The box score spoke eloquently: North Carolina had 31 rebounds, Virginia 44, 21 of them at the offensive end. "The fast break doesn't work as well when you take the ball out under the basket," cracked UNC's Smith. "It's unreal to be this far along before we lost. I don't see how Memphis State does it."
Cruising at 20-0 as Smith spoke, Memphis State visited Virginia Tech on Saturday with a No. 1 ranking for the Tigers riding on the outcome. Earlier that week, Memphis State had handed the Hokies their worst defeat in almost 10 years, 83-61. In revenge, Tech guard Dell Curry got 28 points and nine rebounds as the Hokies broke in the Tigers' "L" column with a 76-72 upset.
"Before the year, I said nobody would go undefeated," said Memphis State coach Dana Kirk. "After we were 20-0, I was wishing I hadn't said that." Tech had played the spoiler before. Memphis State was last ranked No. 1 in the wire-service polls that were released on Jan. 10, 1983. That very night, Virginia Tech upset the Tigers 69-56.
The week saw more interaction than usual between fans and participants. After Maryland jogged past Wake Forest 77-55, 54-year-old Charles G. Driesell vaulted the railing at Cole Field House to confront a heckler who was reminding the Terps that they still occupied seventh place in the ACC. "I ain't ascared of anybody," said Driesell. "I said, 'Go on and push me, and we'll get after it. You start it and I'll finish it.' "
Alabama-Birmingham players and coaches mixed it up briefy with Old Dominion partisans behind the UAB bench during Thursday's 71-58 Blazers win. On Saturday, during an 81-75 loss at Western Kentucky, UAB assistant coach Oscar Catlin was struck in the head by a thrown Mars bar. Sun Belt conference officials are taking steps to try to ensure better fan control.
Seton Hall won a Big East game on the road, an event that occurs almost as frequently as a presidential election. In an 85-73 victory over Pitt—which improved the Hall's alltime league road record to 2-43—the Pirates hit eight of their first nine shots, took a 21-7 lead and never had to worry. "It was a 12-point game on the scoreboard but about a 30-point game on the court," said Panther coach Roy Chipman, whose slumping squad dropped to 4-5 in league play. "We came so far tonight it's not even funny," said Seton Hall's coach, P.J. Carlesimo. Chipman agreed. "I've not been this embarrassed in the six years I've been at Pitt," he said.
Likewise, Northeastern coach Jim Calhoun had powerful emotions after Canisius broke his Huskies' 13-game winning streak, 58-47. "It was a disgusting performance, the most disgusting from a Northeastern team in the last five or six years," fumed Calhoun. The Griffins, on a nine-game streak of their own, jelled in the Siena game on Jan. 8, when coach Nick Macarchuk started his son at point guard. Nick III isn't much of a scorer, but he does know how to run the old man's offense. The Macarchuks go out of their way to preserve a player-coach relationship—even at home. Says Nick II, "He's strictly a boarder in our house. I treat him like anybody else on my team who comes to my house for dinner."
Wagner's Terrance Bailey, the scourge of the ECAC-Metro—and, incidentally. Division I's leading scorer, with a 30-point average—had an extraordinarily productive week even by his prolific standards. On Wednesday, the junior guard scored 49 points in the Seahawks' triple-overtime 105-103 win over Brooklyn College. He cooled slightly in Saturday's 85-81 defeat of defending regular-season champion Marist, contributing 46 points, eight on slam dunks, including one over 7'3" Marist center Rik Smits. To offset the dip in offense, Bailey grabbed 12 rebounds, a career high. Bailey, 6'2", has dunked 47 times this season.