Halfway through an overtime at Minnesota. Iowa's 6'10" Steve Krafcisin took a pass 10 feet from the basket. With two Gophers draped around his neck, Krafcisin was unable to shoot at the apex of his jump, but he somehow shot on his way down. The ball went in. giving the Hawkeyes a 58-56 edge en route to a 60-58 win. The defeat was the third Big Ten OT loss at home for Minnesota. Iowa later defeated Northwestern 82-64.
Indiana also drubbed the Wildcats, 86-52, and then struggled to a 59-52 triumph at Wisconsin. The Badgers might have won except, in Coach Bill Cofield's words, "We missed bunnies, chippies, you name it."
The Big Ten took on the look of the Three I League, what with Iowa and Indiana tied for first and Illinois one game back. Whippetlike Illini guards Derek Harper, Perry Range and Craig Tucker, the team's invaluable sixth man, carried Illinois to two victories. They combined for 39 points and six assists, and Eddie Johnson scored 20 points as the Illini romped past Wisconsin 84-65. Harper, Range and Tucker then had 39 points and seven assists in a 63-57 win at Ohio State. Tucker, making the most of Play 22, scored eight consecutive points as Illinois moved in front 53-50. Describing Play 22, Tucker said, "All we do is put two guys on each side of the lane. If my man is overplaying me, I pop out and get the shot off a pick or shoot behind the double screen." After the Buckeyes squared matters at 55-all, Tucker put in a basket from behind a Johnson screen on one of the variations of ol' 22. Still, the Illini might not have won had it not been for the job Derek Holcomb did on Buckeye Center Herb Williams. Holcomb held Williams to nine points, only the third time in four seasons he failed to score in double figures.
Michigan had no such success against Williams, who got 24 points as visiting Ohio State won 105-87. When Williams wasn't tormenting the Wolverines, 5'9" Todd Penn (24 points on 12-for-16 shooting) and Clark Kellogg (22 points and 19 rebounds) were. Michigan's Mike McGee had 37 points in that game and 23 in a 70-66 loss at Michigan State. Kevin Smith sank 10 of 14 field-goal attempts and finished with 28 points for the Spartans. As a result, the Wolverines, who began the week in a three-way tie for first, slipped into a three-way deadlock for fourth. Purdue, which started off by winning 63-48 at Michigan State, was blown out 92-72 at Minnesota as 7'2" Randy Breuer hit on 13 of 17 shots and had 29 points.
With Mark Aguirre scoring 22 of his 24 points in the first half, DePaul streaked past Creighton 83-57. In their next game, a 61-53 triumph at Evansville, the Blue Demons were led by Bernard Randolph, who outscored Aguirre 17-16. DePaul had difficulty putting away the Purple Aces, who trailed only 32-31 at halftime and who outrebounded the Blue Demons 36-29.
Alabama, which had toppled Kentucky 59-55 at home in January, lost to the Wildcats 77-62 in Lexington. Guard Dicky Beal and Forward Chuck Verderber, neither of whom played when Kentucky lost at Tuscaloosa, were decisive factors. "They added a new dimension," said Tide Forward Eddie Phillips. Hounded by Beal, Alabama's Eddie Adams, who scored 20 points in the teams' first meeting, sank just one of six shots from the field. Verderber had eight points and six rebounds. Sam Bowie, held to eight points at Tuscaloosa, had 21 points and 14 rebounds at home. Bowie was also impressive during a 62-55 victory at Mississippi, scoring 13 of his 25 points in a four-minute surge.
Tennessee, which was picked to finish in the middle of the SEC, clung to third place by beating Florida 53-52 and Vanderbilt 79-72. The Vols trailed the Gators by three with 1:39 left, but Michael Brooks pulled them through by sinking a pair of 22-footers.
Alabama missed 16 of its first 17 shots during a 70-57 loss at Louisiana State, but Georgia got off to a fast start against the Tigers, leading 28-16. Then Howard Carter made LSU a 64-62 winner by canning a long corner shot despite being double-teamed. Dominique Wilkins, who had 22 points for the Bulldogs against the Tigers, scored 29 as they beat Mississippi State 68-65.
