COLLEGE BASKETBALL—TEXAS defeated North Carolina State 101-93 to win the NIT. Longhorn Guard Jim Krivacs and Forward Ron Baxter, who combined for 59 points in the final, shared the MVP award.
UCLA beat Maryland 90-74 to win the AIAW title in Los Angeles (page 22).
PRO BASKETBALL—Things can't get much worse for last year's champion Portland Trail Blazers (1-2). Forward Bob Gross joined Bill Walton (foot injury), Maurice Lucas (wrist and leg) and Lloyd Neal (knee) on the sidelines. Gross suffered a stress fracture in his left ankle as the Blazers lost 116-109 to Milwaukee (3-1), and is expected to be out for six weeks, which could hurt Portland in the playoffs. Minus their three starting front-court men and their No. 1 frontcourt reserve, Portland lost to Detroit (2-1) the next night 107-95. Pete Maravich returned after being out for 25 games with a knee injury. The Pistol was scoreless in his first game, as the Jazz beat the Nets 117-114, and then popped in 12 points in a 124-109 defeat by Washington and 17 in a 96-94 loss to Atlanta. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored his 20,000th point on a five-foot jump shot in the second half of a game in which Los Angeles went on to defeat Buffalo 120-115. Now in his ninth season, Jabbar is only the ninth player in NBA history to score 20,000. Golden State (3-0), which is making a late and perhaps futile drive for a spot in the Western Conference playoffs, is last in the most competitive division, the Pacific—each of its five teams was above the .500 mark at week's end (only five of the remaining 17 NBA teams can make that boast). Rick Barry had a season-high 55 points, the 15th time in his NBA career he has scored 50 or more, to lead the improving Warriors to a 133-123 win over New York (1-3). Phoenix (3-1) broke Golden State's season record of 972 steals by two, in a 112-106 defeat of Buffalo.
BOWLING—FRED JASKIE of Greendale, Wis. won his first PBA tournament, defeating Marshall Holman 208-158 in the $100,000 Miller High Life Open in Milwaukee.
April 3, 1978
BOXING—Undefeated heavyweight LARRY HOLMES won a unanimous, 12-round decision over Earnie Shavers in Las Vegas (page 67).
GOLF—HUBERT GREEN shot a seven-under-par 277 to win the $225,000 Heritage Classic at Hilton Head, S.C. by three strokes from Hale Irwin.
HOCKEY—NHL: The New York Rangers enjoyed a dream week. On the ice, the Rangers rallied from a 6-2 deficit to tie Minnesota 7-7, then ripped St. Louis 6-1, Washington 11-4 and Toronto 5-2—all on the road—to virtually clinch a wild-card berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs, which begin in two weeks. Phil Esposito set an NHL record as he scored his 29th career hat trick against the Capitals. "I may not look spectacular," Esposito said, "but I stand there in front of the goal and they can't move me away." Off the ice, the Rangers officially won the multimillion-dollar bidding war for the services of Winnipeg Jet Forwards Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson, signing the Swedes to NHL contracts for the next two seasons. Hedberg and Nilsson will collect some $1.2 million apiece from the Rangers. In an unrelated financial transaction, New York billed the Capitals for almost $5,000 in expenses the Rangers incurred early in March on a trip to Washington for a game that the Capitals hastily and unilaterally postponed because of bad weather that, as it turned out, was not that bad. While the Rangers were romping, the New York Islanders were losing to Philadelphia 4-2, tying 2-2 with Cleveland and beating Toronto, 6-2. Suddenly the Isles' six-point Patrick Division lead over the surging Flyers, who won three straight, was down to three points. Worse still for the Islanders, Buffalo won at Los Angeles and Colorado, and tied at Vancouver; as a result, the Sabres led the Islanders by one point in the race for the No. 3 position in the overall standings. Colorado won a road game for the first time in 33 tries, beating slumping Pittsburgh 5-2. For the Penguins, who had lost 9-1 to Chicago and 7-1 to Minnesota in their two previous games, it was just about the end of their playoff hopes.
WHA: Off the ice, Michael Gobuty, the president of the Winnipeg Jets, had this reaction when Jet Forwards Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson announced they would play for the New York Rangers the next two seasons: "New York's got that kind of money and we can't afford it. They're two fine athletes, two fine gentlemen and instant millionaires. We have no malice toward them. They're making a business move that would be tough for anyone to pass up." On the ice, Hedberg had two goals and five assists, while Nilsson had two goals and two assists, as the Jets won three games and opened up a 16-point lead over second-place New England.
NCAA: Boston University defeated Boston College 5-3 at Providence to become the first Eastern school to take the NCAA championship since BU won it for the second straight year in 1972 (page 81).
HORSE RACING—Carrying 114 pounds, unbeaten SENSITIVE PRINCE ($5.00), ridden by Mickey Solomone, won his fifth straight, beating Believe It (122 pounds) by a head to win the $36,950 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The Derby hopeful was timed in 1:41 for the mile and a sixteenth, one-fifth of a second off the stakes record.
SWIMMING—UCLA's BRIAN GOODELL was the only triple winner at the NCAA championships in Long Beach, Calif. Tennessee overwhelmed Auburn 307-185 for the team title (page 26).
TENNIS—Top-seeded CHRIS EVERT won her first tournament this year, the $100,000 Virginia Slims in Philadelphia, beating Billie Jean King 6-0, 6-4.
Bjorn Borg defeated Vitas Gerulaitis 6-5, 5-6, 6-4, 6-5 to win the $200,000 Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas.
WRESTLING—MARK LIEBERMAN of the New York Athletic Club defeated two-time Olympic medalist John Peterson in the 180.5-pound class and won the outstanding-wrestler trophy at the U.S. Federation national freestyle open in Hempstead, N.Y. The NYAC beat the Hawkeye Club of Iowa 116-62 for the team trophy.
MILEPOSTS—FIRED: ALVIN DARK, 56, as manager of the San Diego Padres. Dark, a major league player for 14 years and manager of the Giants, Indians and both the Kansas City and Oakland A's, became only the second major league manager ever to be dismissed during spring training. He was replaced by Pitching Coach Roger Craig, 47, who pitched in the majors from 1955 to 1966.
NAMED: TAYLOR (Tates) LOCKE, 40, as basketball coach at Jacksonville University, replacing Don Beasley. Locke coached Miami of Ohio, Army, Clemson and the NBA Buffalo Braves.
TRADED: By the Buffalo Bills, O. J. SIMPSON, 30, to the San Francisco 49ers for five draft choices over the next three years.
DIED: JACQUES (Toto) BRUGNON, 82, the oldest member of the Four Musketeers of French tennis; in Paris. The Musketeers—Renè Lacoste, Henri Cochet, Jean Borotra and Brugnon—won the Davis Cup for France in 1927 and held it until 1932.