When four of his best players were declared ineligible before the start of the season, NYU Coach Lou Rossini quite naturally looked to 6-foot-5 Barry Kramer, who plays with a fierceness that belies his off-court amiability, to carry the Violets. Kramer did it quite well, averaging 28.9 points (second best in the nation) as NYU won 10 of its first 12 games. Last week help returned in the form of reinstated Happy Hairston, a 6-foot-7 rebounder and scorer. When NYU played Furman in New York's Madison Square Garden the Paladins made the mistake of trying to run with the refurbished Violets and soon found it was futile. Breaking out of a good zone defense, Hairston scored 34 points, Kramer 32 and NYU ran off with the game, 108-82.
It hasn't been a happy season for St. John's. But Notre Dame, which just managed to beat Boston College 74-66 without talented sophomores Larry Sheffield and Ron Reed, now scholastically ineligible, proved to be a perfect foil for St. John's only weapon, a disciplined ball-control game. The Redmen, playing their patient game for all it was worth, upset the Irish 57-52.
Providence, hoping for a postseason tournament bid, was coming on fast. With little Vinnie Ernst triggering a flashy fast break, the Friars beat Massachusetts 80-61, DePaul 77-59 and Catholic U. 95-58. Holy Cross, too, was clamoring for recognition. The Crusaders beat Rhode Island 80-69, then cut down Villanova 77-62 before losing to Georgetown 85-84.
Niagara and Canisius, however, had their troubles. Syracuse harassed Niagara with a tight zone and newcomer Jim Seaman further embarrassed the Eagles with 24 points, including the winning one, as the Orangemen upset them 68-67. Canisius couldn't handle Villanova's Wally Jones, who scored 21 points, and lost to the Wildcats 79-60. But both came back, Niagara to beat St. Peter's 81-74 and Canisius to rout Manhattan 105-72. St. Bonaventure, meanwhile, defeated DePaul 71-67.
Philadelphia's Mid-Atlantic Conference teams had an easy week. St. Joseph's rolled over Mount St. Mary's 82-60 and Lafayette 78-60; slick little Temple outscored Muhlenberg 98-64 and Manhattan 57-47, and LaSalle took Gettysburg 80-65 and Syracuse 74-66 for its 10th in a row. But things weren't quite so settled in the Ivy League. While Penn, Princeton and Yale were busy fighting each other off, Cornell beat Harvard 68-54 and Dartmouth 75-62 and slipped into first place. Penn defeated Yale 76-69, but lost to Brown 61-59, and Princeton downed Brown 71-63 and Yale 61-58.
Navy, finding it difficult to win, even put football Quarterback Roger Staubach to work against Penn State. He scored only one point as the Middies lost again, 79-67. The top three:
1. NYU (11-2)
2. ST. JOSEPH'S (16-3)
3. PROVIDENCE (14-4)
All season long Georgia Tech had managed to win the close ones—four times in extra periods and six times by four points or less—but last week fortune fled. After edging past William & Mary 50-49 in its customary fashion, Tech got its comeuppance, not once but twice. First Tulane, last in the SEC and bearing a 10-game losing streak, caught the Jackets dawdling too long. Jim Kerwin, bandaged to his neckline to protect a torn rib muscle, scored 33 points and Tulane won 77-69 in overtime. Then LSU pecked away resolutely at a 12-point Georgia Tech lead, finally winning 56-54 on Sam Chase's two foul shots in the last seconds. With that, Tech fell into a third-place tie with Kentucky, behind Mississippi State and Auburn. Mourned Coach Whack Hyder: "The bubble has just burst."
Duke's Atlantic Coast leaders were shaken but still sound. The Blue Devils started fast against Wake Forest and had the Deacons on the run after 14 minutes. Then, while Art Heyman and Jeff Mullins kept the corner defenders busy, 6-foot-11 Hack Tison wrecked Wake inside. He scattered their zone with nine baskets in 11 tries, blocked eight shots and picked off 13 rebounds as Duke won 97-66. North Carolina State was tougher. Duke, caught up in State's slowdown, barely got away, 56-55. Meanwhile Wake Forest rallied to beat North Carolina 72-71 on Frank Christie's two foul shots.
Even West Virginians were beginning to wonder about their Mountaineers. West Virginia's famed zone press and some brilliant backcourt play by subs Ricky Ray and Donnie Weir bailed the team out 79-76 against Virginia Tech. But when the Mountaineers went to the press to protect a 13-point lead against William & Mary, Roger Bergey and Dave Hunter broke it with their dribbling, passing and shooting. Bergey got the last basket and the Indians won 75-72.
