THE TOP THREE:
1. KENTUCKY (8-0)
2. VANDERBILT (9-0)
3. DAVIDSON (7-0)
Miami did not win its own Hurricane Classic, and it was Miami's own fault. The Hurricanes' first mistake was to invite SYRACUSE. The second was in not realizing that the calm of intermission is like the eye of a real hurricane. Miami led at half time of the title game, but Syracuse came back like a Force 10 gale and won 86-85.
Like Syracuse, THE CITADEL used a second-half surge to win the Poinsettia Classic in Greenville, S.C. More than anything, it was the Bulldogs' tight zone, holding Furman to 15 points in the second half, that paid off with a 42-41 triumph. FLORIDA, too, got a dividend from a zone, harassing the Air Force into its worst shooting (36% from the field) of the season and winning the prestige game of the Gator Bowl tournament 74-68.
Vanderbilt again proved itself one of the class clubs of the South. Memphis State could not cope with John Ed Miller's 10 straight field goals and bowed to the Commodores 85-79 at the start of the Vanderbilt Invitation. South Carolina lost in the championship match 106-78.
Because they had averaged 101.5 points in their six most recent wins, the KENTUCKY Wildcats already had been dubbed the Century Express before they tangled with Notre Dame. After five minutes the Irish led 10-1, but from there on Kentucky took over and won easily 100 to 81. The Wildcats used pinpoint shooting (57.8% in the second half) to make it a runaway. Thoroughly outrebounded, Coach Adolph Rupp moved Cotton Nash from center to forward early in the game, and he scored 33 points. Notre Dame Coach Johnny Jordan, awed by Kentucky's speed, said, "You can't pass against them; they'll steal your pants. I've never seen a quicker bunch of kids in my life."
Not quite as fast but zeroing in on the basket with even greater accuracy (81% in the first half, 61% overall), WAKE FOREST beat Navy 77-69.
THE TOP THREE:
1. UCLA (9-0)
2. STANFORD (6-0)
3. OREGON STATE (9-1)