Form is a rare commodity at best in the Southwest Conference, and last week it was almost extinct.
was upset twice, Texas began to win after a frustrating December and
, an unlikely preseason candidate, was tied with the Longhorns for first place.
was the first to tumble SMU, 73-71, then Baylor, even more unexpectedly, beat the Mustangs, 62-58. Texas put down Rice 54-49 and, when Arkansas tried to thwart the Longhorns with a late press, they dropped in nine free throws in the last five minutes to win, 69-63. Meanwhile,
beat Baylor 80-54 and Texas Tech 60-53.
survived a pair of close calls.
pulled the Sun Devils into overtime before losing, 79-72, and Texas Western gave them trouble until jumping Joe Caldwell bobbed up with enough points for a 63-60 victory. In between,
New Mexico State
succumbed easily enough, 87-60. Houston, back home in more friendly confines, beat
91-80. The top three:
1. ARIZONA STATE (12-1)
2. TEXAS A&M (9-2)
3. TEXAS WESTERN (10-4)
The results in the first week made it anybody's race in the Big Six, especially after
jolted highly favored
twice at Seattle. The Huskies, setting and driving off tricky screens, defeated the Bruins 62-61 and 67-63. But
, an enigma last year, was acting like a champion. Led by Dick Smith's ball-stealing and jump shots and sophomore Danny Wolthers' consistent scoring, Cal stopped
72-65 and 78-70.
Oregon State's Slats Gill put 6-foot-7 Jim Kraus up front to help 7-foot Mel Counts with the rebounds, and
rarely got the ball. Terry Baker did the quarterbacking, Counts most of the scoring and
beat State 74-47 and 61-50.
embarrassed old rival
69-65 and Brigham Young 69-58, while
, although unable to stop
Wyoming's brilliant Flynn Robinson, who scored 39 points, still defeated the Cowboys 91-70 and then Denver 76-65. The top three:
1. OREGON STATE (8-3)
2. CALIFORNIA (10-2)
3. UCLA (10-4)