New Yorkers have rarely enjoyed themselves so much. They drooled at the considerable talents of Ohio State's Jerry Lucas and yowled with appreciation as the Buckeyes held off the best in the East to win the Holiday Festival. However, after a runaway 97-57 victory over Seton Hall, Ohio State had a tough time with St. John's before the ambitious Redmen bowed 70-65 (see page 44). Then, scrambling, aggressive St. Bonaventure, which barely beat Utah 89-88 in the semifinals, pushed the Buckeyes to the limit as Tom Stith, slithering and twisting through defenders, scored 35 points, and Fred Crawford, a brilliant sophomore forward, added 24 more. But Lucas was the difference. He scored 32 points, rebounded tenaciously, and Ohio State won 84-82. Later, St. John's handily defeated Utah 73-65 for third place despite 34 points by 6-foot-9 Billy McGill.
Small but slick Temple added to its prestige in the Capitol Invitational at Washington, defeating Lafayette 63-51 and American U. 61-51. The top three:
1. ST. JOHN'S (8-1)
2. ST. BONAVENTURE (9-1)
3. TEMPLE (9-1)
The setting was the Dixie Classic at Raleigh but it might well have been the Atlantic Coast Conference championship final next March. Unbeaten Duke had eliminated Wyoming 86-59 and Marquette 86-73, largely because of the fine shooting of sophomore Art Heyman. Twice-beaten North Carolina, with York Larese and Doug Moe scoring heavily, had routed Maryland 81-57 and Villanova 87-67. In the first eight minutes Heyman pushed in 11 points, and Duke appeared to be on the way to another victory. But Moe put a defensive clamp on Heyman and held him to four points for the rest of the game. Meanwhile Carolina's Dick Kepley and Larry Brown broke the Blue Devil defense with outside jumpers and the Tar Heels won 76-71.
Navy, following Coach Ben Carnevale's instructions "to keep the ball in the air," beat Georgia Tech's stifling zone defense and upset the Jackets 63-60 in the Gator Bowl; Miami hustled past Army 82-75 and Holy Cross 77-71 in the Hurricane Bowl; West Virginia beat Tulane 98-70 and Memphis State 86-82 in overtime in the Sugar Bowl.
Versatile Louisville ran and shot to trim Brigham Young 95-67, then used ball control and beat St. Louis at its own game, 49-47. The top three:
1. LOUISVILLE (11-0)
2. NORTH CAROLINA (8-2)
3. DUKE (9-1)