North Carolina won the Stanford Invitational tournament despite two dreadful performances by All-America Michael Jordan. Jordan scored only 11 points and committed six turnovers in the Tar Heels' 73-56 opening-round victory over Fordham and then had just four points before fouling out in Carolina's 88-75 win over Stanford in the championship game.
Though the victory over the Cardinal was the 500th of Tar Heel Coach Dean Smith's career. Smith was too upset with his team's erratic performance to celebrate. "Stanford took us out of our pressure defense," said Smith. "I kind of thought we were pretty good defensively until tonight. They made us look pretty foolish." Carolina, harassed by Stanford's own full-court pressure defense, saw its 55-39 halftime lead dwindle to 74-68 with 3:39 remaining. After Jordan fouled out with 9:42 to play and Sam Perkins, who scored 17 points and was named the tournament MVP, picked up his fourth personal a minute and a half later. Smith ordered Carolina into its four-corners offense to preserve the victory.
Wichita State struggled to subdue stubborn Colorado State 64-54. The Rams converted 10 of their first 13 shots against the Shockers, and with Point Guard Todd Benn single-handedly shredding Wichita State's full-court man-to-man press, Colorado State trailed 33-31 at intermission. But after Shocker Coach Gene Smithson ordered a switch to a zone press to start the second half, the Rams committed five turnovers and Wichita State raced to a 43-33 lead. Shocker Xavier McDaniel scored a game-high 20 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the victory.
UTEP's 60-59 double-overtime win over New Mexico State in Las Cruces gave the Miners the first sweep in the home-and-home Interstate 10 rivalry (El Paso is 45 miles east of Las Cruces) since 1978. Earlier, UTEP had beaten the Aggies 62-49 in El Paso, limiting them to just 36.4% shooting.
Even after North Carolina State extended its nation's-best winning streak to 15 games by whipping UNC Charlotte 79-60 in an opening doubleheader of the McDonald's Classic, Wolfpack Coach Jim Valvano was concerned. "When we get away from ball control, we look poor," he said. "I still don't think we're playing well."
Sure enough, Virginia Tech crushed the Pack 89-65 the next night. Suckered into a running game by the smaller, quicker Hokies, State committed 23 turnovers and shot a season-low 39.7%. "It was a good old-fashioned butt-kicking," said Valvano. Tech's Dell Curry, who had 26 points in an 88-80 overtime loss to Wake Forest the night before, led the Hokies with 25 points and seven rebounds. Wake Forest followed up its win over Tech with a 77-55 trouncing of UNC Charlotte.
North Carolina beat UT-Chattanooga 85-63 in Chapel Hill in a game that began with starters Perkins and Kenny Smith on the bench for showing up five minutes late to a team meal, a no-no in Coach Dean Smith's book. Smith the player and Perkins got stuck in traffic returning from a barbershop, of all things. It hardly mattered. Perkins, with wounded pride but neater hair, came off the bench to score 16 points and grab 13 rebounds, while Smith added 10 points and five assists in 20 minutes. Jordan poured in a game-high 28 points, hitting 13 of 17 shots from the floor.
Both Michigan State and Maryland suffered embarrassing upsets in a doubleheader in the New Jersey Meadowlands. The Spartans' performance in their 73-66 loss to an inspired St. Peter's in the first game was so dismal that not even Sam Vincent's 25 points in the second half, including 13 in the last 1:43, could bring them back. In the nightcap, New Jersey native Tony Campbell's 23 points and nine rebounds paced Ohio State to a 72-68 win over Maryland. The Terps bounced back two nights later to wallop Canisius 77-55.
After scoring 24 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in Georgetown's 84-61 rout of St. Francis (Pa.), Center Patrick Ewing summed up his performance by saying, "I moved better." He rarely had to move at all in the Hoyas' earlier 91-38 destruction of Morgan State. Ewing played just 18 minutes and had 10 points as Coach John Thompson emptied his bench early in the second half. Boston College rolled to three easy victories, 97-63 over Stonehill, 73-61 over Maine and 97-64 over New Hampshire.
