For two years, ever since Indiana thrashed his first Ohio State team 122-92, OSU's young Coach Fred Taylor has been nursing the wound. Last week the pain disappeared when his Big Ten leaders humiliated the helpless Hoosiers 100-65. The talented Buckeyes, operating as grimly and as efficiently as a team of surgeons, expertly picked apart Indiana with screens and deft ball handling. And the most expert of them all was deadpan Jerry Lucas, who plunked in 34 points on a stunning assortment of hooks, tap-ins and lay-ups. Big Luke's touch was even better against Michigan State, and he scored 48 as Ohio State won 83-68. But the bruised Hoosiers were still hurting. They were beaten by Iowa, a team which had lost four of its five regulars through ineligibility, 74-67.
Kansas and Kansas State were all tied up in the Big Eight. The Jayhawks pounced on Colorado 88-65 and survived Nebraska's tortoiselike pace to win 38-33, while K-State squeaked by Iowa State 66-65 on Al Peithman's late basket. Bradley lost its third straight, to Drake 86-76, and gave up the Missouri Valley lead to streaking Cincinnati when the Bearcats beat St. Louis 61-52. The top three:
1. OHIO STATE (18-0)
2. CINCINNATI (17-3)
3. KANSAS STATE (15-3)
Even a gambling man would have hesitated to take 100-to-1 odds on it happening, but it did. First, North Carolina State upset Duke 61-59 on lanky sub Terry Litchfield's jumper with two seconds to play. Then, last-place South Carolina surprised North Carolina 89-82. Meanwhile idle Wake Forest fell into the Atlantic Coast lead. But the Deacons' stay was brief. Duke shot a withering 70% in first half, Johnny Frye and Art Heyman pumped in 56 points, and the Blue Devils tumbled Wake Forest 100-90. Two days later North Carolina's Doug Moe held Len Chappell to one field goal in the last 26 minutes, and the Tar Heels rode York Larese's 30 points and Moe's 25 to a 93-78 victory over the Deacons.
Mississippi State beat Tulane 73-59 and Tennessee 72-67 to hold the SEC lead. West Virginia went to its zone press again to beat Richmond 93-88 and clinch the Southern Conference title. Eastern Kentucky beat Louisville 80-74 for the Maroons' 31st straight at Richmond, Ky. The top three:
1. DUKE (17-2)
2. NORTH CAROLINA (15-4)
3. MISSISSIPPI STATE (16-3)
For the first time, the Southwest Conference had a clear-cut favorite. Precocious Texas Tech (its preseason chances were hardly more than a gleam in Coach Polk Robison's eye) was suddenly two games ahead of the field. But the pushy Red Raiders had to rally brilliantly to get there. Trailing Arkansas by 14 points with 12 minutes to go, they muzzled the Razorbacks with a zealous zone defense while big Harold Hudgens took over the boards and the scoring, and finally won 72-66. SMU's Mustangs were just as ornery, but only until Hudgens and little Del Ray Mounts scattered them with precise shooting. Then it was easy, and Tech went on to an 88-67 victory. Meanwhile, Texas and Texas A&M bumbled. The Longhorns lost to SMU 70-63, and the Aggies were upset by TCU 68-66.