Five of the nation's best teams played in Madison Square Garden during a 48-hour stretch, and Alabama and Rutgers looked the most impressive. The Crimson Tide eked out a 71-67 victory over Providence with 6'9" Center Leon Douglas getting 19 points and 16 rebounds. He also blocked numerous Friar shots after he had picked up his fourth foul. Alabama's tough defense was not restricted to the front court; Guard T. R. Dunn held Providence's star, Joe Hassett, to 14 points.
Whenever Rutgers needed a big basket against Purdue, it went to 6'5" Forward Phil Sellers. He scored 31 points and broke open a close game in the last minute with two lay-ups that sealed an 81-73 victory for the Scarlet Knights. Sellers poured in 36 during a 119-93 rout of Seton Hall two nights later. That same evening Purdue freshman Kyle Macy's 21 points helped Coach Fred Schaus gain a 90-79 victory over his alma mater, West Virginia.
Unlike Rutgers, North Carolina found Seton Hall hard to handle in the Garden. The Tar Heels won 75-63, mainly on Guard Phil Ford's 27 points and flashy floor play. Ford later injured his knee against Virginia Tech, but Coach Dean Smith's underrated bench came through and starting Center Mitch Kupchak contributed 24 points as Carolina won 88-75.
December 15, 1975
Maryland would have had a much easier time with Richmond if the Spiders' 6'7" Tony Marshall had not been released from jail. Arrested the day before the game on six felony counts, Marshall nonetheless was on hand to work over Terp defender Brad Davis for 25 points, and Richmond trailed by only four points with 6:37 to play. Then Maryland's Steve Sheppard hit his last seven shots to make the final score 98-71 in favor of the Terps.
Nevada-Las Vegas won the Steel Bowl in Pittsburgh by defeating Duquesne 86-83, but the Rebels' joy may be brief. The NCAA last week completed its initial investigation into possible Las Vegas recruiting violations. Whether it will decide to open a formal investigation will not be announced for several months, but one of the NCAA investigators working on this case also uncovered violations at Long Beach State in 1973 that involved Coach Jerry Tarkanian. Tarkanian left Long Beach in the midst of that turmoil; his reprieve may turn out to be short-lived.
Trailing by 15 points in the second half, Marshall (3-0) rallied to beat Austin Peay 79-77, halting the Governors' winning streak at four. Earl Williams got the winning basket and scored 19 points. Game-high honors went to teammate Dave Miller and Austin Peay freshman Sammy Drummer with 22 apiece.
Princeton came from 17 points behind to defeat Navy 60-59, Boston College squeaked past Harvard 72-71 on Ernie Cobb's jumper with five seconds left, St. Bonaventure surprised Georgetown in overtime 63-59 and South Carolina annihilated Oklahoma 80-59 behind Alex English's 32 points.
1. MARYLAND (3-0)
2. NO. CAROLINA (3-0)
Even though three of its best players were ill or injured, Cincinnati kept rolling, thanks to a hale and hearty Robert Miller. While Guard Steve Collier underwent examination for mononucleosis, Forward Mike Jones was sidelined with a hamstring pull and Guard Brian Williams was bothered by a sprained hand, 6'11" Center Miller scored 24 points and the Bearcats downed the Miami of Ohio Redskins 66-57. "They didn't seem like a ranked team to me," said Miami sophomore Archie Aldridge, ignoring Cincinnati's problems. "I'd like to play them again." No you wouldn't, Archie.
Louisville, taking on Murray State in the first of eight consecutive home games, trailed at halftime 31-28. But the final 20 minutes were an entirely different story, the Cardinals surging to a 78-59 victory. It was Coach Denny Crum's 100th win in a little more than four years at Louisville.
Missouri Captain Willie Smith, a 6'2" senior guard, scored 30 points in an 88-85 overtime win against Toledo. Smith rang up 40 more points as the host Tigers bounced Baylor 105-70 and Oklahoma City 85-68 to win the Show-Me Classic and remain unbeaten.
Drake defeated Iowa State 98-83, Bulldog Forward Ken Harris (21 points and 18 rebounds) outdueling the Cyclones' Hercle (Poison) Ivy, who scored 24 points but fouled out with 4:10 to play.
