While Virginia was finding out how nerve-rattling life at the top of the college basketball charts can be (page 14), third-ranked North Carolina was having a similarly tough time with gritty Maryland. It took a pair of Matt Doherty free throws with three seconds left to ensure Carolina's 59-56 victory in Chapel Hill. When North Carolina jumped out to an early 6-0 lead, Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell shifted his troops into a three-man zone with a man-to-man alignment on James Worthy and Sam Perkins and the Heels were in a ball game.
Playing without Center Charles Pittman, probably out for the season with a fractured fifth metacarpal bone in his left foot, the Terps bottled up Worthy and Perkins and led, 48-45, with 6:00 left. Trouble was, "they just left Matt, Mike [Jordan] and Jimmy [Black] open," according to Worthy, "and that's fine with us." Doherty got 18 points to lead Carolina, Jordan added 12, and Black stole the ball and went in for an uncontested layup with 4:58 left, which gave the Tar Heels the lead for good. On Sunday, Carolina beat Georgia 66-57, giving Coach Dean Smith his 20th victory for the 12th consecutive year, an NCAA record at one school.
After defeating Clemson 94-76, Wake Forest Coach Carl Tacy said, "This type of game was a welcome relief from what we've had recently, for us and for the fans." An 86-71 victory over Duke, however, was a bit more taxing. Fifty-two fouls were called, resulting in 67 free throws. The Deacons hit 30 of 35 from the line, while the Blue Devils converted 21 of 32.
West Virginia clinched the Eastern 8 title and extended the nation's longest winning streak to 20 by whipping Duquesne 90-75 and St. Bonaventure 49-43. The Dukes out-rebounded the Mountaineers 47-27, but West Virginia forced 27 turnovers. Junior Forward Russel Todd scored on a three-point play with 24 seconds left and Greg Jones added two free throws 10 seconds later to clinch the victory for the Mounties.
In crushing Big East Conference rival Syracuse 96-79 and outmanned Southern University of Baton Rouge 84-48 in Washington, Georgetown showed signs of beginning one of its second-half rushes. Freshman Pat Ewing had his finest game yet against Syracuse: 22 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks and constant intimidation. Senior Eric (Sleepy) Floyd took scoring honors with 27, while sophomore Point Guard Gene Smith had 10 points, five steals and two assists to key a 12-minute 37-12 run that gave the Hoyas a 71-51 lead with 13:16 remaining.
Bernard Randolph tallied the bucket that gave DePaul a 59-58 victory over Evansville in the Horizon, but the hoop was long forgotten even before the game was over. "I didn't even realize it until you told me," Randolph said later. Little wonder. Dolph's 20-footer came with 5:52 to play—for the last points either team would score. Two nights later, not even Terry Cummings' 33-point, 18-rebound performance in a 98-80 win over Loyola soothed DePaul Coach Ray Meyer, livid at the three Big Ten officials who called 47 personal fouls and 20 walking violations.
"It was like Disneyland out there," said Meyer, who picked up what he believed was the third technical foul of his coaching career. "If they got paid by the whistle, maybe they earned it."
After Iowa trounced Northwestern 62-49 in Iowa City, Hawkeye Forward Mark Gannon wanted to dispel the rumor that Iowa was afraid to play Indiana in Bloomington. "Hell," he said, "they should be afraid of us. We've beaten them three straight and we're leading the league." Obviously, Indiana wasn't scared of anyone. Thanks to Ted Rachel's 33 points, including his team's first 13 of the second half, the Hoosiers whipped the Hawks 73-58.
Kitchel's performance followed a 34-point night in a 73-60 victory over Illinois. In three of the four games Kitchel has started against the Illini, he scored 40, 34 and 22 points.
Free throws kept Minnesota in second place in the conference. The Gophers needed a pair of foul shots with one second remaining to pull out a 53-52 victory at Purdue, and sank nine of 10 in the final 1:45 to hold off Wisconsin 71-60, after the Badgers had closed to within three with 2:38 to go.
Kentucky dealt Alabama its third straight Southeastern Conference defeat, 72-62, and moved into a tie for second in the conference with LSU, a game behind Tennessee. Earlier, the Tigers had defeated Alabama 73-68 in Baton Rouge, while Kentucky avenged an earlier loss to Mississippi, beating the Rebels 56-49 in Lexington. It was the 1,300th victory for Kentucky, winningest school in the land. Star Wildcat Center Sam Bowie, recuperating from a leg injury, officially announced he will sit out this season as a red shirt.
"I'd rather be lucky than good anytime," Missouri Coach Norm Stewart said as he bid Kansas' Allen Field House adieu for another year. Actually, in Mizzou's 42-41 victory over the Jayhawks and an 89-82 win at Oklahoma State, good fortune and proficiency were both involved. In one stretch, Missouri failed to score for 8:39 against the Jayhawks, but its swarming defense held Kansas to just three points in that span, and it prevented a final shot in the closing seconds.
