Arkansas' 65-64 upset of North Carolina in Pine Bluff, Ark. snapped the longest winning streak in the nation at 21 games. It was also the Tar Heels' lengthiest streak since their 32-0 NCAA title season of 1957. "Our victory over UCLA [in the 1978 NCAA Western regionals] was a big one because it gave our program credibility." said Razorback coach Eddie Sutton. "But no Arkansas team has beaten a Number One-ranked team, so this was a big one, too." North Carolina's Michael Jordan, who led all scorers with 21 points, had given the Tar Heels a 64-63 lead with 1:13 to play when he drilled a 10-foot jumper. But with four seconds left, the Hogs' Charles Balentine took a pass from Alvin Robertson and made a five-foot baseline jump shot for the winning points.
Earlier, Arkansas had scored Southwest Conference victories over Texas A&M (59-58) and SMU (80-71) to remain 1½ games behind first-place Houston. The Cougars rolled past TCU 76-60 as Akeem Abdul Olajuwon and Michael Young combined for 49 points, and then defeated Texas 74-63 by sinking 28 of 36 from the free-throw line.
Playing without sophomore forward Billy Thompson, who had sprained a ligament in his left knee two weeks ago against La Salle, Louisville lost two of three games. Florida State pounded the Cardinals 75-60 to deal them their first Metro Conference loss. Then Virginia upended Louisville 50-45. In between, the Cards struggled to a 63-56 Metro victory over Southern Mississippi. Memphis State won its 10th straight game, a 73-69 defeat of Florida State.
After exploding for 41 points on 15-of-27 shooting in a 101-96 triumph over North Carolina A&T, Alabama State's Lewis Jackson led the Hornets into first place in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Jackson, a 6'6" senior forward, scored 35 points in an 89-74 victory at Southern, and added 21 in an 80-72 win over Mississippi Valley State.
With DePaul making just seven of 32 first-half shots and 14 of 54 overall against St. Joseph's airtight 2-3 zone, the Blue Demons suffered their first loss of the season, 58-45, at the Palestra. "I've seen DePaul play many games," said coach Ray Meyer, "but I've never seen it shoot 14 for 54. You can't win playground games with shooting like that." Center Tony Costner scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds for St. Joe's, while forward Bob Lojewski added 13 and had a team-high eight rebounds.
Temple guard Jim McLoughlin, who entered the Owls' 79-64 victory over St. Bona-venture shooting 39.2%, sank seven of 14 field-goal attempts to score a season-high 22 points. The win gave the Owls a 12-0 record in the Atlantic 10.
Wake Forest beat Maryland 90-87 in double OT as the Deacons won their third straight ACC overtime game and their fifth overall. "We're getting used to it, I guess," said Wake Forest coach Carl Tacy after Danny Young and Chuck Kepley sank six free throws in the last 22 seconds of the second OT to secure the victory. Duke then upset the Terrapins 89-84 to hand Maryland its third straight ACC defeat. Coming off the bench to score just four points was Terrapin guard Adrian Branch, who along with teammate Steve Rivers had been convicted of possession of marijuana the previous day.
Georgetown ripped Brigham Young 67-51 as Cougar forward Devin Durrant, the nation's top scorer with a 30.1 average, had a season-low 13 points. "I've seen about every kind of defense," said Durrant, who hit only five of 16 shots. "Georgetown's the best defensive team I've played against."
Nobody could stop District of Columbia center Earl Jones, however. Jones, the high scorer in Division II at 29.2 points a game, poured in 31 in an 89-84 victory over Wright State, and 46 points, on 16-of-18 shooting, in a 92-89 loss to Morgan State.