1. CINCINNATI (4-0)
2. LOUISVILLE (2-0)
Fan reaction around Los Angeles following UCLA's 20-point loss to Indiana has been heated, though not entirely unexpected considering what Bruin backers are accustomed to. "UCLA's basketball dynasty is deader than the proverbial mackerel," read one letter to Athletic Director J. D. Morgan. "We've had enough of you, J. D. Clean out your desk and don't forget to take Clean Gene with you." Morgan and Coach Gene Bartow must have felt like skipping town last Friday night when UCLA was barely ahead of San Jose State midway in the first half. But then Bartow sent in Brad Holland—the very good freshman guard he had decided not to take to the Indiana game—and Holland put the bomb back into the UCLA attack. He hit eight of 11 shots from far outside and scored 17 points in 30 minutes to key a 90-80 triumph. The next night Holland celebrated his 18th birthday by connecting on five of 10 field-goal attempts as the Bruins stopped Southern Illinois 81-60.
San Francisco's 6'11" Bill Cartwright has been slow getting accustomed to the college game, and the young Dons continue to look unimpressive, despite their perfect record. In a 49-44 victory over stalling Stanford, Cartwright took only one shot and did not score.
Rickie Hawthorne had 17 points and 5'9" freshman Guard Gene Ransom electrified California fans with a twisting layup over Idaho State's seven-foot Steve Hayes in the Golden Bears' 76-65 win. Washington (4-0) defeated Wyoming 76-69 and Nebraska 75-63 on the road.
Arizona State beat De Paul 74-67 in the finals of the Sun Devil Classic, after the Blue Demons had handed Memphis State its fourth straight loss (100-91) in the first round. Arizona edged NAIA power Midwestern (Texas) 86-80, then defeated Idaho 88-82 and Northern Arizona 98-81 to maintain its 100-point scoring average.
Usually high-scoring New Mexico State surprised UTEP with a stingy defense and whipped the Miners 49-47 and 62-54 on consecutive nights.
With its infamous reputation for one-sided officiating strengthened by a controversial 84-80 victory over Oregon, Hawaii said that one referee from the mainland would work most of the Rainbow's remaining home games.
1. UCLA (2-1)
2. SAN FRANCISCO (4-0)
A pair of Wildcats clashed in Evanston, Ill., and Northwestern clawed last year's NCAA runner-up, Kentucky, 89-77 as junior Guard Billy McKinney pumped in 31 points. A skinny six-foot lefthander with exceptional speed, McKinney carried his Nate Archibald impression a step further by handing out seven assists. Northwestern outscored sluggish Kentucky 23-8 in the first nine minutes of the second half and led by as many as 23 points.
Almost everything that Tennessee and Michigan threw up went in when the two highly ranked teams met at Knoxville. The Vols, who earlier had an 86-80 victory over Duke, hit 11 of their first 13 shots; the Wolverines went them one better by making 11 of 12 during a second-half run that trimmed a 14-point Tennessee lead to two. But the Vols hung on to win 82-81, Bernard King, the best shooter in the country last season with a .622 field-goal percentage, sinking 13 of 16 from the floor for a game-high 27 points. Wings Ernie Grunfeld and Mike Jackson added 22 points apiece for Tennessee, while freshman Center Phil Hubbard had 25 for Michigan. Hubbard scored 17 in the Wolverines' earlier 90-63 defeat of Vanderbilt.
Auburn's tough Tigers had little trouble defeating Butler 80-69 and Western Carolina 88-76. Both games were the kind of rough-and-tumble affairs that appeal to Coach Bob Davis, who said, "We're not going to let anybody push us around. We want folks to get that idea early."
Marquette Forward Bo Ellis was busted for possession of marijuana at 4 a.m. on the day before the Warriors' season opener, and will be required to report to a drug evaluation unit for six months. The next night he grabbed the microphone at Milwaukee Arena and apologized to the 10,938 fans before scoring 16 points as the Warriors stomped St. Joseph's (Ind.) 87-60. The crowd applauded Ellis wildly, but the cheers turned to boos later in the week when Marquette shot 25% and had to resort to a stalling offense in the second half of an uneasy 56-45 victory over a small-college opponent, Northern Michigan.
Southern California won the Vanderbilt Invitational, beating Kansas State 81-80 in the finals to take some of the glow from Wildcat Guard Chuckie Williams' 47-point splurge in an overtime 89-85 first-round victory over Holy Cross. In the title game, Earl Evans and Marv Safford led the Trojans with 25 points apiece; Williams scored 24 for K-State.
Notre Dame socked Valparaiso 117-83 and Texas Tech 88-63 in preparation for its game this week against Indiana. The Hoosiers did not play.
1. INDIANA (1-0)
2. TENNESSEE (3-0)