THE TOP THREE:
1. VILLANOVA (16-1)
2. ST. BONAVENTURE (12-3)
3. PROVIDENCE (13-3)
Nobody has ever been more perplexed by NYU's failure to overwhelm its opponents than Coach Lou Rossini. He has been pilloried, hanged in effigy and blamed for almost everything, including Barry Kramer's ailing ankle. But last week there seemed to be some hope for his free-lancing super-shooters. Kramer was still shooting fitfully, but Happy Hairston got help from Stan McKenzie and Ray Bennett as NYU bombed Santa Clara 79-64 and escaped from Army's bruising defense to beat the Cadets 88-66.
Except for VILLANOVA'S multitalented stars, who rolled blithely over American U. 84-49 and Detroit 79-70 (see page 26), and PROVIDENCE, which skimped past Creighton 80-77, Santa Clara 82-71 and Rhode Island 83-76 (for its ninth in a row), the teams in the East looked like a potpourri of mediocrity. ST. BONAVENTURE, thrashed by DETROIT 111-81 in the Midwest, trounced Santa Clara 75-54 in Buffalo. St. Joseph's, upset by Penn 66-51, was thumped soundly by LA SALLE 80-70. PRINCETON'S Bill Bradley was held to four field goals by Penn's aggressive defense, but the Tigers won anyway, 65-52, to share the Ivy League lead with Cornell.
But ST. JOHN'S Joe Lapchick, who has not had many cheery moments this year, was pleased with his young Redmen. Attacking patiently, defending stubbornly and even fighting off a late press, they upset Creighton 64-60 and beat Niagara 83-67.
THE TOP THREE:
1. DAVIDSON (16-1)
2. KENTUCKY (15-2)
3. VANDERBILT (14-2)
Just when it looked as if Davidson would get a chance to protect its unbeaten record in an extra period, WEST VIRGINIA'S Marty Lentz let fly with "sort of an underhand turnabout shot" from 45 feet. The desperation heave appeared to be short as the buzzer sounded. But Davidson's 6-foot-9 Fred Hetzel leaped up over the rim, came down clutching the ball and got hit with a goal-tending call for his totally unnecessary trouble. That cost Davidson the game, 75-73. Said Hetzel plaintively, "If I had it to do over again, I'd never have left my feet."