What can a coach do after a 67-64 overtime loss to the league's cellar dwellers—his fourth defeat in five games—and after school officials order him to apologize for blasting the press? Well, following that setback by St. Louis, Wayne Yates of Memphis State issued an apology to the press. Then he prepared to face Metro Conference leader Louisville by resorting to prayer. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale's positive mental attitude and the wearing of his lucky suit for the first time this season. As for sophomore James Bradley, a long-distance bomber who was booed for missing 18 of 22 shots against the Billikens, he continued to fire away against Louisville. This time Bradley found the range, sinking 10 of 13 first-half shots. At the end, Bradley had 24 points and nine rebounds and held the Cardinals' Wesley Cox to 12 points as the Tigers sprang an 87-77 upset. Against outsiders, Louisville bumped off Tulsa 91-67 and Cincinnati beat crosstown rival Xavier 77-68.
Although he did not campaign for student body president at Kansas State, freshman Curtis Redding was endorsed by the campus newspaper, which said he combined the qualities of Joan of Arc. Moses and Martin Luther King. Write-in candidate Redding did not get enough votes to win, but on the court he picked up enough points to carry the Wildcats to the top of the Big Eight. In a 74-67 win over Oklahoma State, Redding had 14 points, and seldom-used 6'7" Steve Soldner latched on to nine rebounds in 17 minutes. That same night. Missouri blitzed Colorado 101-74 as Scott Sims netted 30 points and Kim Anderson 25. When Kansas State visited Missouri, the entire Tiger front line fouled out and the Wildcats came from nine points down to win 88-77. Joan-Moses-Martin Redding flipped in 20 points in that game and Larry Dassie led a second-half surge with five field goals in less than two minutes. That left the Wildcats a game in front of the Tigers and Oklahoma, which throttled Nebraska 72-62 and Iowa State 94-68.
Arkansas improved its Southwest Conference record to 15-0 by sweeping past TCU 79-64 and Texas 73-61.
February 28, 1977
Southern Illinois and West Texas State shared first place in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Salukis toppled New Mexico State 93-64 and Drake 66-57. The Buffaloes had two overtime victories. 76-73 over Tulsa and 76-70 over Bradley.
Oral Roberts became a 20-game winner for the eighth straight season, defeating St. Louis 71-65 and North Carolina A&T 110-64. Anthony Roberts of the Titans, who had just 14 points in the first game, raised his season scoring average to 32.7 by sinking 25 of 35 shots and 16 free throws for 66 points against A&T. Creighton (21-3) grounded Air Force 64-63, Rick Apke and Robert Scrutchens combining for 30 points in the second half.
I'm a BIRD WATCHER T shirts were the rage at Indiana State, where 6'9" sophomore Larry Bird sank 20 of 27 shots, scored 45 points and had 17 rebounds in an 83-72 win over Loyola of Chicago. Bird, who has had 399 points in his past 10 outings, added 40 in an 87-68 romp over Eastern Michigan.
1. LOUISVILLE (19-4)
2. ARKANSAS (24-1)
3. CINCINNATI (19-4)
"It doesn't bother me one bit to look a gift horse, or horses, in the mouth, especially in Provo, Utah against BYU," said Arizona Coach Fred Snowden after winning at the wire 64-62. BYU led 62-58 when the "gift horses" made their appearance. First came a lane violation, a Cougar stepping across the line before a teammate shot a free throw. Although the foul shot was good, it was nullified. Arizona's Bob Elliott was fouled and sank two free throws to make it 62-60 with 45 seconds to go. Seventeen seconds later. Herm Harris tied the score with a jumper after the Wildcats had forced a turnover. BYU had time to set up a last shot, but Verne Thompson slipped as he brought the ball downcourt, and Phil Taylor of the Wildcats put in the winning basket with eight seconds to go. Utah took over first place in the Western AC by knocking off Arizona State 77-72. Pacing the Utes were their Double J Boys, Jeff Judkins (27 points, 12 rebounds) and Jeff Jonas (14 points, 10 assists). They again excelled when the Wildcats came to town to settle the league leadership. With Judkins tossing in 20 points and pulling down 11 rebounds and with Jonas getting 24 points and nine assists, Utah breezed 76-61. A diamond-and-one defense was also invaluable for the Utes, limiting Harris. Elliott and Taylor to 13 field goals in 35 attempts.
