Obviously, some of the southern elite had to be winning. One was Kentucky, which bounced back from a 68-66 loss to North Carolina to win its own Kentucky Invitational from West Virginia, a defeat that made the Mountaineers big Christmas bridesmaids—they finished second in two tournaments. Bah. Humbug. The top three:
1. AUBURN (8-0)
2. KENTUCKY (7-2)
3. GEORGIA TECH (7-0)
It was one of those nights when Kansas beat Kansas State 90-88 in the Big Eight Tournament final; a game that was tied 22 times and went into four overtimes. Kansas Guard Nolen Ellison played all 60 minutes, totaled 32 points and twice scored overtime tying points, feats all the more impressive since he was getting married the next day. The winning basket was scored with three seconds left by Jay Roberts who was averaging 1.3 and was not supposed to shoot. "He's not our best player, but he can accommodate," Coach Dick Harp said.
In Oklahoma City, Loyola of Chicago didn't expect or get the stiffest of competition in the All-College Tournament, and Arkansas, Memphis State and Wyoming recorded no more than moral victories in holding Loyola under 100 points. Like good hosts, Marquette lost the Marquette Classic to Wisconsin 70-56 and Detroit the Motor City Tournament to DePaul 82-77.
Big Ten contender Michigan took four straight over the scattered likes of San Jose, Houston, Texas A&M and Yale, but Ohio State tumbled 71-54 at Wichita.
Cincinnati won three more, of course. The top three:
1. CINCINNATI (9-0)
2. ILLINOIS (8-0)
3. WICHITA (9-2)
Arizona State rallied against both Rhode Island and previously unbeaten Canisius to carry home the Queen City Invitational championship from Buffalo. With Houston losing close ones and most of the Southwest teams losing them all, the Buffalo victory was a big one.