1. ST. BONAVENTURE (12-0)
2. COLUMBIA (10-3)
3. LA SALLE (11-3)
The pot was boiling at Niagara. While Villanova's well-designed zone defenses were holding Calvin Murphy to 24 points, lowest of his career, and the Wildcats were beating the Purple Eagles 74-57, some Niagara students broke out MALONEY MUST go and WIN DESPITE JIM signs. Three days later Coach Jim Maloney resigned, effective at the end of the season, charging he had been hampered in recruiting and scheduling by Athletic Director Taps Gallagher. That stirred Murphy and his teammates against Canisius. Calvin fired in 48 points, Manny Leaks pulled down 14 rebounds and Niagara won 95-74. "We promised the coach we would win for him," said Murphy. "I was psyched," claimed Leaks.
St. Bonaventure had no such problems. Everybody was happy after the unbeaten Bonnies smeared DePaul 77-67. Especially 6'11" sophomore Bob Lanier, who scored 25 points, blocked eight shots and had 14 rebounds and six steals.
Some other independents were beginning to flex their muscles, too. St. John's, after a 65-61 overtime win over Georgetown, buried St. Francis 83-50. Boston College rallied to beat Boston U. 102-80, while Army, surviving a cold spell, outlasted Fordham 67-65.
Philadelphia basketball was acquiring that old look. La Salle routed Loyola in New Orleans 70-51, and then, with Larry Cannon scoring 30 points and Bernie Williams 26, the Explorers poured it on Syracuse 105-81. Temple beat Penn 72-64 and Wake Forest 84-73, and St. Joseph's defeated Xavier of Ohio 71-60 and Mount St. Mary's 80-66.
Dartmouth tried a slowdown against Princeton, but lost anyway 59-39. However, the Indians must have learned something. Next time out they beat Penn 56-54 for their first win. And Princeton trounced Harvard 99-71. But Columbia (page 22) was the Ivy League's biggest worry. The Lions battered Colgate 94-68.
1. HOUSTON (16-0)
2. NEW MEXICO STATE (14-2)
3. TEXAS AT EL PASO (10-2)
The big talk in Houston, naturally, was about next week's game in the Astrodome between No. 1-ranked UCLA and No. 2 Houston. Meanwhile the unbeaten Cougars made it 16 straight. With Elvin Hayes scoring 31 points, they trampled West Texas State 98-53.
New Mexico State and Texas at El Paso, the area's other leading independents, feasted on small-college foes. The Aggies belabored Santa Fe 105-62, Southern Colorado 81-71 and Western New Mexico 96-67, while UTEP beat Lamar Tech 83-65 and Southern Colorado 85-66.
The sad truth in the Southwest Conference is that nearly every team is mediocre. Texas, TCU and Baylor began the week tied for the lead. Then Texas, taking advantage of TCU's loss of Jim Cash on fouls, came from behind to edge the Frogs 66-65. But Arkansas upset Texas 85-80. That left Baylor, which earlier had beaten Arkansas 80-69, all alone at the top. Rice, however, was showing signs of life after a miserable 3-9 start. Greg Williams' 25-foot jumper in the last second ("I couldn't find Larry Miller," explained Williams, "so what else could I do?") beat SMU 73-71, and then the Owls took Texas Tech 81-68.
1. NORTH CAROLINA (11-1)
2. TENNESSEE (9-1)
3. KENTUCKY (9-2)
When they awoke last Monday morning Tennessee players were greeted by a sign reading WE LIKE BIG ORANGE—CRUSHED stretched across the front door of Gibbs Hall, their plush athletic dorm. Tennessee called it the work of a Vanderbilt raiding party, while Vandy backers insisted the penmanship resembled the fine hand of Tennessee Coach Ray Mears. Whatever the origin, the Vols reacted. While their sticky 1-3-1 defense harassed Vanderbilt's shooters, 22 points by backcourter Bill Justus and 18 more by 7' Tom Boerwinkle had Tennessee in a 60-60 tie with 3:55 to play. Four free throws by Billy Hann and Larry Mansfield won for the Vols 64-62.
Georgia was the next visitor to Knoxville, and the Bulldogs, still shaky after a severe bombing by LSU's Pete Maravich—he scored 42 points against them as the Tigers won 79-76—lost to Tennessee 77-72. That, along with Florida's 96-78 upset of Kentucky, gave the Vols the SEC lead.
The big news, though, was Maravich, who scored 52 points as LSU whipped Tulane 100-91. He now leads the nation with a 45-point average. A skinny, 6'5", 175-pounder with a floppy Beatle haircut, he wears old sloppy gray "good luck" socks that sag around his ankles, but he shoots, handles the ball and passes off like Oscar Robertson. Pete is also LSU's leading re-bounder, which bothers his father-coach, Press Maravich. "They bump him, push him, grab at him and pull his pants," complains Press. "I wish he'd stay the hell out from under the basket. He could get killed, for Pete's sake."