Though Georgia is 14-8, things aren't quite so peachy for the state's other teams. Georgia Southern was 5-16 after defeating Arkansas-Little Rock 91-74 and losing to Mercer 60-58 in overtime. Georgia State, 4-19, lost to South Alabama 82-49 and New Orleans 77-58, but got its first Sun Belt Conference victory, beating Jacksonville 52-50. Georgia Tech, 0-11 in the ACC, fell to 4-19 overall after losing 54-50 to Troy (Ala.) State and 74-51 to Baptist of South Carolina.
Utah, Wyoming and Brigham Young, which are one-two-three in the WAC, were all bushwhacked on the road. Neither 30 points by Tom Chambers nor 27 by Danny Vranes could keep the Utes from being waylaid 83-74 by Hawaii. Aaron Strayhorn helped the Rainbows end Utah's victory streak at 14 games by scoring nine of his 20 points in the final six minutes. BYU, down 72-62 with 57 seconds to go, put on a furious charge but lost at San Diego State. Though Danny Ainge got six of his 27 points in that rally, the Cougars fell short 73-72. The Aztec upset was engineered by Point Guard Tony Gwynn, who had 10 assists, sank nine of 10 shots and scored 21 points. Wyoming, victimized at New Mexico 57-56, returned to form in its next road game, beating Texas-El Paso 63-58.
Utah and BYU also won their other games. Vranes scored 18 points and got nine rebounds as the Utes held off San Diego State 62-53. And the Cougars beat stubborn Hawaii 77-72 behind 24 points by Fred Roberts and 17 by Ainge. That was the 102nd consecutive game in double figures for Ainge, an NCAA record.
San Francisco was also jarred on the road, 102-99 at Pepperdine, as Dane Suttle of the Waves sank five free throws in the last minute of overtime. Suttle scored 27 points in all, and freshman Mark Wilson sank 11 of 13 field-goal tries as Pepperdine tied the Dons for first in the WCAC.
Arizona State narrowly averted a loss to Washington, prevailing 78-76 after being ahead by 18 points. At UCLA, it was the Sun Devils whose rally barely failed; their 19-8 spurt in the final 7:11 left them on the short end of a 64-61 score. The Bruins, who didn't have a field goal during the last 8:56, got their final points by converting 10 of their last 15 foul shots. UCLA also beat Arizona 90-79, Michael Holton scoring 24 points for the Bruins, Ron Davis 38 for the Wildcats.
Oregon State's Jeff Stoutt found his shooting touch during a 78-61 victory at Oregon. Stoutt, a 53.0% shooter from the field in the opening eight games of the season, had made only 30.0% in the first 11 Pac-10 games and scored just 12 points in the Beavers' last seven outings. But against the Ducks he came off the bench to sink eight of nine.
In Bradley's lopsided 87-65 loss at Wichita State, three Shockers were mainly responsible for stunning the Braves: Tony Martin had 19 points and six assists; Cliff Levingston 18 points and 13 rebounds; and Antoine Carr 20 points. Levingston likened Wichita State's play to "a train picking up speed." The Shockers also chugged past Southern Illinois 81-61 to pad their MVC lead.
Like the Saturday night buckeroos who are flung from atop those mechanical broncs, the Oklahoma State Cowboys were thrown from a share of the Big Eight lead. First came a 73-70 jolt at the hands of Kansas State, whose Randy Reed scored 21 points. Leroy Combs had 22 for the Cowboys, even though he spent much of the second half in the locker room being treated for an allergic reaction to an unknown substance that caused his eyes to swell shut. In its next game Oklahoma State lost 85-57 at Colorado. Jo Jo Hunter pumped in 29 points for the Buffaloes, who had a 47-26 advantage in rebounds. Kansas State moved into a first-place tie with Nebraska by beating the Huskers 66-49. Nebraska had begun the week by winning 57-56 at Colorado when Jack Moore sank a foul shot with one second remaining.
Arkansas, apparently recovered from a three-game midseason slump, extended its victory streak to seven by disposing of Baylor 67-50 and Houston 70-55. That left the Razorbacks and Cougars deadlocked for the top spot in the Southwest Conference.
