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"The best team I ever coached," was Coach Joe Lapchick's appraisal after his St. John's team, rebounding smartly and shooting superbly, outclassed NYU 76-64. Greatly improved Leroy Ellis and smooth Tony Jackson gave the slick Redmen the boards, then fired in 44 points between them to kill off the game Violets. St. Joseph's Jack Ramsay wasn't claiming the same honor for his Hawks, but they were just as impressive as they beat Temple 72-62 for their 13th straight.
Princeton's shiny new Ivy title was slightly tarnished when second-place Penn, suddenly alive and competent after a struggling start, caught the Tigers with their defenses lagging, hit them with the accurate shooting of Sid Amira (23 points) and Bob Mlkvy (21 points) and whipped them soundly, 88-63. Three nights later, Penn surprised Villanova 82-80 on Bob Purdy's two foul shots with three seconds to go. The top three:
1. ST. BONAVENTURE (22-3)
Arizona State, forced into a tie for the Border Conference crown when New Mexico State beat Hardin-Simmons 88-72, took matters into its own hands in a playoff at Tempe. Led by Larry Armstrong's 24 points, the alert Sun Devils whipped the Aggies 86-72 to earn an NCAA spot. The top three:
Ohio State, operating with its usual patient, skillful probing, started slowly but soon had Illinois trying hard to hang on. Jerry Lucas, Mel Nowell and other talented Buckeyes ran and shot with their expected efficiency, the Illini crumbled 95-66, and OSU became the first unbeaten Big Ten champion in 42 years.
Perhaps it didn't occur to Missouri—which seemed more intent on beating Kansas for its own satisfaction in a rough-house, brawling battle at Columbia—but when the Tigers upset the Jayhawks 79-76 they clinched the Big Eight title for Kansas State. Later, K-State kept Colorado off balance with a sniping full-court press and overwhelmed the Buffs 82-65. The top three: