This is an article from the Jan. 12, 1981 issue
While Louisville was losing to North Carolina in the opening game of the Winston Tire Classic, Minnesota was beating the host school, Southern California, 74-67. The Gophers then took the title game 76-60 as their zone defense bottled up the Tar Heels. After leading by four at halftime, Minnesota pulled away from North Carolina by using a motion offense, something it hadn't practiced all season. The strategy worked because of the fine outside shooting of MVP Mark Hall, who popped in 18 of his 23 points after the intermission.
Joining Louisville as early contenders for the FOTY (Flop of the Year) Award were Indiana, a two-time loser, and Texas A&M, which lost three games. After squirming past Rutgers 55-50 in the first round of the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu, the Hoosiers lost to Clemson 58-57 when Chris Dodds sank a jumper with 10 seconds left, and then were shocked 66-60 by Pan American, which got 21 points from MVP Kenneth Green and 20 from Curtis Glasper. Clemson finished first, thanks to a pair of overtime wins—50-49 over Louisiana Tech and 75-71 over Hawaii. Kevin Magee scored 34 points and Randy Whieldon 27 as UC Irvine jarred Texas A&M 91-74 in the first round of the KOA Classic in Billings, Mont. The previously unbeaten Aggies were further humiliated in the consolation game by a 39-38 loss to Eastern Montana. The defeat was sealed when Eastern Montana's Calvin Weinberg stole the ball with four seconds to go and made the decisive foul shot three seconds later. A&M also lost to TCU, 56-51. Everything turned out A-O.K. in the KOA for UC Irvine, which defeated Montana 65-63 in overtime for the championship. Magee, who leads the nation in scoring with a 30.6 average, had 15 points, 10 rebounds and sank two free throws with :03 left to send the championship game into overtime.
"DePaul plays just as good as it has to in order to beat you," said Georgetown Coach John Thompson after a 72-67 loss to the Blue Demons in the first round of the Cabrillo Classic. "They're like a professional team in that way." The Hoyas lost even though they had a 49-30 rebounding edge, made five more field goals than the Blue Demons and cut a nine-point deficit to four with 3:51 left. DePaul saved itself with superb foul shooting—32 of 35, including 13 of 15 in the closing minutes. San Diego State, which got a school-and tournament-record 26 rebounds from freshman Forward Michael Cage while trimming LaSalle 93-67, was outclassed in the title game. With Teddy Grubbs scoring 14 of his team's first 18 points in the second half, DePaul zipped to an 85-69 triumph.
Oregon State took the Far West Classic in Portland by breezing past previously unbeaten Rhode Island 103-55 and then stopping Oregon 67-57. Beaver Coach Ralph Miller used his subs so liberally against the Rams that they outscored the regulars 53-50. Oregon slowed down Oregon State's running game in the finale, but the Beavers prevailed as Mark Radford pumped in 20 points. Radford also scored eight clutch points in the late going at Arizona State as Oregon State won its Pac-10 opener 71-67. Washington tried a variety of zones at UCLA, but the Bruins shredded them all in a 96-74 rout.
For the first time in more than seven seasons at Nevada-Las Vegas, Coach Jerry Tarkanian's club dropped two straight home games. First, the Rebels blew a 45-36 half-time lead and lost 76-75 to Utah, which got 26 points from Karl Bankowski. Then came a 92-90 overtime setback by Brigham Young, which got 20 points and 11 rebounds from Steve Trumbo, 24 points and eight rebounds from Fred Roberts and 27 points from Danny Ainge. Danny Vranes scored 22 points as Utah won 74-60 at Air Force, and Ainge got 24 as BYU downed the Falcons 77-65.
As if to prove that its two early-week losses were no flukes, Texas A&M dropped its SWC opener to Texas Christian 56-51 after leading 51-48 with 1:24 left. The Horned Frogs, 3-7 entering the game, got 25 points from Darrell Browder.
North Carolina also spurted at the end, out-scoring Kansas 8-1 during the last 1:41. It wasn't enough, though, as the Jayhawks pulled off a 56-55 upset by putting three-quarter-court pressure on the Tar Heel back-courters and using a zone to keep the ball from Carolina's big men.
Kansas State abandoned its zone and went man-for-man while beating Louisville 64-47. The Wildcats even outrebounded the Cardinals 39-24, Ed Nealy grabbing 20 missed shots. Three days earlier, Kansas State ended Fresno State's string of victories at 13, 47-39.
Tulsa was upended, too, 97-86 in an MVC contest at Creighton. Kevin McKenna, a senior who switched from forward to guard this season, led the Bluejays with 27 points.
Virginia's Ralph Sampson felt anything but at home in his first college game back in his hometown of Harrisonburg, Va. In addition to being held to a season-low 11 points by a collapsing James Madison defense, Sampson missed five of six foul shots, was guilty of half the Cavaliers' 14 turnovers and drew a technical foul for slamming the ball on the court after being called for goaltending. Even so, Virginia won—barely—when Lee Raker's jumper with 1:06 provided the game's final points in a 53-52 decision. Sampson continued to have problems against Virginia Tech. But after contributing only four points to the Cavaliers' 26-24 halftime lead, he settled down and wound up with 19 points and 16 rebounds. By winning 64-51, Virginia lengthened its two-season victory streak to 13 games, the longest in the nation.
For the third year in a row the MVP of the Maryland Invitational was Albert King of the Terps. King had 26 points during a 114-89 victory over Marshall in the first round and 20 points and 12 rebounds in a 74-57 title-game defeat of St. Joseph's. William & Mary then gave Maryland a scare, taking advantage of Terp Coach Lefty Driesell's decision to send in three subs with 3:17 left and his team leading 64-51. With eight seconds to go, the margin had dwindled to 67-64. Back went three Maryland regulars. One of them, Greg Manning, sank two foul shots in the final four seconds to give him 22 points and the Terps a 69-64 win.
Georgia Tech's attempt to run with speedy Wake Forest led to an 87-61 ACC defeat. With Frank Johnson netting 24 points, the Deacons beat Davidson 83-70. Clemson also came out on top in its ACC opener, downing North Carolina State 76-68 as Chris Dodds scored 25 points.
With 6'11" Chuck Aleksinas, a transfer from Kentucky, on hand, Connecticut's 6'8" Cornelius Thompson has shifted from center to forward this season. Thompson, the MVP of the Connecticut Mutual Classic, had 20 rebounds, 17 points and five steals as the Huskies beat Western Kentucky 84-58 for the title. Aleksinas then had 21 points and Thompson 22 as Connecticut stopped Rhode Island 74-69 and improved its record to 7-0, its finest start in 16 years.
"We work on that Play in practice, but it really freaked me out when the ball went in," said Tennessee Forward Howard Wood, whose spectacular basket with one second to go forced an overtime period in an SEC game at Alabama. Wood's shot—a 20-foot jumper that knotted the score at 52 all—came after he had leaped to grab an 80-foot inbounds pass from Gary Carter and then had jumped up again to fire away. The Vols went on to win 70-69 as freshman Michael Brooks canned eight consecutive free throws in the extra period. Earlier, Tennessee took the Sugar Bowl Tournament as MVP Wood scored 22 points in a 69-53 upset of Arizona State and had 20 points and 17 rebounds in a 90-69 wipeout of Duke in the final.
Following a 100-54 triumph over Maine, Kentucky downed Georgia 76-62 in its SEC opener. Fred Cowan, recently recuperated from a badly sprained ankle, led the way against the Bulldogs with 22 points.
"The players thought about watching the game, but I'm sort of glad they went back to the hotel," said St. Francis (Pa.) Coach Dave Magarity. At least back at the hotel the Red Flash didn't have to watch LSU whip North Carolina-Wilmington 100-68. St. Francis fared little better against the Tigers the next day, committing 30 turnovers while losing 91-65. LSU then played its first SEC game of the season at Florida, which had a surprisingly fine 6-2 record. The Tigers took the bite out of the Gators in the second half, using a full-court press to force 16 mistakes and gain a 92-66 win. Howard Carter of LSU finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds.
DePaul, continuing to have trouble getting pumped up against an outmanned opponent, was held to a 31-31 halftime tie by Furman. Early in the second half, however, the Blue Demons turned on the juice, outscoring the Paladins 17-4. When it was over, Mark Aguirre had 27 points and 13 rebounds, and DePaul had a 78-65 victory.
"They don't finesse you. They just run over you." That was Northern Iowa Coach Jim Berry's pregame assessment of Iowa, which muscled its way to a 48-28 rebounding advantage and an 86-52 triumph. Next time out, the Hawkeyes beat Wisconsin-Eau Claire 82-62 as seven players scored in double figures for the winners.
By defeating Detroit 85-68 and Northern Michigan 92-56, Michigan ran its record to 9-0, its best start since 1927-28. Mike McGee of the Wolverines had 48 points in those games and teammate Thad Garner held Detroit's top scorer, Jerry Davis, to six points—14 below his average. Joe Kopicki, a 6'9", 240-pound forward, led the Titans with 29 points and 18 rebounds. Illinois also readied itself for the start of Big Ten action, rolling past Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 104-68. But Ohio State was still far from sharp, needing two overtimes to come out on top 70-67 against West Virginia, which outrebounded the Buckeyes 35-26.
Earl Jones, District of Columbia's 6'11" center, was also not nearly ready for the big time. In his first game against a Division 1 team—an 86-84 triple-overtime loss to Western Kentucky—Jones missed 12 of 18 field-goal tries and made eight turnovers. He also missed a free throw with no time remaining at the end of regulation, which would have won the game.
Ed Rains scored 63 points as South Alabama swept to three easy victories. After taking the Senior Bowl Tournament by drubbing Navy 65-47 and Fordham 79-61, the Jaguars poured it on against Mississippi Valley State as they won 98-67.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
KEVIN MAGEE: The 6'8" junior center for UC Irvine sank 17 of 23 field-goal attempts, scored 49 points and had 23 rebounds as the Anteaters took the KOA Classic by upsetting Texas A&M and then knocking off Montana.
SI TOP 20
1. DePAUL (12-0)
2. OREGON STATE (9-0)
3. UCLA (7-1)
4. VIRGINIA (8-0)
5. NOTRE DAME (7-1)
6. KENTUCKY (8-1)
7. MARYLAND (10-1)
8. IOWA (8-1)
9. LOUISIANA ST. (10-1)
10. WAKE FOREST (10-0)
11. ILLINOIS (8-1)
12. CLEMSON (11-1)
13. MICHIGAN (9-0)
14. TENNESSEE (9-1)
15. BYU (10-2)
16. UTAH (11-1)
17. MINNESOTA (8-1)
18. S. ALABAMA (10-1)
19. ARIZONA ST. (8-2)
20. N. CAROLINA (9-3)