With Ronnie Lyons passing off expertly and scoring 24 points, many of them from far outside, Kentucky beat Mississippi 93-82 to keep intact its winning streak over Ole Miss, which is now 44 years long. Tennessee reinforced its typically tenacious defense with, for a change, scoring. The Vols held Mississippi State to 13 first-half points, picked up 30 points from Mike Edwards and won 82-49. Florida, whose high-scoring Tony Miller is out with a broken finger, just managed to get by Alabama 79-77 but lost to Auburn 79-74.
Virginia stood atop the Atlantic Coast at 4-0, overtaking Wake Forest 74-64 and halting North Carolina State 84-73. Maryland also beat the Wolfpack 83-70. In the first confrontation between their celebrated sophomores, Maryland's Tom McMillen had 22 points and seven rebounds, State's Tom Burleson 18 points and eight rebounds, although he played only 21 minutes before fouling out. McMillen had 23 points against Clemson in the Terps' next game, but that was not enough. The Tigers won 63-61.
Furman, the Southern Conference leader, pressed The Citadel into 30% shooting and won 101-86. Nothing the Paladins did could fluster North Carolina, though, and they wound up 118-66 losers. Davidson also stepped outside the conference and lost 95-78 to West Virginia.
Southwestern Louisiana won three tough games against McNeese State (89-80), Eastern Kentucky (87-80) and Northeast Louisiana (75-73).
There were still a couple of tournaments left over from the holidays. Texas A&M took the Presidential Classic, beating Virginia Tech 66-62 in overtime. Florida State concluded a 21-day trip with its third tournament title at the Senior Bowl, zoning out previously undefeated St. Louis 63-62.
1. N. CAROLINA (9-1)
2. S. CAROLINA (7-2)
LaSalle Coach Paul Westhead, a Shakespeare buff, livened up a basketball luncheon on the eve of his game against St. Joseph's by reciting from King Lear. "No, you unnatural hags, I will have such revenges on you both/ That all the world shall—I will do such things/ What they are, yet I know not, but they shall be/ The terrors of the earth." The convoluted quote was Westhead's way of saying his team would take care of Mike Bantom and Jim McCollum, two Hawks he handled while freshman coach at St. Joseph's. But hark, the "unnatural hags" scored 32 points, and the Hawks flew 72-55. Bantom had 33 points, McCollum 14 in the Hawks' next win, over Boston College 82-68.
A Baldwin-Wallace report showed that Vic Thomas of St. Bonaventure was shooting only 30%. So the Yellow Jackets used a 1-3-1 zone and let Thomas shoot. Delighted with the arrangement, Thomas sank his first 10 shots, and the Bonnies won 100-69. John Falconi also put in 10 in a row and Davidson won by 88-84 over St. John's, which also lost to Syracuse, 86-83.
Navy surprised Temple 65-61, while Rutgers, with 38 points from John Somogyi, beat Pitt 92-76. For the first time in 16 years, Marshall was back among the top 20, and just as last time the Thundering Herd lost to Morehead State. In winning 103-98, the Eagles went with sophomores and shot 68% in the first half. The Herd recovered to beat Western Michigan 102-77.
Four Ivy teams each picked up two league victories. Penn ran its three-year Ivy win streak to 30 games, stopping Dartmouth 92-62 and Harvard 81-52. After downing Michigan 91-82, Princeton took care of Harvard 74-67 and Dartmouth 84-73. Yale outlasted Cornell 92-82, Columbia 71-61. Arnie Berman twice scored 38 points as Brown beat Columbia 77-72 and Cornell 101-88.
1. PENN (9-1)
2. VILLANOVA (10-1)
Bit Ten teams got off some final sparring against outsiders before their own infighting. But Indiana, to its sorrow, was caught with a knockout punch by Northern Illinois 85-71. Going into the game, Northern was the second highest scoring team in the country—around 100 points—and Indiana was holding opponents to about 35 under that. The Huskies outrebounded the Hoosiers 57-40, contained them with a zone and got 24 points from Jim Bradley, who triggered the fast break with quick outlet passes.
Wisconsin lost, too, but nobody was surprised. Marquette was the victor, 72-60, as the Warriors solved a variation of a triangle-two defense, in which the Badgers played a zone out front and man-to-man inside, by overloading the zone. Jim Chones of Marquette had his finest game: 31 points, 13 rebounds, five blocked shots.
