Duke's Atlantic Coast leaders were shaken but still sound. The Blue Devils started fast against Wake Forest and had the Deacons on the run after 14 minutes. Then, while Art Heyman and Jeff Mullins kept the corner defenders busy, 6-foot-11 Hack Tison wrecked Wake inside. He scattered their zone with nine baskets in 11 tries, blocked eight shots and picked off 13 rebounds as Duke won 97-66. North Carolina State was tougher. Duke, caught up in State's slowdown, barely got away, 56-55. Meanwhile Wake Forest rallied to beat North Carolina 72-71 on Frank Christie's two foul shots.
Even West Virginians were beginning to wonder about their Mountaineers. West Virginia's famed zone press and some brilliant backcourt play by subs Ricky Ray and Donnie Weir bailed the team out 79-76 against Virginia Tech. But when the Mountaineers went to the press to protect a 13-point lead against William & Mary, Roger Bergey and Dave Hunter broke it with their dribbling, passing and shooting. Bergey got the last basket and the Indians won 75-72.
The Ohio Valley race was anybody's once again after Tennessee Tech upset Morehead 68-64. Miami, now 18-3, beat Jacksonville 112-105 and Louisville 94-84; Memphis State defeated The Citadel 72-63. The top three:
1. DUKE (17-2)
2. MISSISSIPPI STATE (16-4)
3. AUBURN (14-2)
One by one, Missouri Valley teams were learning that there is just no way to stop Cincinnati. Drake got off to an early lead but then Cincy got down to business and the Bulldogs faded like a week-old flower, losing 71-60. Bradley's Chuck Orsborn tried to jam Cincinnati's inside shooters with both a zone and a sagging man-to-man. The only trouble was that it left Larry Shingleton, who almost never shoots, free and willing. He sank seven of 11 shots. Still, Cincinnati led by only a single point, 60-59, with 58 seconds to play. Then Tony Yates dropped in two free throws and Cincy went on to win, 65-61, their 37th straight and 69th in a row at home. This left everybody else fighting for second place, with St. Louis in the lead. The Bills cracked Wichita's full-and half-court presses and beat the Shockers off the backboards and on the scoreboard, 68-61.
There was hardly a contender in sight in the Big Ten after Illinois outran and out-shot Indiana 104-101 in a game where defense was forgotten, and then beat Michigan State 91-86. Ohio State and Minnesota tried to stay in the race. The Bucks beat Wisconsin 94-70, while Minnesota stopped last-place Purdue 80-73.
Colorado made the mistake of getting behind Oklahoma State in the second half and had to suffer through one of Coach Hank Iba's torturing stalls. The Cowboys held the ball for 8� minutes, and gave Colorado its first Big Eight loss, 52-49. Kansas Coach Dick Harp was so inspired that he bravely predicted, " Colorado is not beyond our reach, even at Boulder." He was wrong. The big Colorado frontliners, Milt Mueller, Ken Charlton and Jim Davis, shrugged off the varied Kansas defenses and beat the Jayhawks 62-52. But the Buffs may have more trouble with suddenly aroused Kansas State, which stamped away from Missouri 90-55 and Oklahoma 100-69. Oklahoma State, too, was in contention after cooling off Iowa State 54-50. The top three:
1. CINCINNATI (19-0)
2. LOYOLA OF CHICAGO (20-0)
3. ILLINOIS (14-2)