It looked as though it was all over for North Carolina when 6'10" Rusty Clark fouled out with 17:11 to go and North Carolina State ahead by eight points. But Charlie Scott, who scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half, and Larry Miller, who got 17, led the team to a 68-66 victory. Clem-son was easier for the Tar Heels. Carolina won 115-83, as Miller scored 30.
There's no place like Morgantown for West Virginia's Mountaineers. They lost to Maryland 79-75 in College Park, and on the way home the players were so sick from the flu and virus that the team bus had to stop six times. Back in friendly Morgantown, the Mountaineers suddenly recovered. With Ron Williams shooting in 30 points, they overcame a 16-point deficit to beat Davidson 89-86. "It took pressure, prayer and luck," said Coach Bucky Waters.
As far as Western Kentucky was concerned, the Ohio Valley was a mess. Eastern Kentucky routed the Hilltoppers 99-69, and Murray State led the conference.
1. MARQUETTE (12-2)
2. KANSAS (11-3)
3. NOTRE DAME (12-3)
There was an odd twist in the Big Ten race. Teams were winning on the road. Indiana began the fad, beating Illinois 61-60 in overtime, and then the Hoosiers got a dose of their own medicine in Bloomington. Northwestern, behind by 16 points, cut Indiana's lead to one with 2:19 to go. Sophomore Guard Dale Kelley, who scored 32 points, flipped in a 15-foot jumper to put the Wildcats ahead, and they ran off eight straight points to win 86-81. Iowa and Purdue, however, won at home. Iowa had to go into overtime to take Ohio State 74-72, but Purdue breezed past Wisconsin 99-79 as Rick Mount scored 40 points. That was not the end of Wisconsin's troubles. Independent, Marquette, with Brian Brunkhorst holding Joe Franklin to eight points, whacked the poor Badgers 71-56. Marquette also trounced Denver 82-57.
Things suddenly were becoming more interesting in the Missouri Valley. Bradley surprised Louisville 70-68 in Peoria, and now Bradley, Drake, Tulsa and Cincinnati, each with one league loss, all had a chance again. "It would have been all over if Louisville had won there," said Drake's Maurice John. John's team got caught up in a cliffhanger with Wichita State. The score was tied with time running out, and Wichita's Gary Thompson said later, "The strategy was to see who would throw the ball away last." Wichita did and fouled Ron Draper with one second left. Draper missed his first shot but made the second, and the Bulldogs squeaked through 75-74. Exuberant Drake fans grabbed the nearest player—Dolph Pulliam—and started to carry him off the court. But they dropped him, and Pulliam got trampled in the excitement.
Kansas, a narrow 68-67 winner over Iowa State on Bruce Sloan's free throw in the last second, had unexpected company at the top of the Big Eight. Oklahoma's Sooners, who used to be gunners but who have turned conservative under new Coach John MacLeod, took only 45 shots, made 26 and beat Oklahoma State 61-58 for their second conference win. The Mid-American also had an unlikely leader. Kent State upset Toledo 68-66, and when Western Michigan took Kent 74-72 the Broncos moved into first place.
Notre Dame had a delightful week. The Irish beat Creighton 72-63, Detroit 83-63 and DePaul 75-68.
1. UCLA (12-0)
2. UTAH (13-1)
3. NEW MEXICO (14-0)
With or without Lew Alcindor, apparently, there is no beating UCLA. California thought it had a chance, with 6'11" Bob Presley to fight Lew in the pivot. But Alcindor overwhelmed Presley—and Cal—until he caught a finger in his left eye. He scored 44 points as the Bruins coasted 94-64. That finger, however, caused a "superficial abrasion" on the surface of Alcindor's eyeball, and he had to sit out the next day's game with Stanford. So Mike Lynn moved to center and scored 17 points, Edgar Lacey took over the rebounding and UCLA won its 46th straight 75-63.
Perhaps it was merely wishful thinking, but USC was not giving up—yet—in the Pacific Eight. The Trojans were in a first-place tie with UCLA after beating Stanford 90-60 and California 80-65.
It was bedlam when Wyoming came to town to play unbeaten New Mexico. Tickets were so scarce that fathers begged their coed daughters to take them to the game as dates and 15,151 jammed into University Arena. Coach Bob King put his Lobos into what he calls the "pressure cooker"—a double-teaming defense—and it was 33-33 at the half. Then New Mexico went to man-to-man, began feeding the ball to Ron Nelson—who scored 30 points—and the Lobos won 81-65. "If anyone had predicted we'd be undefeated at this point," said King, "I'd have said he was on LSD."
Utah and Brigham Young also have not lost in the Western AC. Utah beat Arizona State 109-77 and Arizona 83-77, while BYU took Arizona 72-62 and Arizona State 94-78. Pacific got a shock in the WCAC—an 80-72 defeat by San Jose State.