Allan Hornyak warmed up with 26 points as Ohio State took Creighton 94-76, then scored 28 in a 78-70 win over Purdue. Illinois, a slow starter all season, scored only 18 points in the first half but fought back to beat Northwestern 67-63. Conversely, Wisconsin squandered a 16-point lead over Iowa, then bounced back to win 81-80. Michigan struggled past Michigan State 83-75. Trailing 51-46 with 4:22 left, Minnesota began forcing Indiana turnovers and took the game 52-51 when Bob Nix sank two foul shots with 17 seconds to go.
Road victories are hard to come by in the Big Eight. Thus, Oklahoma Coach John MacLeod was understandably worried on the eve of his conference opener at Iowa State. "Then we hit on the sandwich idea," he said. This consisted of feeding his players pregame sandwiches instead of steaks. "They grumbled all the way to the game," MacLeod said. Then they bit State 77-72. Missouri upped its record to 11-1 by stopping outsider Ohio U. 78-76.
Defending Mid-American champion Miami of Ohio was bumped off twice. First came a 60-54 loss to Kent State in which Roger Evans of the Golden Flashes had 21 rebounds and 19 points. Then a 67-57 setback to Toledo as Tom Kozelko got 13 straight points and 29 overall. Toledo also stopped Western Michigan 88-84. Kent State, missing a flu-bitten Evans, lost to St. Bonaventure 76-63.
Drake began defense of its Missouri Valley title by nipping Wichita State 61-58 and dipping to Tulsa 94-76. Bradley downed Memphis State and North Texas.
Louisville, with Jim Price getting 30 points, beat Cincinnati 84-76. And a 42-point splurge by Richie Fuqua led Oral Roberts past St. Francis (Pa.) 125-104.
1. MARQUETTE (10-0)
2. OHIO STATE (9-2)
"Long Beach could beat UCLA," said San Diego State Coach Dick Davis after watching the 49ers two weeks ago. "The only reason he would ever say that is because he has to play us," retorted 49er Coach Jerry Tarkanian. Then his team won 89-75. Davis' postgame comment: "They are even better than I thought."
A computerized rating service ranked Hawaii as the nation's No. 1 college team. "If we're No. 1, I'm a Chinese aviator," responded Rainbow Coach Red Rocha. It looks like he'll never get off the ground. Playing its first road game, Hawaii lost to Loyola of L.A. 88-78.
No. 1 was the subject of conversation back on the Coast, too, where UCLA opened the Pac 8 season by beating Oregon State 78-72 and Oregon 93-68. "Obviously the best," said Oregon Coach Dick Harter. He also praised UCLA Center Bill Walton, who had 30 points, 17 rebounds and shooed the Ducks into the corners for their shots. "He is the finest player I have ever coached against," Harter said. Bruin boss John Wooden, who previously lavished no adjective more colorful than "strong" on his team, seemed shaken, too. "We are outstanding—and we're going to get better," he said.
Two dazzling second-half efforts by Paul Westphal carried USC past Oregon 66-46 and Oregon State 87-75. Stanford also won twice, beating Washington State 76-54 and Washington 85-80 in overtime as 6'9" sophomore Mike Mann blocked 12 shots.
Two visitors were shell-shocked. Oklahoma City lost to California 127-67 as Chief Coach Abe Lemons drew four technical fouls and was ejected. Dartmouth, a 102-85 loser to Stanford, was assessed five technicals.
Powerful 6'7", 240-pound Mike Bowling of Arizona State knew his assignment: stop BYU's 6'11", 195-pound Kresimir Cosic. After 15 minutes and rugged infighting, the two giants squared off. Bowling won that battle with a solid clomp to Cosic's forehead, but the Cougars won the war 111-102 as Cosic put in 25 points.
Arizona arrived in Utah with a 1-10 record but left with a 78-76 Western Athletic Conference win. Then the Wildcats were drubbed by BYU 88-67. This was to be a rebuilding year for Colorado State. So the Rams built their record to 9-1, first by beating New Mexico 93-65 as Guards Paul Ball and Gary Rhoades combined for 42 points and 21 rebounds, then by stunning Texas-El Paso 63-62. Rhoades, kept awake by a party the night before, set up Travis Lackey for the winning basket at the buzzer.
With four for four from the foul line in the last 20 seconds, Sonny Willis shot Houston past Colorado 70-66.
1. UCLA (10-0)
2. LONG BEACH STATE (12-1)