New Yorkers have rarely enjoyed themselves so much. They drooled at the considerable talents of Ohio State's Jerry Lucas and yowled with appreciation as the Buckeyes held off the best in the East to win the Holiday Festival. However, after a runaway 97-57 victory over Seton Hall, Ohio State had a tough time with St. John's before the ambitious Redmen bowed 70-65 (see page 44). Then, scrambling, aggressive St. Bonaventure, which barely beat Utah 89-88 in the semifinals, pushed the Buckeyes to the limit as Tom Stith, slithering and twisting through defenders, scored 35 points, and Fred Crawford, a brilliant sophomore forward, added 24 more. But Lucas was the difference. He scored 32 points, rebounded tenaciously, and Ohio State won 84-82. Later, St. John's handily defeated Utah 73-65 for third place despite 34 points by 6-foot-9 Billy McGill.
Small but slick Temple added to its prestige in the Capitol Invitational at Washington, defeating Lafayette 63-51 and American U. 61-51. The top three:
1. ST. JOHN'S (8-1)
2. ST. BONAVENTURE (9-1)
3. TEMPLE (9-1)
The setting was the Dixie Classic at Raleigh but it might well have been the Atlantic Coast Conference championship final next March. Unbeaten Duke had eliminated Wyoming 86-59 and Marquette 86-73, largely because of the fine shooting of sophomore Art Heyman. Twice-beaten North Carolina, with York Larese and Doug Moe scoring heavily, had routed Maryland 81-57 and Villanova 87-67. In the first eight minutes Heyman pushed in 11 points, and Duke appeared to be on the way to another victory. But Moe put a defensive clamp on Heyman and held him to four points for the rest of the game. Meanwhile Carolina's Dick Kepley and Larry Brown broke the Blue Devil defense with outside jumpers and the Tar Heels won 76-71.
Navy, following Coach Ben Carnevale's instructions "to keep the ball in the air," beat Georgia Tech's stifling zone defense and upset the Jackets 63-60 in the Gator Bowl; Miami hustled past Army 82-75 and Holy Cross 77-71 in the Hurricane Bowl; West Virginia beat Tulane 98-70 and Memphis State 86-82 in overtime in the Sugar Bowl.
Versatile Louisville ran and shot to trim Brigham Young 95-67, then used ball control and beat St. Louis at its own game, 49-47. The top three:
1. LOUISVILLE (11-0)
2. NORTH CAROLINA (8-2)
3. DUKE (9-1)
After his Oklahoma State team lost to Kansas State 62-56 in the opening round of the Big Eight tournament at Kansas City, Coach Hank Iba painfully observed, "You can't keep making errors and beat those big oxes." Three nights later Kansas found out that Iba was right. The Jayhawks gave up the ball 19 times on errors against K-State's token press (designed to harass Kansas rebounder Bill Bridges long enough to slow down the fast break), let Larry Comley accumulate 20 points and lost to the "big oxes" 69-66 in overtime.
In other tournaments Detroit picked apart overmatched Yale 83-67, then survived a shaky start to beat Colorado State 77-64 when agile Charlie North provided the spark (with 20 points, 18 rebounds) in the Motor City final; Butler caught a pair of Big Ten rivals with their defenses lagging, beat Illinois 70-68, then Purdue 65-63 on sophomore Gerry Williams' last-second shot in the Hoosier Classic at Indianapolis.
Bradley was still unbeaten—but Drake gave the Braves a scare at Des Moines. The Bulldogs played Bradley even for 40 minutes but couldn't hold Chet Walker in overtime and lost 83-77. Returning to Peoria where they haven't lost in 43 games, the Braves thrashed Dartmouth 92-60. The top three:
1. OHIO STATE (9-0)
2. BRADLEY (10-0)
3. IOWA (8-1)
Baylor, after seven straight losses, suddenly flexed its muscles in the All-College tournament. The upstart Bears turned on host Oklahoma City, the Southwest Conference's most persistent tormentor, harried the Chiefs with a bustling 1-3-1 zone and beat them 73-63. Then they used their smothering defense and 14 points by Bert McClain to upset NYU 58-50. However, luck ran out for Baylor against talented Wichita, which had eased past Houston 71-68 and Utah State 73-63. The Bears flustered Wichita with a late rally but lost.
Meanwhile, Texas A&M and Texas were warming up for the SWC race. The Aggies beat Eastern Kentucky 76-57 and Air Force 62-51; the Longhorns recovered from a 58-44 loss to Clemson to whip Mississippi State 93-82. The top three:
1. ARKANSAS (6-2)
2. TEXAS (6-4)
3. TEXAS A&M (5-3)
When the Los Angeles Classic began, California coaches were properly concerned with stopping Indiana, but they needn't have bothered. The Hoosiers succumbed easily enough to UCLA, 94-72, in the semifinals. Instead, attention should have been focused on Iowa. The exuberant young Hawkeyes needed four overtime periods to cut down California 83-80, but the rest was relatively easy. With little Ron Zagar skillfully directing the offensive flow and gangling junior Don Nelson spreading the defense with his jump shots, Iowa trimmed USC 70-62. Unbeaten UCLA was troublesome just as long as Forwards Gary Cunningham and Ron Lawson were allowed to pop away. However, the alert Hawkeyes shrewdly forced them out of shooting range while Nelson was hitting for 26 and beat the Bruins 71-65 for the title.
Up north Oregon State managed to squeeze by Wisconsin 56-54 but had less trouble beating Idaho 63-53 and Seattle 73-65 to win the Far West Classic at Portland, Ore. In the West Coast AC tournament at San Francisco, the hometown Dons, who lost five of their first six games, suddenly became tough to beat. After trouncing Pepperdine 67-36, San Francisco outlasted Santa Clara 45-42, then outdefensed St. Mary's 51-48 in overtime. The top three:
1. UCLA (7-1)
2. CALIFORNIA (8-2)
3. USC (7-2)
LATE LEAP by UCLA's Lawson fails to stop jump shot by Indiana's Gary Long, but Bruins still won 94-72 at Los Angeles.