Went to a fight last night, and a Georgetown game broke out! That was just one of the not-so-funny japes after Georgetown and Connecticut sandwiched 40 minutes of basketball around a one-minute round of hand-to-hand at the Capital Centre. The fisticuffs resulted in the ejections of the Hoyas' Ralph Dalton and the Huskies' Gerry Besselink, but Georgetown won the game 70-66. Three days later Georgetown met its match at New York's Madison Square Garden. St. John's entertained the spectating New York Knick rookie and former Hoya, Patrick Ewing, by handling the visitors with surprising ease, 79-74. Last season the Redmen suffered four losses—three to Georgetown, including the Big East championship game and their NCAA semifinal.
In deference to Walter (The Truth) Berry, Hoya coach John Thompson threw a variety of zones at the Redmen. But the Truth will out, and he did—for 26 points, four blocked shots and two steals. "He's playing like he knows he's the Man," says Thompson.
Earlier in the week St. John's played its third straight overtime game. Despite their thin bench the Redmen had won the first two. But the third time, against Boston College, was a different story as BC won 79-77. Eagle coach Gary Williams shrugged off praise for the collapsing box-and-one defense he devised in an effort to stop Berry. "Stop him?" said Williams. "He had 18 points and 14 rebounds. I guess that's stopping Berry, though. The guy destroys entire teams."
Charlie Theokas, Temple's new athletic director, wasted no time muddying the waters of the Schuylkill. On Tuesday, Theokas wondered out loud whether the Owls might get more notice if they dropped longtime Big Five rivals LaSalle and Penn in favor of some high-powered national names. Maybe Temple should drop Big Five and Atlantic-10 foe St. Joseph's, too. On Thursday, 6'6" Hawk forward Maurice Martin had a 25-point, eight-rebound night as St. Joe's snapped Temple's eight-game win streak while extending its own to seven.
Going to Duke anytime soon? Pack your thick skins. When St. Louis went almost seven minutes on Wednesday before scoring its first points, the famous Blue Devil student provocateurs further rattled the Billikens by chanting "Zero! Zero!" But there was no goose egg. While giving up 84 points, St. Louis scored 58. On Saturday, N.C. State center Chris Washburn, who was convicted for his involvement in the theft of another student's stereo equipment last season, was greeted at Cameron Indoor Stadium with a shower of records, album covers and stereo accessories. That was somewhat harsher than the hail of pizza boxes aimed at former Wolfpack forward Lorenzo Charles after he had been caught stealing two pizzas in 1982. So thought N.C. State coach Jim Valvano, who enjoys a bit of fun himself. "A pizza can't hurt anybody," said Coach V. "A record can."
It was the alternating defense of Mark Alarie, Jay Bilas and Danny Ferry that did the most damage to the Wolfpack, though. Washburn scored just 11 points, five under his average, getting off a mere three shots in the second half as Duke rolled 74-64.
Although Mississippi State became LSU's 14th straight victim, 90-84, Bulldog coach Bob Boyd wondered if the Tigers deserved their high ranking. LSU then answered the question by losing to SEC foes Alabama (83-67) and Tennessee (88-77). The Crimson Tide's Buck Johnson drew raves after getting 29 points against the Tigers. Almost as important was the work of center Derrick McKey, who attempted no field goals but did block four shots in the first half—two against LSU forward Nikita Wilson. Wilson, the Tigers' second-leading scorer, finished with five points on 2-for-8 shooting. "I don't want to say anything they're going to put on a bulletin board," said Alabama assistant coach David Hobbs, "but after Wilson had a few of his shots blocked, he started looking over his shoulder."
Forward Chuck Person "started to get the feeling," as he put it, and Auburn perpetrated another SEC upset. What feeling is that? "That I can score from anywhere on the floor," said Person, whose 24 points included 10 in a 95-second span as Auburn upended Kentucky 60-56. Person's 18 in the first half were two fewer than the Wildcats' total of 20.