They were called tournaments, festivals, classics, invitationals, championships. By any name, a good time was not had by all.
No team, for instance, was more distraught than Marshall or its coach, Carl Tacy, who bemoaned the lack of hospitality at the Milwaukee Classic. He refused to let his players shake hands with Marquette's team before the finale and "almost hit" Warrior Coach Al McGuire, with whom he declined to shake hands after his 74-72 loss to them. "I don't like the guy," McGuire said. "He is a phony, an Elmer Gantry." Marshall won the field-goal war 62-46, but lost because the Warriors sank 28 foul shots.
LSU Coach Press Maravich felt the officiating at the Astro-Bluebonnet affair was anything but classic, even though he got what he asked for. Awarded a technical foul during a game against Texas A&M, he yelled, "Give me two." He got two. "Give me three," he said. The official gave him a third and banished him. Even with its coach gone, LSU managed to draw two more technicals as it lost the unconsoling consolation game 73-68. Meanwhile, Houston beat Michigan State in the final 106-73.
Missouri's last triumph in the Big Eight Tournament was in 1954, when Norm Stewart scored 18 points against Kansas State. Last week the Tigers again faced the Wildcats in the showdown, and again Stewart helped out. Leading by three points with four minutes left, Stewart, now the Missouri coach, ordered his "layup offense." Sure enough, the half-court-spread tactics led to four quick layups. Missouri won 67-58.
Favored Jacksonville finished fifth at the All-College Tournament, which went to Eastern Kentucky, an 83-78 winner over Oklahoma City. Stanford took the Motor City championship over Valparaiso 80-66.
1. MARQUETTE (8-0)
2. OHIO STATE (7-2)
"I wanted to show people in this state that there is another team besides Jacksonville and Florida State." The speaker, Florida's Tony Miller, showed enough to be the MVP at the Gator Bowl Tournament. He also showed off a broken finger, the price he paid when two flying Illini crashed into him during a last-chance shot in the championship game. The officials ruled Miller did not shoot—and break—before the buzzer. The Gators lost 76-75. Earlier, Illinois stopped North Carolina State 74-71.
It took five successful foul shots by John Ritter in the last two minutes for Indiana to hold off Old Dominion 88-86 in the latter's tournament. MVP Joby Wright had 24 points in the game and another 18 in the Hoosiers' 61-50 opening-round victory over Brigham Young.
North Carolina, fresh from winning a tournament in Spain, took a third title in 10 days at the Sugar Bowl, disposing of St. Joseph's (Pa.) 93-77 and then rallying to finish off Bradley 75-69.
Maryland ended its siesta with a pair of romps in its own invitational: 103-67 over Western Kentucky and 90-69 over St. John's. Most wide-awake of the Terrapins was MVP Len Elmore, who dazzled the Redmen with his 18 rebounds, blocked shots and steals.
1. N. CAROLINA (8-1)
2. S. CAROLINA (7-1)
No sooner had Honolulu's Rainbow Classic ended than Hawaii Guard Jerome Freeman clambered up on one of the baskets with the sign: Hawaii No Ka Oi—Ichi Ban. Translated, the Hawaiian-Japanese words meant "Hawaii Can't Be Beat—No. 1." Well, they were certainly unbeatable in their very own tournament. The Rainbows reached the end of theirs by outshooting Northwestern 85-83, California 87-79 and rallying in the finals to overcome Arizona State 87-77.
Another team that stole its own show was New Mexico State, winner of its Road-runner Invitational for the third year in a row. This time the Aggies did it despite losing their sixth player of the season when 6'6" Roy Neal turned in his suit because he felt he was not playing enough.
Florida State came away with the Far West Classic banner, defeating Washington 85-77, Oregon State 73-72 and Washington State 85-61. Oregon State led the Seminoles by three points with 6:23 left to play, then failed to score during the next 6:20. Washington State worked its way to the finals by holding New Mexico to one field goal during a 17½-minute span of their second-round contest, won by the Cougars 60-51.
"I'm being honest with my players this year," said Coach Jerry Tarkanian before his Long Beach State squad faced Fullerton State in the opening round of the International City Classic. "I told them we weren't playing a very good opponent." The 49ers won 103-83, and the next night won again, over U.C. Riverside 109-85.
Colorado State backers, who have named the CSU Auditorium Moby Gym after the great white whale they think it resembles, have had a whale of a time winning six games without a loss in the place. Last week CSU harpooned Utah State 81-68.
1. UCLA (8-0)
2. LONG BEACH STATE (9-1)
Even while losing, Frank McGuire of South Carolina admitted, "It was one of the best college games I've ever seen." What he saw was his team's 77-76 loss to Villanova, which won the Quaker City title when MVP Tom Ingelsby of the Wildcats got the last two of his 28 points on foul shots with six seconds to go.
Gantt can't decode morse screamed a banner held by Penn fans before the Kodak Classic final. Matt Gantt of St. Bonaventure ripped the sign, and he and teammate Vic Thomas almost ripped the Quakers. But Bob Morse looped in enough outside shots to give Penn a 70-69 victory.
Louisville players caused a ruckus at the Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival by refusing to show up for the national anthem. The only time they had lost this season they stood for pregame ceremonies. They said they preferred to spend some of their pregame time praying in their locker room, but then heeded requests to face the music before the title game against Fordham. Their superstition seemed groundless as they soared over the Rams 96-82.
1. PENN (7-1)
2. ST. BONAVENTURE (4-2)