It was not the loss that was the shocker so much as the score or, in UCLA's case, the paucity of it. Here were the mighty Bruins, at home in Pauley Pavilion where they had not lost since 1776, and by halftime they had managed only 14 points—two touchdowns, two extra points. Oregon led 30-14, continued its tough defense in the second half and won 65-45, emphatically ending the Bruins' 98-game winning streak at home.
During pregame warmups UCLA exuded the sort of confidence coaches feel is the forerunner to victory, soaring above the basket to drop in "legal" dunks and bringing the ball around behind their backs before laying it off the glass. When the game began, though, the Bruins collapsed. They missed 21 of 27 shots in the first half, while Oregon used a deliberate offense that led to open shots and ate up the clock. The second half was mostly more of the same. "It was not unexpected," said cocky and jubilant Coach Dick Harter. "We're a better basketball team than UCLA." Greg Ballard led Oregon with 16 points and forced Richard Washington's first six shots to go astray. The Bruins still lead the conference by one game over Washington, Oregon State and fast-charging Oregon, but with all three of UCLA's remaining games on the road, the chances are that pregame warmups will no longer include hijinks.
In other Pacific Eight skirmishes Oregon nudged USC 70-67, Oregon State bopped the Trojans 87-61 and UCLA beat State 78-69. Washington won twice, downing Stanford 80-59 as Clarence Ramsey flipped in 36 points and California 95-75 behind Lars Hansen's 34.
March 1, 1976
Utah outdid Brigham Young in almost every category, having the edge in rebounding (39-34), assists (24-16) and forcing turnovers (20-11). But the Cougars outshot the Utes .625 to .456 and knocked them from first place in the Western AC 84-83. Taking a half-game lead was Arizona, which beat New Mexico 67-65 in overtime and Texas-El Paso 64-45. Arizona controlled the tap at the start of the extra period against the Lobos, refused to shoot for almost the entire five minutes and got the winning basket—the only two points scored in overtime—from Gilbert Myles.
Hilo College, a small liberal arts school 270 miles southeast of Honolulu, hoped to make a name for itself by upsetting visiting Nevada, Las Vegas. The Vulcans scored 111 points against the Rebels. Not bad. Not close, however, as UNLV laid it on, scoring 164 to surpass the NCAA mark of 158 achieved by Houston in 1968. The total of 275 points (nearly seven a minute) was another single-game high. UNLV took 122 shots, made 73 and benched its starters midway through the second half. Two days later the University of Hawaii scored 99 points against UNLV. Again not enough: the Rebels had 114.
Fullerton State (6-2) took over first place in the Pacific Coast AA, handing preseason favorite San Diego State its fifth straight loss, 71-61, while Long Beach State (5-3) lost 71-62 at San Jose State.
1. UNLV (26-1)
2. UCLA (20-4)
Hey, Charlie Brown. You think your Lucy is tough. Well, don't try to go one on one with Lusia (pronounced Lucy) Harris of Delta (Miss.) State, whose 47 points and 19 rebounds in 34 minutes helped the Lady Statesmen wallop Queens College 81-58, upping their record to 22-0 and their winning streak to 51, a women's collegiate mark. Harris, a 6'3" junior averaging 33.2 points and 15.7 rebounds, sank 19 of 31 shots. Her 47 points were the most scored at Madison Square Garden this season by anyone, male or female, amateur or pro.
Lacking such a dominant player, North Carolina relied on Phil Ford and Mitch Kupchak. Ford canned two free throws in the last seven seconds as Carolina won 77-75 at Miami of Ohio. Kupchak rebounded a missed shot and scored at the final buzzer as the Tar Heels beat Virginia 73-71. That gave Carolina a two-game bulge in the Atlantic Coast Conference over North Carolina State, which edged Duke 96-95 in overtime and then lost 103-90 to Clemson. Maryland held off Georgetown 72-63, but then was upended by ACC foe Duke 69-67 when Terry Chili sank two foul shots in the closing seconds.
