The quality of Fordham's opposition can be measured by the number of priests attending the pregame prayer meeting. On Thursday evening in Madison Square Garden six priests—a season record—were in the dressing room as the Rams prepared to play unbeaten Marquette. Minutes later, Forward Gary Brell of the Warriors performed his own pregame ritual. He shadowboxed his way around the floor and then turned his back on the flag during the national anthem. Instant villain. The quick, expertly coached Rams gave away an average of three inches a man but showed that their previous upset victory over Notre Dame was no fluke. Despite foul trouble—Fordham's star forward, Charlie Yelverton, had to sit out 10 minutes of the second half with four personals—the score was tied 68-68 with three minutes remaining. Marquette's Dean Meminger drove for the go-ahead basket and was called for traveling when he collided with a teammate. Fordham Coach Digger Phelps called a time-out with 1:32 left and told his team, "Hold the ball, try to bring them out and draw a foul." The foul, his fifth, was committed by Brell, who tore off a sneaker and threw it to the crowd. Exit instant villain. But George Zambetti missed a free throw in a one-and-one situation and the game went into overtime when Allie McGuire, son of Marquette Coach Al McGuire, missed a long shot at the buzzer. "At home you drive in that situation," explained McGuire Sr. "On the road you shoot and hope for the rebound." Fordham was unable to contain Jim Chones, Marquette's precocious 6'11" sophomore, during the extra period. Chones scored seven points and the Warriors won it 85-80. "I'm not crying now," said Yelverton, "but I may after I get home."
Penn let Brown score 50 points in the second half but the Quakers won anyway, 96-82. "We weren't in the Top Ten tonight," said Coach Dick Harter. "I think it was because the kids had two days off this week." Penn later knocked off Yale 93-63 to clinch the Ivy title and an NCAA bid, but Harter was in no mood to celebrate. "We're going to work like no other team has ever worked," he vowed. "Our goal is to improve 10% in each area of the game."
Boston College outscored eighth-ranked Duquesne 13-3 during six minutes of the first half and forced the Dukes out of their zone by holding the ball. Result: a 67-52 upset. Then Duquesne crushed Niagara 99-69.
Perhaps because their annual football game has lost national significance, in recent months Army vs. Navy has come to mean a hotly fought rivalry in accommodating new life-styles. The Navy now allows hair on chins; the Army has permitted posters in barracks. Both services have made beer and high-ranking officers more accessible. Predictably, when the academies met once again in Annapolis last week, the country yawned. Navy (12-12) lost to Army's worst team in eight years, 64-50. Symbolically, the lights in the field house went out midway through the second half. The Army team retired to a bus for the 20-minute delay because, according to Coach Bob Knight, "It was too hot in the dressing room."
1. PENN (24-0)
2. FORDHAM (21-2)
The week began badly for Ohio State when doctors examined the wrist of Buckeye Captain Jim Cleamons and pronounced it broken. Cleamons, dressed in street clothes, his wrist in a cast, watched his team defeat Iowa 80-71. During the postgame interview Coach Fred Taylor dwelt on playing Michigan for the Big Ten title without Cleamons. He wasn't optimistic. "Cleamons is such a genuine leader," he said. "It's very tough to lose him." But while Taylor spoke, Indiana presented Michigan with its first league loss of the season, 88-79, and suddenly Taylor's leaderless Buckeyes led the conference by half a game. Their good fortune continued when the doctors X-rayed Cleamons' wrist on Friday and found it hadn't been fractured after all. Cleamons traveled with the team to Ann Arbor, dressed and contributed, well, just two points. No matter. Guard Allan Hornyak scored 17 during the opening six minutes and added 20 more as the Bucks won 91-85.
Because the Des Moines Register reported that Drake Coach Maury John would replace fired Glen Anderson at Iowa State, Drake students chanted "Don't go, Maury, don't go" during the Bulldogs' home game with St. Louis. Moments after his squad defeated the Billikens 89-85 John confirmed the report. There was no time for tears, however, because a startling occurrence was taking place in Louisville. The Cardinals blew one to North Texas State 79-73. "You're kidding," said John when told of the upset. Drake and Memphis State are now just half a game behind Louisville and the MVC, like the Big Ten, is far from sorted out.