Call UCLA's first ever back-to-back losses to Oregon (87-83 in overtime) and Oregon State (72-63) in Pauley Pavilion Larry Farmer's Lost Weekend. The Bruins blew a 71-62 lead against the Ducks with 5:53 remaining in the game, but still led 73-72 with eight seconds to play when UCLA's Montel Hatcher stepped to the foul line for the back end of a one-and-one. Hatcher missed, and Oregon's Gary Gatewood grabbed the rebound, raced down the floor and launched an errant 15-foot jumper with three seconds left. The ball ricocheted into the deep right corner, where the Ducks' Greg Trapp made a leaping catch. "I just jumped up to grab it, then turned halfway around in the air and threw it up," said Trapp. Trapp's desperation heave, which was launched from behind the plane of the backboard, cleared the top of the glass and swished through the net to send the game into overtime. In Oregon State's triumph, played before 7,841, the fourth-smallest crowd to see a Bruins game at Pauley, the Beavers shot a torrid 73.2%.
Michael Cage scored 35 points—25 of them in the second half—and had 12 rebounds in San Diego State's 73-62 defeat of UTEP. The Aztecs' triumph, their first ever over a Top 10 team, was televised back to Cage's hometown of West Memphis, Ark., where he was a high school phenom along with Memphis State star Keith Lee. "It's a big Keith Lee area," said Cage. "A lot of people have probably forgotten about Michael Cage. This was my chance to show that ol' Michael is doing well." UTEP bounced back to pound Hawaii 77-58 as the Miners' Fred Reynolds scored a game-high 28 points.
During a pregame ceremony honoring Ray Meyer at his alma mater, Notre Dame, Irish coach Digger Phelps planted a kiss on the old coach and then whispered, "Listen, Dad, your time is now, but 20 minutes from now it's mine." And it was—for the first half. Notre Dame had a 17-13 rebounding advantage and a 29-27 lead at intermission. But as the Blue Demons returned to the floor for the second half, forward Tyrone Corbin said to Meyer, "Coach, we're going to win it for you." De-Paul thereafter swept the Irish off the boards 23-10 en route to a 62-54 victory.
Kentucky roared to a pair of wins—and a one-half game lead over Auburn in the SEC. The Wildcats crushed Mississippi State 77-58, outrebounding the Bulldogs 47-23 and hitting 56.5% from the field. Kentucky then avenged a 19-point loss at Auburn last month with an 84-64 romp past the Tigers in Rupp Arena. Auburn jumped out to a 30-22 lead with 5:12 to play before the half, but then went more than seven minutes without a field goal as Kentucky ripped off a 19-2 surge.
Over two seasons, Mid-American Conference leader Miami of Ohio had defeated archrival Ohio University three straight times, and, says Ohio U. coach Danny Nee, "You lose four times in a row and you're looking for a new job." Ohio's 82-68 manhandling of Miami, which snapped the Redskins' winning streak at 11 games, not only may have spared Nee a trip to the unemployment lines but also kept alive the Bobcats' slim hopes for the MAC regular-season championship. Miami is 11-1 in league play: Ohio is 9-3.
Big Ten co-leaders Illinois and Purdue took turns beating up Northwestern and Iowa. The Fighting lllini crushed Northwestern 71-49 and then whipped the Hawkeyes 73-53. Purdue shot a blistering 61.8% in a 79-58 defeat of Iowa and cruised past Northwestern 66-56. Indiana remained a game behind the leaders with a 74-64 win over Wisconsin and a 74-72 overtime defeat of Minnesota.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
MICHAEL CAGE: San Diego State's 6'9" senior forward scored 92 points, making 28 of 47 of his field-goal attempts and 36 of 45 foul shots, and had 41 rebounds as the Aztecs won two of three WAC games.
SI Top 20
1. N. CAROLINA (21-1)
2. GEORGETOWN (21-2)
3. KENTUCKY (18-3)
4. DEPAUL (18-1)
5. HOUSTON (21-3)
6. MEMPHIS STATE (17-3)
7. UNLV (22-1)
8. UTEP (21-2)
9. ILLINOIS (19-2)
10. ARKANSAS (19-4)
11. OKLAHOMA (20-3)
12. TULSA (20-2)
13. WAKE FOREST (17-4)
14. WASHINGTON (16-4)
15. PURDUE (17-4)
16. MARYLAND (14-6)
17. TEMPLE (18-2)
18. VA. C'WEALTH (19-3)
19. INDIANA (16-5)
20. SYRACUSE (15-5)