St. Joseph's Coach Jack Ramsay, who has been known to fling his coat in the air when things aren't going so well for his Hawks, was in a mood to toss it clear out of Philadelphia's jammed Palestra last Saturday night. So-so Villanova, beaten by tough little St. Francis (N.Y.) 51-48 earlier in the week, matched St. Joe's basket for basket and got the last one—a lay-up by Eric Erickson with four seconds to go in overtime—to upset the Hawks 63-61.
St. Bonaventure's Larry Weise had his problems, too. He lost top rebounder Miles Aiken with a knee injury and then suspended his temperamental sophomore, Mike Rooney, for "unwillingness to cooperate." After that, unbeaten Niagara had no trouble at all whipping the Bonnies 80-63.
In the Ivy League, Yale raised an eyebrow or two by beating Princeton 62-61. The Elis' luck ran out against Penn, however. Yale made a first-class run at the Quakers but lost 60-50. Meanwhile, Princeton's Bill Bradley stretched his run of consecutive free throws made to 25 and the Tigers beat Brown 81-67.
For almost everybody else it was a hohum week. Canisius sifted through Providence's scrambling zone easily enough in the first half, but had to do some scrambling of its own to hold off the rallying Friars 80-75. Seton Hall's Nick Werkman, the nation's top scorer, was "held" to 48 points-trimming his average to 31.3—as the Pirates beat Rider 79-47 and Fairleigh Dickinson 81-63. Barry Kramer led NYU past Acadia 57-41 and Boston U. 67-58; LaSalle beat Manhattan 78-61. The top three:
1. ST. JOSEPH'S (10-3)
2. NYU (9-2)
3. PENN (10-1)
The Southeastern Conference was a carnival of surprises. While Mississippi State was still enjoying its big victory over Auburn, Alabama bushwhacked them 77-72 in overtime. James (Wilkes) Booth, a spindly 6-foot-3 jump shooter, ruined State with six points in the extra period and 20 in the entire game. Then Alabama beat down Georgia 67-61 to take the SEC lead. Meanwhile, Auburn recovered from its single lapse to trounce Mississippi 79-44 and Florida 81-56.
Unbeaten Georgia Tech was beginning to try Coach Whack Hyder's patience. Tech barely made it by Georgia 72-70 and then had to go into overtime to edge Mississippi 73-71. But Kentucky's Adolph Rupp was again at peace with the world—and Cotton Nash. With Nash rolling up 78 points, the Wildcats ran over Vanderbilt 106-82, LSU 63-56 and Tulane 81-72.
Duke won easily enough over Navy 85-70 and Clemson 78-67, but the Atlantic Coast leaders were concerned about Wake Forest, especially after the Deacons beat North Carolina 78-70 and Virginia Tech 76-63. Against Carolina, Coach Bones McKinney shrewdly set up his offense around 6-foot-10 Bob Woollard, hoping to get the Tar Heels' Billy Cunningham into foul trouble. It worked just fine. Cunningham scored 25 points, but he drew his fourth foul early in the second half and, when Carolina went to a zone to protect him, the Deacons were in.