Marquette returned home from New York to celebrate Dean Meminger night. The Dream, playing his last college game in Milwaukee, scored 33 points as the Warriors drubbed Tulane 90-76. When he left the game with four minutes to play, the crowd applauded for 10 minutes. Said Al McGuire, "I hope the school retires his jersey."
A three-point play by Dave Robisch with seven seconds left pushed Kansas past Colorado 66-65 and kept the Jayhawks unbeaten in the Big Eight. Earlier in the week the Kansas State cheerleaders displayed a rubber chicken—a gesture aimed at mocking the Jayhawk nickname—and then watched their team lose to Kansas 61-48.
1. MARQUETTE (23-0)
2. KANSAS (22-1)
Disgusted by lopsided losses to Kentucky and Tennessee, LSU Coach Press Maravich decided to make some changes. First, he escorted his players to a Baton Rouge barber shop because "some of them have hair so long they can't see the basket." Then he left one starter, Gary Simpson, and the sixth man, Jere Shockey, on campus for disciplinary reasons and loaded the others into a bus for a grim four-hour trip to Mississippi. "We aren't using the team plane this weekend," Press explained. "If we're going to play bush league basketball, we'll travel bush league." When the team finally arrived in Oxford, the Tigers used a slow-down against Ole Miss, held Johnny Neumann to 17 points—and still got beat 62-54. Where have you gone, Pete Maravich-io? A lonely father mourns the loss of you.
Adolph Rupp left his bed in a Lexington hospital and flew to Nashville to watch Kentucky overwhelm Vanderbilt 119-90. It was the most points ever scored against the Commodores. "This is just the sort of tonic I needed," said Rupp, "although it may not be applicable in my present situation. Also, I just wanted people to know that I'm still very much alive."
North Carolina clinched a first-place tie in the ACC when Dennis Wuycik made two free throws with nine seconds left to beat Virginia 75-74. "We did something no other conference team has done," said Coach Dean Smith. "We won at Virginia." Also winning and awaiting the conference tournament was South Carolina. The Gamecocks beat Houston 88-71 and then celebrated the news that John Roche's number would be retired with an 84-64 waltz over Wake Forest. Three nights later Roche scored 37 points and Tom Owens took 15 rebounds—enough to beat North Carolina State 82-69.
1. S.C. (19-4)
2. JACKSONVILLE (21-3)
Because the teams hadn't played each other since 1946, when Weber State Junior College upset Utah State 53-44, last week's game was billed as a modestly historic event. Nowadays, Weber State is a university complete with a big-time All-America, Willie Sojourner, and the Wildcats won again, 63-62, with Willie blocking two shots in the last four minutes. The one truly historic incident in the rematch became a mere footnote. Weber Coach Phil Johnson drew what may be the most bizarre technical foul in the history of the game. At one point he gestured somewhat violently and his watch flew out of its casing. When he wandered onto the court in search of it he got hit with a technical for leaving his seat.
Four days later four more technicals were called in Logan during a Utah State-New Mexico State game, two after six minutes of play, when Harry Ward of New Mexico and Nate Williams of State were ejected following a brawl. Before the game ended—Utah State won 77-67 and will probably go to the NCAA's West Regional playoffs—security officers were sitting on both benches.
In more peaceful surroundings, UCLA continued to enjoy its good luck. With the Bruins leading Washington State 55-53 with seven seconds left, UCLA's Terry Schofield was fouled. Schofield, who makes only 57% of his free throws, injured a knee on the play, however, and was unable to continue, so Coach John Wooden called on John Ecker, a reserve who happens to make 88% of his foul shots. Ecker sank both free throws to insure the victory.
Southern Cal was equally fortunate. The Trojans squeezed past Washington 81-80 on a foul shot by Ron Riley. Although Hawaii lost its final game of the season to Centenary 67-66, the Rainbows finished with a 22-4 record and will most likely go to the NIT in New York. "Maybe now people will realize we're no vacation," said Captain Tommy Newell. "Wait until we get to the Big Apple." They're waiting for you, Tommy.
1. UCLA (21-1)
2. USC (21-1)