1. UCLA (14-0)
2. PACIFIC (12-3)
3. BRIGHAM YOUNG (10-5)
It did not take long for the word to get around the Western AC: New Mexico is fair game for a zone defense. Now everybody is using it against the poor Lobos. UTAH tried it, but Coach Jack Gardner had some doubts when Mel Daniels beat his zone for 28 points and New Mexico led by 11 with four minutes to go. But the Utes stayed with it, rallied and Walt Simon's running hooker caught the Lobos at the buzzer 66-64. Next BRIGHAM YOUNG came up with a sagging zone that thwarted New Mexico's favorite patterns, and the Lobos were unable to adjust. Sophomore Kari Liimo threw in 22 points, 6'11" Jim Eakins got 21 and BYU won big 89-73. So now the Cougars, who also smashed Wyoming 97-75, are the class of the WAC, with Utah, a 93-83 winner over the Cowboys, a close second.
It was as easy as watching a coed in a mini-skirt when UCLA went up against Portland and Santa Barbara. Lew Alcindor and his friends, especially backcourters Lucius Allen and Mike Warren, simply demolished the visitors. Alcindor scored 27 points and Warren 21 in a 122-57 trouncing of Portland that set a Bruin scoring record. Allen piled up 37 and Alcindor 34 as UCLA pounded Santa Barbara 119-75.
Seattle learned the facts of life-on-the-road. UTAH STATE, with a quick man-to-man that put pressure on the Chieftains at mid-court, forced the tourists into 23 turnovers—16 of them outright thefts. Jim Smith got 27 points, Les Powell 24 and Shaler Halimon 21 as the Aggies won 103-91. At Ogden, WEBER STATE jammed up Seattle's inside game with a tight man-to-man, Dan Sparks and Nolan Archibald got 31 points between them and the Wildcats ran off with the game 86-72. With Seattle faltering, Utah State was the area's ranking independent after beating Colorado State 83-70.
1. NORTH CAROLINA (12-1)
2. VANDERBILT (13-2)
3. WESTERN KENTUCKY (14-1)
Florida's hopes for its first SEC championship suddenly got bogged down in TENESSEE'S smothering "quicksand" defense. The persevering Vols, playing Coach Ray Mears's combination zone and disciplined ball-control game, caught the Gators twice, 66-53 and 56-42. At Gainesville, Tom Hendrix, Ron Widby and Phil Justus shot over Florida's big men. At Knoxville, the Tennessee hustlers took the boards away from the tall Gators and gave them only 34 shots.
Vanderbilt moved into first place, half a game ahead of Tennessee and idle Mississippi State, but getting there was not all that easy. Auburn gave Vandy a tussle before losing 71-65. The most bizarre game of the week, however, was in Athens. While Kentucky's Adolph Rupp fretted, GEORGIA held the ball and the Wildcats were ahead 8-6 at the half. Then the 'Dogs began to move. Jim Youngblood shot seven for seven, piled up 20 points and Georgia took Kentucky 49-40 for the first time in 17 years. "It looks like they plain outsmarted us," admitted Rupp. But there was some retribution for The Baron. He gave KENTUCKY a new offense—four players stacked down the baseline and a guard at the top of the circle—for Auburn, and it got the 'Cats their first SEC win, 60-58 on Bob Tallent's jump shot with seven seconds to go. Georgia, meanwhile, lost to old rival GEORGIA TECH 79-53.
The killer instinct finally emerged in WESTERN KENTUCKY. The Hilltoppers, who had been piddling around for weeks, took out after Morehead like a pack of avengers. Clem Haskins led the assault with 25 points, and Western rolled 100-69. CLEMSON, after a 68-48 whacking from MARYLAND, stormed back to beat Furman 82-67 and Virginia Tech 70-68.
One player who was exciting the pro scouts was Earl Monroe, a 6'3" gunner who is averaging 44.2 points a game and shooting at a 63% clip. He is the nation's top scorer, can play anywhere and has led WINSTON-SALEM to a 14-1 record. Last week Monroe got 42 in a 103-94 rout of Elizabeth City Teachers and 38 more in an 87-85 win over North Carolina A&T. How good is Monroe? Well, when asked if he thought he was the best in the country Monroe wanted to know, "Including the pros?" What do the pros think? "A sure No. 1 draft choice."
1. PRINCETON (13-1)
2. BOSTON COLLEGE (10-1)
3. ST. JOHN'S (12-1)
Most of the East's big teams were off last week, but La Salle was not that lucky. The Explorers, a washout all season, tried desperately to make a run at WESTERN KENTUCKY. With sophomore Larry Cannon playing superbly (he had 26 points and 25 rebounds), they even led Western by a point in the second half. But the Hilltoppers' foul-shooting skill—they made their first 20 and 21 of 23 in all—pulled them through 95-86 for their 14th straight. "We lost it on a thousand missed layups," grumped La Salle's Joe Heyer.