While UCLA was again being ambushed by Oregon (page 20). Washington was jolted by Stanford 74-69 and by California 86-58. Washington State lost to the fast-improving Bears 66-52, but beat the Cardinals 79-62.
Bull's-eye shooting by Bill Cartwright and James Hardy helped San Francisco lock up the West Coast AC title with a 104-65 drubbing of Loyola. Cartwright, who hit on 11 of 12 floor shots, finished with 24 points: Hardy sank seven of eight field-goal tries and had 21 points. Against Pepperdine, though, the Dons struggled. Midway through the second half they trailed by five points, but the Dons prevailed 81-73 as Cartwright scored 21 points.
How good is Portland State's Freeman Williams, college basketball's No. 1 scorer? Well, he flicked in 43 points during a 112-96 loss at Nevada-Las Vegas—but Williams also committed seven turnovers. The Rebels, who also smeared Pan American 135-106, got fine performances in both games from Eddie Owens (48 points) and Glen Gondrezick (43 points, 30 rebounds).
The College of Southern Idaho set a National Junior College AA record by swamping Ricks 102-64 for its 43rd straight win.
1. SAN FRANCISCO (27-0)
2. NEV.-LAS VEGAS (22-2)
3. UCLA (20-4)
Cincinnati, Detroit, Clemson, Notre Dame, VMI, Holy Cross, Connecticut, Columbia and Wake Forest were all upset. "It's a different kind of game in the East," said Cincinnati Coach Gale Catlett before meeting Rutgers at Madison Square Garden. "The officials can have a big effect on games. It's not a matter of cheating. It's just that officiating differs across the country." As it turned out, the man who did in the Bearcats was James (Stratosphere) Bailey, a 6'9" sophomore. Bailey grabbed 12 rebounds and had 29 points as he hit on 12 of 16 floor shots, including four sky jams. In dealing the Bearcats a convincing 89-70 loss, the Scarlet Knights held Cincy's top scorer. Bob Miller (14.6 average), to two points.
Detroit came to Duquesne with 21 straight wins but lost 95-88 in double overtime as Norm Nixon tossed in 29 points.
West Virginia surprised Notre Dame 81-68, getting 21 points from Maurice Robinson and outrebounding the Irish 43-39.
William and Mary ended VMI's 21-game victory streak 86-84. Connecticut, which had upended Holy Cross 89-85, was, in turn, dumped 85-77 by Vermont, despite 42 points by Tony Hanson, who during one stretch hit 15 straight field goals.
Princeton and Penn remained deadlocked for the Ivy League lead. The Tigers drubbed Dartmouth 65-45 and then got 26 points from Frank Sowinski to finish off Harvard 59-49. Keven McDonald poured in 28 points as the Quakers riddled the Crimson 81-62, after which they held off the Big Green 73-68. Columbia beat Yale 48-42 but was toppled by Brown 91-83.
Before taking on Virginia, which was win-less in nine Atlantic Coast games and 8-14, Clemson Coach Bill Foster said, "They're going to get somebody. I hope it's not us." It was, Guard Dave Koesters doubled his previous season high by swishing in 28 points as the Cavaliers won 71-65. Clemson, with Wayne (Tree) Rollins accounting for 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks, then nipped North Carolina State 68-66. Kenny Carr of the Wolfpack had 31 points and 16 rebounds, but State had 21 turnovers and the Tigers only nine. Wake Forest had difficulties with two outsiders. The Deacons beat Davidson 70-68 on Frank Johnson's 20-foot jumper in the last second. But the Deacons were then stunned by Virginia Tech 98-97 in overtime despite 37 points and 19 rebounds by Rod Griffin. Ron Bell kept the Gobblers going with 24 points, and Duke Thorpe added 23, four in the final 38 seconds. North Carolina zapped South Florida 100-65.