The Ohio Valley race was anybody's once again after Tennessee Tech upset Morehead 68-64. Miami, now 18-3, beat Jacksonville 112-105 and Louisville 94-84; Memphis State defeated The Citadel 72-63. The top three:
1. DUKE (17-2)
2. MISSISSIPPI STATE (16-4)
3. AUBURN (14-2)
One by one, Missouri Valley teams were learning that there is just no way to stop Cincinnati. Drake got off to an early lead but then Cincy got down to business and the Bulldogs faded like a week-old flower, losing 71-60. Bradley's Chuck Orsborn tried to jam Cincinnati's inside shooters with both a zone and a sagging man-to-man. The only trouble was that it left Larry Shingleton, who almost never shoots, free and willing. He sank seven of 11 shots. Still, Cincinnati led by only a single point, 60-59, with 58 seconds to play. Then Tony Yates dropped in two free throws and Cincy went on to win, 65-61, their 37th straight and 69th in a row at home. This left everybody else fighting for second place, with St. Louis in the lead. The Bills cracked Wichita's full-and half-court presses and beat the Shockers off the backboards and on the scoreboard, 68-61.
There was hardly a contender in sight in the Big Ten after Illinois outran and out-shot Indiana 104-101 in a game where defense was forgotten, and then beat Michigan State 91-86. Ohio State and Minnesota tried to stay in the race. The Bucks beat Wisconsin 94-70, while Minnesota stopped last-place Purdue 80-73.
Colorado made the mistake of getting behind Oklahoma State in the second half and had to suffer through one of Coach Hank Iba's torturing stalls. The Cowboys held the ball for 8½ minutes, and gave Colorado its first Big Eight loss, 52-49. Kansas Coach Dick Harp was so inspired that he bravely predicted, "Colorado is not beyond our reach, even at Boulder." He was wrong. The big Colorado frontliners, Milt Mueller, Ken Charlton and Jim Davis, shrugged off the varied Kansas defenses and beat the Jayhawks 62-52. But the Buffs may have more trouble with suddenly aroused Kansas State, which stamped away from Missouri 90-55 and Oklahoma 100-69. Oklahoma State, too, was in contention after cooling off Iowa State 54-50. The top three:
1. CINCINNATI (19-0)
2. LOYOLA OF CHICAGO (20-0)
3. ILLINOIS (14-2)
How do you catch a runaway Longhorn? That was the question in the Southwest Conference and nobody seemed to have an answer. Texas A&M Coach Bob Rogers thought he could do it by stopping Texas' inside shooting. He succeeded at that, but Jim Gilbert and Jim Puryear shot over the Aggies for 42 points and the Longhorns won 70-59 at College Station, where A&M hadn't lost in three years. "We didn't think anybody could shoot like that," groaned Rogers. SMU went after Texas' outside shooters and got beaten inside when Mike Humphrey, Paul Fultz, Mutt Heller and Larry Franks fired away briskly to insure a 77-62 win and a 7-0 conference record. This left Rice the only serious challenger. The second-place Owls stayed alive by beating Baylor 62-54 and Texas Tech 89-77.
Arizona State's Sun Devils, with Art Becker and Joe Caldwell shooting well, overpowered New Mexico State 89-62 and Arizona 73-54 for their 44th straight at Tempe. Houston lost first-stringer Folly Malone and three other players for academic deficiencies, and then lost to Tulsa 76-69. But Texas Western earned a big victory. After beating Arizona 65-50, the Miners edged Utah State 57-55. The top three:
1. ARIZONA STATE (18-2)
2. TEXAS WESTERN (14-5)
3. TEXAS (12-5)
Coach Vince Cazzetta of Seattle, irked by what he called "willful interference—calculated or otherwise" in recruiting and scheduling by Athletic Director Eddie O'Brien, announced he was resigning at season's end. This in turn irked The Very Reverend A. A. Lemieux, Seattle's president, who fired Cazzetta on the spot. The team, meanwhile, kept winning. Center John Tresvant pulled down 40 rebounds as Seattle manhandled Montana 100-63, and the Chieftains then whipped Pacific 82-56.
Oregon State had problems, too. While Terry Baker sat on the bench nursing a toe infection and muttering, "This is ridiculous," Portland defeated the Beavers 67-58. But it was another story the next night at Corvallis, where Oregon State won 66-51. Oregon had even worse luck. The Ducks were beaten by powerful Idaho twice, 79-61 and 88-78 (see page 50).
The Big Six race is so confused it is hard to believe only six teams are in it. While Stanford was losing to USC 61-57 and beating UCLA 86-78, Washington moved into first place. The Huskies, executing Coach Johnny Grayson's finely timed screens skillfully, turned back California 64-62 and 65-58.
Brigham Young defeated New Mexico 76-73 and Wyoming 89-77 to tie Arizona State for the Western AC lead, but an even bigger surprise was Utah. Allen Holmes, recovered at last from a 1960 auto accident that threatened to cripple him for life, led the rejuvenated Utes past Wyoming 104-73 and New Mexico 74-57. Colorado State's Bill Green pushed in 48 points as the Rams thrashed Denver 79-57. The top three:
1. OREGON STATE (13-5)
2. STANFORD (13-5)
3. UTAH STATE (17-4)