"I don't know how we could come in complacent," said Kentucky Coach Joe B. Hall after the Wildcats turned back Indiana 59-54 in Lexington, Ky. "After you've won 10 games and you're really high, you expect a certain amount of complacency. After we beat Louisville [65-44 on Nov. 26] we got praised too much, and we're not that good a ball club." Fortunately for Kentucky, freshman Guard James Blackmon's performance was enough to subdue the Hoosiers. He came off the bench to score a team-high 14 points and preserved the win with three free throws and a crucial rebound of Sam Bowie's missed foul shot in the final 41 seconds. LSU sandwiched a pair of road victories—94-59 at UNC-Wilmington and 75-65 over Texas A&M in Houston—between a 51-48 win at home over Washington.
Notre Dame, trailing UCLA 46-31 with 7:52 to play, ran off 11 straight points to pull within four, 46-42, with 3:21 left. Then senior Swingman Tom Sluby missed three consecutive free throws before converting one that closed the gap to 47-45 with 40 seconds left. But UCLA hung on for a its 51-47 road victory when Stuart Gray hit a pair of free throws with 35 seconds left and Forward Kenny Fields, who led all scorers with 18 points, hit a 12-foot jumper with 14 seconds to play.
"It's too bad we couldn't have played Oregon State with A.C. Green, Darryl Flowers and Tyrone Miller in there," said Iowa Forward Michael Payne after the Hawkeyes' 56-45 victory over the Beavers in the championship game of the Hawkeye Classic. "It was sort of like fighting a one-armed guy." Green and Flowers, both starters, and Miller, a key reserve forward, were declared ineligible last week for the first six games of the season because they had violated NCAA rules by selling complimentary game tickets last season. Without that trio the Beavers reached the title game with a 49-40 win over Arkansas State, while Iowa ripped Baylor 67-44 in the opening round. But in the final, Greg Stokes and Payne, the Hawks' Twin Towers, combined for 27 points and 22 rebounds to spoil Oregon State Coach Ralph Miller's first appearance in Iowa City since he guided the Hawkeyes to the Big Ten title and an NCAA berth in 1970.
Louisville roated back from its second straight loss, 90-83 in overtime at Purdue, to rip SMU 89-65 in the Cardinals' home opener. "No team had a more difficult assignment than we did," said SMU Coach Dave Bliss. "Facing a Top 10 caliber team in front of that neat [Freedom Hall] crowd, a team with a lot of pride coming off two losses." Guards Lancaster Gordon, Milt Wagner and Jeff Hall combined for 61 points and 17 assists to pace the Cards.
Memphis State won twice, beating Middle Tennessee State 74-47 and Detroit 90-65, but the Tigers were jolted when freshman Forward Larry Bush was suspended from the team pending an investigation into a statutory rape charge.
Houston opened the week with a 68-62 victory at Mississippi State. Then, with Akeem Abdul Olajuwon blocking a school-record 16 shots and grabbing 18 rebounds, the Cougars rolled past Biscayne 69-51. Arkansas got 19 points from Center Joe Kleine and 18 from Guard Alvin Robertson in a 98-69 rout of Southeast Missouri State.
Wichita State won its fifth consecutive McDonald's Classic title, beating Loyola (Calif.) 75-73 in the opening round and pounding Hawaii 89-68 for the championship.
DePaul's 69-66 victory over Illinois State in the Horizon earned Ray Meyer his 700th career coaching triumph—and saved him some potential embarrassment. A postgame celebration—complete with champagne and a 12-foot-high, seven-tiered cake—had been set up at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare even before the game, and, as Meyer said, "I didn't want to go to a party after a loss." He didn't have to, thanks to freshman Dallas Comegys, who had a game-high 21 points and seven rebounds, and senior Jerry McMillan, who added 14 points and hit four free throws in the final 20 seconds.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
GENE WALDRON: The senior guard hit 13 of 17 from the floor and 14 of 16 from the line for a career-high 40 points in Syracuse's 109-92 win over Iona in the championship game of the Carrier Classic.
SI TOP 20
1. NORTH CAROLINA (4-0)
2. KENTUCKY (2-0)
3. HOUSTON (3-1)
4. MEMPHIS STATE (4-0)
5. GEORGETOWN (4-0)
6. LSU (4-0)
7. UCLA (3-0)
8. WICHITA STATE (4-0)
9. IOWA (3-0)
10. BOSTON COLL. (3-0)
11. MICHIGAN STATE (3-1)
12. LOUISVILLE (1-2)
13. MARYLAND (2-1)
14. ARKANSAS (3-1)
15. UTEP (3-0)
16. DEPAUL (3-0)
17. WAKE FOREST (3-0)
18. VCU (2-0)
19. OREGON STATE (1-1)
20. N.C. STATE (5-1)