Tiger Forward Ricky Frazier made all eight of his field-goal attempts and scored 10 of the Tigers' 12—yes, 12—second-half points. The Jayhawks scored a mere 13. Frazier finished with 20 and got 18 in the Tigers' defeat of Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
When was the last time a team went an entire game without attempting a single free throw? It happened in Kansas State's 68-58 defeat at Oklahoma. Although K-State had the edge in field goals (29-27), the Sooners sank 14 of 20 from the line. Chuck Barnett and David Little, the Big Eight's top two scorers, scored 20 points apiece for Oklahoma. Kansas State rebounded to beat Iowa State at Ames 58-49. Oh yes, K-State was 14 of 19 from the line.
In celebration of a recent win over Wichita State, Tulsa Coach Nolan Richardson showed up for the game with Illinois State in black tie and tails. But after Tulsa went into the locker room tied with the Redbirds 28-28, off came the tails and back on went the familiar sport jacket and polka-dot shirt. Tulsa eventually subdued the Redbirds 78-67 in overtime, then beat Creighton 70-63.
After topping TCU 79-69 in Fayetteville, Arkansas dropped a pair of Southwest Conference road games. Houston beat the Hogs 55-53 as Rob Williams and Clyde Drexler scored 14 points apiece and Jellybean Olajuwon had 13; Baylor topped them 56-55 in overtime as the Bears' Terry Teagle got 36 all by himself.
Metro Conference leader Memphis State got 24 points and 18 rebounds from Keith Lee (page 48) in a 75-64 non-conference win over Ball State, and held on to beat Florida State 62-60.
Oregon State moved into first place in the Pacific-10 with a smashing 94-51 home-court win over Oregon, the most lopsided margin in the history of the 268-game series. Les Conner and Danny Evans scored 18 points each for the Beavers, and Conner had six steals, giving him 67 for the season, one more than the team record set by Ray Blume two years ago. "It's tough to play us after we mess up," said Oregon State Coach Ralph Miller, whose Beavers had struggled against California five days before. Conner had 20 points, including two free throws with seven seconds left, and six assists as the Beavers beat the Bears 57-50.
Second-place Washington wasn't as fortunate on its trip to Bear country. Cal shocked the Huskies 54-50, as 5'9" Guard Mike Chavez scored 20 points and the Bears held Washington without a field goal for the last 3:30. Although the Huskies came back the next night to nip Stanford 53-52, Coach Marv Harshman said, "That loss [to Cal] may have effectively taken us out of the Pac-10 race. We still have to play UCLA there [not to mention Oregon State in Seattle on Feb. 18] and UCLA is playing the best ball in the conference right now." Indeed, the Bruins stretched their winning streak to 11 with an 88-73 win at Arizona and a 72-60 win at Arizona State.
Idaho continued to roll in the Big Sky Conference. The Vandals beat Weber State 71-62, as Guard Ken Owens got 25 points and two assists. It was the first Idaho victory over the Wildcats in Ogden since the conference was formed in 1964. Owens then added 17 and Phil Hopson and Kelvin Smith combined for 29 as the visiting Vandals clobbered Idaho State 77-50.
When Fresno State beat UC Irvine 71-58 it only looked like a typographical error. The Bulldogs, who normally average a mere 58 points per game, shocked the Anteaters with a blistering fast break and 62.5% shooting from the floor. Fresno's Rod Higgins scored 21 points, the 50th straight time he has attained double figures. An earlier 54-45 victory by Fresno over Long Beach State was more typical.
San Francisco was still struggling in the WCAC. USF needed eight foul shots, including four by Eric Slaymaker in the second overtime, to beat San Diego 75-69, and a pair of free throws from Slaymaker and a slam dunk by 7-foot Center Wallace Bryant in the final minute to edge St. Mary's 85-84.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
TED KITCHEL: Indiana's 6'8" junior forward scored 67 points—making 27 of 39 shots from the floor and 13 of 16 free throws—and had 15 rebounds in the Hoosiers' Big Ten wins over Illinois and Iowa.
SI TOP 20
1. VIRGINIA (24-1)
2. DePAUL (22-1)
3. N. CAROLINA (20-2)
4. MISSOURI (21-1)
5. TULSA (18-3)
6. IOWA (18-3)
7. OREGON STATE (18-3)
8. MINNESOTA (17-4)
9. KENTUCKY (17-5)
10. IDAHO (21-2)
11. MEMPHIS STATE (17-3)
12. FRESNO STATE (20-2)
13. WEST VIRGINIA (21-1)
14. GEORGETOWN (20-5)
15. SAN FRAN (21-4)
16. WAKE FOREST (17-5)
17. UCLA (16-5)
18. ARKANSAS (17-5)
19. KANSAS STATE (17-5)
20. ALABAMA (17-5)