Rutgers Coach Tom Young wanted his team to slow down. Instead, his Scarlet Knights erred, sputtered and stumbled. They did win, though, beating Syracuse 93-80 and American U. 94-79. But the Knights showed Young more slowdown than he wanted before rallying from a 49-48 deficit against Syracuse and before finally increasing their meager two-point lead over American by scoring 17 of 18 times they had the ball during a second-half spurt.
Touring Notre Dame got 77 points from Adrian Dantley as it trimmed Butler 92-79, Fordham 91-78 and South Carolina 90-83. Disgruntled by its team's losing ways, Ford-ham fired its coach, Hal Wissel. But there was joy in Massachusetts as the Minutemen took charge of the Yankee Conference by throttling Vermont 91-82 and bumping off Rhode Island 84-76.
Princeton whipped Dartmouth 74-51 and Harvard 69-48 to retain its Ivy League lead. St. John's (20-3) beat Seton Hall 68-63 and Syracuse 100-78. And St. Bonaventure stunned Providence 78-77.
1. RUTGERS (23-0)
2. N. CAROLINA (22-2)
"There are days when the rim becomes a teacup and days when it's a rain barrel. Today it was a rain barrel." So said Marquette Coach Al McGuire after a 72-62 win at Louisville in which Earl Tatum rained in 23 points. When Tulsa played at Louisville, nothing would rain in for the home team. An apparent last-second, game-winning tip-in by Tulsa was nullified by the referees. Given a reprieve, the highly favored Cardinals pulled out a 98-90 overtime verdict.
Three-time winner Texas A&M clinched at least a tie for first in the Southwest Conference. The Aggies won 94-80 at Houston as Wally Swanson and Steve Jones connected for 39 points. A&M (13-2) then blitzed TCU 111-70 and, with Sonny Parker tossing in 26 points, nipped Arkansas 70-69. Mike Russell and Rick Bullock combined for 45 points and 33 rebounds as Texas Tech (12-3) drubbed Baylor 87-76. Tech also outlasted SMU 107-101, Bullock getting 27 points to become the SWC's alltime top scorer with 1,935.
Wichita State (8-1) beat Drake 95-78 to cling to its Missouri Valley lead. Southern Illinois (8-2) stopped Bradley 63-61 and Drake 83-70, while West Texas State (6-2) downed North Texas State 96-87.
1. MISSOURI (22-3)
2. CINCINNATI (19-4)
Alabama Center Leon Douglas, who in recent weeks has suffered a bruised eye, cheek and elbow, likened the on-court infighting to war. "I thought there were snipers out there the way elbows were flying past my head," Douglas said after the Tide beat Mississippi 78-70 and Mississippi State 65-61. Douglas did some sniping himself, riddling the basket for 57 points, and latched onto 31 rebounds. He was at his best when he rallied Alabama from nine points back late in the State game, the 10th time the Tide has won after trailing in the second half. Alabama's efforts pushed it a game ahead of Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference. The Volunteers were shocked 73-72 by Auburn, whose Eddie Johnson sent the game into overtime with a 15-foot jumper with six seconds left and won it on three foul shots in the last 10 seconds. Tennessee then decked Mississippi 105-81.
For the third and fourth times in five outings Indiana trailed at halftime, 39-35 at Purdue and 39-38 against Minnesota. But the Hoosiers came back to stop the Boilermakers 74-71 as Scott May scored 20 points in the second half. Indiana's Tom Abernethy hurt Minnesota with 22 points, but what may have impaired the Gophers' upset hopes most was that Ray Williams, who scored 16 points in the first half, twisted an ankle and got just two more thereafter.
Two surprises were registered by DePaul: 73-65 over Virginia Tech and 70-60 over Cincinnati. The Cincinnati game featured a matchup of potent centers, DePaul's 6'11" Dave Corzine (28 points, 12 rebounds) and Cincy's 6'10" Bob Miller (22 points, 22 rebounds). Earlier, Cincinnati beat Xavier 81-74 and DePaul lost at Marquette 64-53. The Warriors also downed Tulane 75-63.
1. INDIANA (23-0)
2. MARQUETTE (22-1)