle's are now 15-5.
Brown rallied at week's end to keep its share of the Ivy League lead with a 71-56 win over Columbia. Penn held up its end by downing resurgent Harvard 75-68.
1. PITTSBURGH (21-1)
2. PROVIDENCE (21-3)