Lamar, which shocked Oregon State in last year's NCAA regional quarterfinals, raised its record to 20-2. The Cardinals took a two-game lead in the Southland Conference with a pair of victories—90-87 in overtime at McNeese State and 79-75 against Texas-Arlington—as Mike Olliver scored 50 points and B.B. Davis added 43.
Oregon State made its national television and Eastern debuts against St. John's. The Beavers won 57-45, but they weren't at their best. Oregon State's Steve Johnson displayed his usual soft touch by sinking 11 of 14 floor shots and scoring 26 points, but played only 18 minutes because of foul trouble. Largely because of poor shot selection the Redmen failed to score for the first 10:50 of the second half.
Notre Dame breezed past North Carolina State 71-55. The Irish got 24 points from Orlando Woolridge, shot a lofty 80% in the second half and sank 23 of 28 foul shots, while the Wolfpack made only one of three.
Virginia had a tougher time with North Carolina State. The Cavaliers didn't go ahead to stay until the final 2:16, when they sank six straight free throws to win 51-46. Virginia moved closer to its first regular-season ACC title with a 73-58 victory over Clemson. Twelve points and 12 rebounds by Ralph Sampson and 19 points by Jeff Lamp helped Virginia win its 27th straight since losing to the Tigers in last season's ACC tournament.
It's not uncommon for North Carolina to outscore an opponent 16-2 during a second-half spurt. It is unusual, though, when the spurt merely cuts the opposition's lead from 62-32 to 64-48, which is what happened against Wake Forest. "I can't remember us being dominated like that, especially here," Coach Dean Smith said after the 84-68 defeat. The loss, coupled with the previous week's defeat by Virginia, marked the first time since 1973 that the Tar Heels had dropped back-to-back games at Chapel Hill. On Sunday, North Carolina knocked off Maryland 76-63 as Al Wood scored 28 points.
Earlier, Wake Forest decked Duke 58-52, and Maryland squeezed past Clemson 72-70 when Ernest Graham scored from underneath at the buzzer. Two other Terps helped set up the victory, Albert King with 28 points, and Buck Williams with 16 rebounds.
Rhode Island and West Virginia, which are one-two in the Eastern Eight, both followed defeats with victories. The Rams lost to St. Bonaventure 63-58, and the Mountaineers were bumped off by Duquesne 69-64. Then Rhode Island defeated George Washington 72-70, and West Virginia beat Rutgers 73-67.
St. John's and Boston College remained tied for first in the Big East, the Redmen by overcoming Connecticut 72-65, the Eagles by beating Providence 70-55. In a non-conference game, Holy Cross ambushed Boston College 86-74. Connecticut was a 65-63 victor at Syracuse, where a national-record crowd of 26,257 for an on-campus game showed up. The Orangemen had opened the week by holding off Georgetown 66-64 as Dan Schayes scored 18 points and got a conference-record 23 rebounds.
Robin Hoey's shot at the buzzer gave American University a 71-69 triumph over LaSalle. It also put the Eagles alone at the top of the ECC's Eastern Division.
With Harvard, previously unbeaten in Ivy League play, losing 73-63 to Penn and 72-48 to Princeton, the Tigers took undisputed possession of first place.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
CLIFF LEVINGSTON: During Wichita State's Missouri Valley Conference victories over Southern Illinois and Bradley, the 6'8" sophomore forward had a total of 29 rebounds and 34 points and passed off for nine assists.
SI TOP 20
1. OREGON STATE (21-0)
2. VIRGINIA (22-0)
3. DePAUL (22-1)
4. LOUISIANA ST. (23-1)
5. WAKE FOREST (20-2)
6. ARIZONA ST. (19-3)
7. KENTUCKY (18-4)
8. UTAH (21-2)
9. UCLA (16-4)
10. TENNESSEE (18-4)
11. NOTRE DAME (18-4)
12. N. CAROLINA (19-6)
13. IOWA (17-4)
14. BYU (18-5)
15. WICHITA ST. (19-2)
16. ILLINOIS (16-5)
17. INDIANA (16-8)
18. MARYLAND (16-7)
19. ARKANSAS (18-6)
20. KANSAS ST. (17-5)