Just when ST. JOSEPH'S was beginning to have trouble with Penn, sub Mike Kempski came off the bench to score three straight baskets. He finished with 20 points, Cliff Anderson rattled in 31 and St. Joe's won 85-78. VILLANOVA was looking better, too. Xavier never did figure out the Wildcats' tricky combination defense and went down 75-59. ST. JOHN'S, although far off its usual form, still beat Pitt 95-66. Pitt's Bob Timmons had a plausible explanation for the Redmen's bumbling. "How the heck can you get a team up for us?" he asked sadly.
Penn State, which can hardly win anywhere but at home these days, upset West Virginia 102-99 for its 31st in a row at State College. Improved HOLY CROSS defeated Springfield 70-64, but Canisius lost to MOREHEAD 63-62. CONNECTICUT edged Fordham 67-66, CORNELL rolled over Columbia 74-40 and army trounced Dartmouth 74-44. But there was some consolation for Coach Dave Gavitt's team. DARTMOUTH surprised Harvard 67-63 to end a 19-game Ivy League losing streak.
1. LOUISVILLE (15-2)
2. CINCINNATI (12-3)
3. KANSAS (12-3)
"I know what will happen when we get to Boulder," predicted Kansas Coach Ted Owens. "Ol' Sox Walseth will come by the motel the morning of the game, he'll bring all his family, we'll have coffee and he'll cry and cry about his team." Actually COLORADO's Walseth did have something to cry about. Regulars Lynn Baker and Chuck Williams were out with injuries. But Walseth shifted his Buffs into a "guards special" offense—the guards cut off a double post—instead of their usual shuffle, and Colorado had the Jayhawks in a 59-59 tie with one second to play. Then Kansas' Roger Bohnenstiehl foolishly fouled Steve Rowe. Rowe made his first shot and missed the second, but Bob Bauers tipped it in and the Buffs won 62-59. KANSAS, however, recovered to beat Iowa State 72-65 and tie Colorado and KANSAS STATE, a 75-50 winner over Oklahoma State, for the Big Eight lead.
Louisville had just thumped independent Dayton 65-50, and the Cards were set on turning the Missouri Valley race into a runaway. CINCINNATI had lost to BRADLEY 64-59 and seemed like easy pickings. But the Bearcats' sagging defense held Westley Unseld to 16 points, Butch Beard had trouble getting 13 ("We just played them belly to belly," explained Coach Tay Baker) and Gordon Smith, a 6'2" sophomore guard, plunked in a little jumper from inside the foul circle to win for Cincy 59-58. That put Cincinnati back in the running, behind Wichita State and Tulsa. But Wichita State hardly looked like a contender against tough "little" SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (page 19). The Salukis tied up the Shockers with a zone defense and whipped them 77-55.
Life in the Big Ten was just one upset after another. It did not seem likely that MICHIGAN, in last place with three straight losses, could possibly beat Michigan State. But the Wolverines, frolicking under the boards as in the old Bloody Nose Lane days, shocked Michigan State 81-59. Ohio State got it, too, from MINNESOTA 67-60. Only NORTHWESTERN survived, but barely, 90-88, against Iowa's frenzied press.
Undefeated TOLEDO, 10-0 after beating Villanova 72-65 in overtime, was beginning to worry about MIAMI of Ohio in the Mid-American. Coach Tates Locke's runty Redskins whipped Ohio U. 68-56, Kent State 77-47 and were 4-1 in the league. Among the independents, DAYTON trounced DePaul 81-65, while XAVIER routed Memphis State's good defense to win 88-78.
1. HOUSTON (14-1)
2. TEXAS WESTERN (12-2)
3. SMU (10-4)
The way OKLAHOMA CITY'S droll Abe Lemons tells it, playing the touring Swedish Nationals was an exercise in semantics. "We played international rules, with all that kickin' and scratchin'," Abe explains, "and early in the game, before the officials caught on that the visitors could speak some English, one of their players let loose with a naughty word. The referee pointed an accusing finger at one of our boys and charged him with a technical. 'But I didn't say it,' my boy hollered, while the Swedish player walked away chuckling." Eventually the officials did catch on. When Swedish Coach Ralph Telkin and his team erupted in a rage over a call one player was thrown out of the game, and the visitors were hit with three technicals. Oklahoma City went on to win 97-92 in overtime, and Lemons was philosophical about the whole thing. "Well," he said, "I guess I've done my bit for international relations." His domestic relations improved, too,when the Chiefs routed West Texas 128-103 as Gary Gray, a slim 6'1" sharpshooter, fired in 55 points.
Houston was idle, but TEXAS WESTERN thoroughly deflated Weber State. The Miners, playing diligent defense, shut off Weber's fast break, "Big Daddy D" Lattin threw in 17 points and TW won easily 72-38. While TCU, the Southwest Conference leader, was busy with exams, one challenger gained ground and another lost some. SMU beat Arkansas 69-59, but Texas was surprised by TEXAS A&M 68-59.