After upsetting Wake Forest 63-58, Virginia nearly knocked off favored North Carolina. Forward Wally Walker had 34 points and Forward Marc Iavaroni 21 against the Tar Heels, but the Cavaliers bowed 85-82. UNC's Phil Ford poured in 27 points and expertly directed a four-corner delay offense during the closing minutes. North Carolina had earlier polished off Clemson 83-64.
North Carolina State coasted past Appalachian State 82-51, Kenny Carr getting 25 points and 14 rebounds, then almost was rocked by Rollins, a Division II team with a 9-2 record. The Tars got 33 points from Bruce Howland and led for half the game before succumbing 79-75, Carr again leading the way with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Maryland had trouble with George Washington despite a 51-33 halftime lead. The Colonials cut the score to 67-62 before the Terps pulled away to an 82-72 win.
Although Mark McAndrew did not score, he made his point as Providence held off Louisville 63-60. McAndrew, a forward shifted to guard for the game, played all 40 minutes without taking a shot, but limited Ricky Wilson to two points, 13 below his average.
January 19, 1976
It took just three seconds for Phil Sellers to sink his first field goal against Fordham, making him the second Rutgers player ever to score 2,000 points during his career. Sellers finished with 21 as the unbeaten Scarlet Knights won 93-55.
Princeton's defense was unrelenting, the Tigers stopping William and Mary (64-43) and throttling Ivy League opponents Harvard (62-57) and Dartmouth (59-38).
1. RUTGERS (11-0)
2. WAKE FOREST (11-1)
The alphabet teams—UCLA and USC—were far from letter perfect as they traveled along the Oregon trail. Oregon State's harassing defense was at its best as the Beavers beat USC 80-70 and UCLA 75-58. In the astonishingly easy upset of the Bruins, Oregon State held UCLA to 20 points in the first half and took a 13-point lead. For the game, State shot .564 and got 20 points from Center Lonnie Shelton. The Bruins barely salvaged another Pacific Eight game when they held off Oregon 62-61. USC, despite 30 points from Marv Safford, lost to the Ducks 77-72. Oregon's Kamikaze Kids were led by Greg Ballard, who had 22 points.
Washington tied Oregon State for the league lead by using sustained scoring outbursts to win twice. Ahead of California 29-28, the Huskies went on a 10-minute 25-point spree during which Lars Hansen and James Edwards combined for 17. That put Washington on top 54-42 and on the way to a 76-56 win. Trailing Stanford 33-26, the Huskies opened the second half by outscoring the Cardinals 22-5 and won 87-81.
Another California team that was surprised was San Francisco, Pepperdine salting away a 75-65 decision.
Nobody, however, unsettled Nevada-Las Vegas, which racked up its ninth straight 100-point game by walloping Cal-Northridge 111-75. The Rebels then squeezed past Seattle 90-89 and stopped Iowa State 88-82.
1. WASHINGTON (13-0)
2. NEV.-LV (16-0)
Everything was normally tumultuous in the Southeastern Conference. With Alabama coming to town, there was an unprecedented ticket demand at Auburn. Three students were hospitalized after being crunched when the doors opened two hours before the game. A state trooper stopped the Alabama team bus and asked, "Anybody got a ticket they'll sell?" Nobody did, just as no one did minutes earlier when a trucker pulled even with the bus and offered $50 for four $3 tickets. The game was equally frantic, the Tigers leading 38-27 at the half, then being held to 24 points thereafter as they lost 63-62. Leon Douglas had 19 points for the Crimson Tide. Five days earlier, Alabama limited Kentucky to 16 points in the second half as it came out on top 76-63.
Kentucky, now 0-3 in the SEC, also fell apart in the late stages against Tennessee after being up by 12 points with slightly more than five minutes to play. With less than 10 seconds to go and the score tied at 79, Bernard King of the Vols took an alley-oop pass, lost his balance, fell to the floor and, while almost flat on his back, threw in a one-handed "laydown" basket. Kentucky tied the game but with three starters having fouled out and Rick Robey injured, the Wildcats lost in overtime 90-88. King finished with 24 points and teammate Ernie Grunfeld had 43. That was enough to offset the 22 points the Wildcats got from Jack Givens and the 26 points and 28 rebounds amassed by Mike Phillips.
Indiana raced to a 16-2 advantage at Michigan, then held on for an 80-74 win. Hoosier Kent Benson sank 16 of 18 field-goal attempts and had 33 points. Benson had 22 points in a 78-61 defeat of Northwestern. In other Big Ten games, Terry Furlow pumped in 140 points as Michigan State won two of three games. And Wisconsin, down 49-27 in the first half, overhauled Ohio State 82-81 in overtime.
1. INDIANA (12-0)
2. MARQUETTE (9-1)
Marquette was taken for a ride, but not for long. After landing in Oklahoma City, the Warriors boarded a bus and were headed for Norman, the site of the University of Oklahoma, before they had a chance to inform the driver they were to play Oklahoma City U. Also having difficulty getting from Wisconsin to OCU were the Chiefs' modish new uniforms; ordered last summer, they arrived six hours before game time. It was the Warriors, however, who fashioned the victory, beating the Chiefs 71-60.
Houston, which was voted into the Southwest Conference in 1971 but had to wait five years until the schedules could be reshuffled to include it, finally played its first official league game at Arkansas and suffered its worst-ever loss 92-47. Two days later SMU hog-tied the Razorbacks 82-81 after trailing 80-72 with 2:10 to go. Ira Terrell provided much of the Mustangs' fire power with 32 points before T. J. Robinson tipped in the winning field goal with six seconds left.
Two of the nation's hottest-shooting guards squared off when Lafayette's Todd Tripucka (28.9-point scoring average) went against Missouri's Willie Smith (23.8). Tripucka won the battle with 34 points, but the Leopards lost the war as Smith shot over their zone for 29 points, and the Tiger front-liners used their size and muscle to win 90-77.
Also revving up for the start of Big Eight competition was Kansas State, an 81-69 victor over Tulane.
St. Joseph's (Pa.) lost more than a 109-96 overtime game at Xavier; near the end eight players had fouled out. Because of this season's 10-man traveling squad limit, the Hawks wound up with just two players on the floor for the final 87 seconds.
The major goal of the 10-man rule is to curb travel expenses, but Loyola of Chicago found an even more economical way to cut costs. After a lapse of 23 years it renewed its series with crosstown rival DePaul and transported its players to the Blue Demons' gym on the el. Total fare: $4.50. DePaul (10-2) won 100-77, 6'11" Center Dave Corzine contributing 27 points, nine rebounds, seven blocked shots and seven assists.
Cincinnati trimmed Eastern Kentucky 73-66 and downed Louisville 77-73.
1. CINCINNATI (11-2)
2. MISSOURI (11-2)