SI Vault
Mervin Hyman
January 12, 1959
With holiday tournament jousting behind them, the nation's college basketball teams tucked away the tinsel and hoopla for another day and got down to the risky business of conference warfare. Some, like Cincinnati, were nursing bruises after unexpected setbacks, while others, like North Carolina State and St. John's, were riding cloud-high.
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January 12, 1959

Basketball's Week

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Kansas State established itself as the class of the Big Eight, beating Colorado 67-66 when bustling Bob Boozer took charge in the closing minutes. Bradley was still unbeaten after eight games and Marquette outscored Detroit 75-66 for its 10th win in 11 games.

Once-beaten Texas A&M, bubbled up by a 61-45 victory over TCU for its first Southwest Conference tournament title, got off on the right foot in league competition, taking a 65-63 cliffhanger from SMU on Wayne Lawrence's basket with three seconds to play. TCU, with broad-beamed H. E. Kirchner (6-10,240 pounds) throwing his weight around for 20 points, had an easy time disposing of Baylor 72-62, while Rice, which had previously beaten Texas by 21 points, fell to the Longhorns 61-58 and Arkansas upset Texas Tech 61-57.

For all of 24 hours California appeared to be perched in the catbird seat in the PCC. The Bears, using a pressing defense, had Washington's high-firing stars wobbling, and 6-foot 9-inch Darryll Imhoff took charge of the backboards to shock the favored Huskies 54-43. But the next night California met a defense every bit as good as its own and an offense just a mite better and lost to Oregon 59-57. USC had better luck, defeating Oregon 65-56 and Oregon State 49-41 to take the league lead. UCLA beat Idaho 62-53 and lost to Washington State 71-54; Stanford downed Washington State 59-40 and bowed to Idaho 36-31.

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