Two victorious visitors were Providence and North Carolina-Charlotte. Joe Hassett tossed in 24 points as the Friars polished off La Salle 75-62. UNCC, playing at Madison Square Garden for the first time since wowing New York fans while coming in second in last year's NIT, beat Seton Hall 85-75. Cedric (Cornbread) Maxwell spurred the 49ers with 21 points and 24 rebounds, while Lew Massey scored 29 and Chad Kinch 21.
Syracuse rolled past Rhode Island 70-47 and, with Jim Williams popping in 21 points, downed St. John's 79-55.
1. WAKE FOREST (20-4)
2. PROV. (21-3)
3. N. CAROLINA (19-4)
"The merry-go-round has ended." said Marquette's Al McGuire during halftime ceremonies at his last home game before leaving the coaching ranks. Alas, on his final ride, which consisted of three home games last week. McGuire was not once able to grab the brass ring. First it was DePaul, with Ron Norwood contributing 23 points and four steals, that beat the Warriors in double overtime 77-72. Then it was Detroit, which won 64-63 when Dennis Boyd's 20-footer went through the net as the final buzzer sounded. Boyd might not have shot if someone at the scorer's table had not warned Titan Coach Dick Vitale not to call a time-out because he had none left and doing so would have resulted in a technical foul. And then Wichita State showed up for the wingding of a finale in which one player from each team was ejected for fighting, and barrages of toilet paper were rained on the court by fans protesting calls against Marquette. McGuire added to the bedlam by harassing the officials and being socked with his first two technicals of the season. When the merry-go-round stopped. Wichita was a 75-64 winner.
Michigan stayed in the Big Ten lead by walloping Minnesota 89-70. Mike Thompson (32 points, 14 rebounds) outdueled Phil Hubbard (28 points, 14 rebounds) of the Wolverines, but Michigan got 16 points each from Tom Staton, Rickey Green and Steve Grote. In earlier games, Minnesota downed Indiana 65-61 and Michigan State 99-77, and Michigan beat Iowa 91-80 after being upended by the Hoosiers 73-64. Indiana's upset was triggered by freshman Forward Mike Woodson, who had 26 points. After the game, Kent Benson, who scored 24 points, strode into a press conference and said. "I'm here on behalf of the Indiana team and I just want to say we're all very proud and happy to have Bobby Knight as our coach." Purdue drubbed Ohio State 90-61, Joe Barry Carroll blocking four shots, bringing his total to 61 in 22 games.
Also holding on to first place was Tennessee, which clung to its half-game edge over Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference as both won twice. Mississippi led Tennessee 42-40 at halftime, but the Vols broke loose for an 87-75 decision in which Bernard King had 35 points and 18 rebounds. With the score knotted at 81 at Alabama, the Vols got six straight points from Guard Johnny Darden and won 92-89. Kentucky stormed past Florida 104-78 as Guards Truman Claytor and Larry Johnson teamed up for 43 points, then downed LSU 90-76 behind Jack Givens' 21.
Austin Peay built a two-game lead over Murray State in the Ohio Valley. The Governors stopped East Tennessee State 72-59 and Middle Tennessee 67-61, while the Racers beat Tennessee Tech 79-77 in overtime and lost to Western Kentucky 82-81.
Northern Illinois (9-2) tied for the top spot in the Mid-American Conference by downing Bowling Green 81-79. Miami of Ohio (9-3) was a 92-85 loser to Central Michigan (9-2), which also knocked off Bowling Green 57-56.
1. KENTUCKY (20-2)
2. TENNESSEE (19-4)
3. MICHIGAN (20-3)